As you look to optimize your service desk through 2020 and even beyond, you’ll probably realize that many of your IT service desk challenges have been around in one form or another for awhile. For example, an increasing volume of IT support tickets are being created and that they need to be handled with minimal budget uplift. Plus, there are heightened employee expectations – with corporate service providers, such as IT, expected to deliver capabilities on par with what the employees expect in their personal lives from consumer IT.
In this recent webinar which is now available on-demand: What Your IT Service Desk Needs to Focus On in 2020 (and Beyond), I discuss new and evolving opportunities to help address these perpetual challenges. This blog will highlight some of the key areas.
IT service desk areas to focus on in 2020 (and beyond)
Looking at a list of what seems to be disparate improvement areas can be confusing, so I’ve placed the ITSM eight areas into the following three groups:
- Getting your IT service desk motivations right
- Better enabling IT support personnel
- Going beyond traditional IT support
Each of these, and their respective areas, are covered in the next three sections.
1. Getting your IT service desk motivations right
- Focus on value. Have you struggled to satisfactorily answer questions such as: Do you know how your IT service desk adds value, or creates value, for your organization? And how does your IT service desk strategy and operations bring about this value? Or your performance measures? They’re tricky questions to answer because – as I explain in the webinar – the answers need to be relevant to your organization’s needs and expectations.
- Enhance the employee experience. While employee experience can cover many things, including the level of employee happiness with IT support, research has shown that what matters most to employees is “being able to make progress every day toward the work that they believe is most important.” Therefore, a key question here for those IT service desks with cost-cutting strategies is: What is the business impact of the changes that are likely eroding employee productivity rather than improving it?
2. Better enabling IT support personnel
- Empower employees. There are three key elements to this (in addition to ensuring that IT support employees are using helpful technologies):
- Getting people focused on, and involved in, “the most important work.”
- Encouraging something called “intelligent disobedience” – please either watch the webinar or Google the term to find out more.
- Ensuring the workplace wellbeing of your IT support people.
- Reduce high volume, low-value tasks. A good example is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation for intelligent ticket processing – where machine learning and automation is used for the automated categorization, prioritization, assignment, and potentially, actioning of incidents and requests based on historical data patterns. Or, the use of chatbots as the first line of employee or customer help.
- Leverage technology-based augmentation. This is about making IT support staff “better versions of themselves,” and two good examples are:
- Virtual agents – that augment service desk analyst knowledge and capabilities.
- AI-assisted decision support and trending – from problem management to demand planning and staffing optimization.
- Drive the right behaviors (by measuring the right things). Having the right metrics, to drive the right behaviors, is getting more complicated given the areas I’ve already covered (value focus, employee experience, AI and automation). For example, in terms of the automation, service desk analysts will be spending the majority of their time on more complicated and time-consuming tasks, such that many current targets, including average handling time and first contact resolution, will need to be reappraised.
3. Going beyond traditional IT support
- Share capabilities beyond IT. What’s being adopted, ITSM-process-wise, with enterprise service management is very service desk-heavy. It, therefore, places an onus on IT service desks to ensure that what they do is actually fit for purpose for sharing with the other business functions before it is shared.
- Play an information security role. No one who works in an organization is unaware of the risks and impact of security breaches and other security issues. But is your IT service desk doing enough? If not, your IT service desk is likely contributing to the problem rather than the solution. For service desk analysts, there are two key information security aspects to consider:
- How they help to keep the organization secure themselves – especially in personally adhering to corporate information security policies.
- The role they play in helping to ensure that others are not putting the organization at risk.
For a deeper dive into these ITSM priorities and tips for success, check out my on-demand-webinar.
Stephen Mann, IT Service Management Expert and Principal Analyst and Content Director at ITSM.tools
Principal and Content Director at the ITSM-focused industry analyst firm ITSM.tools. Also an independent IT and IT service management marketing content creator, and a frequent blogger, writer, and presenter on the challenges and opportunities for IT service management professionals.
Previously held positions in IT research and analysis (at IT industry analyst firms Ovum and Forrester and the UK Post Office), IT service management consultancy, enterprise IT service desk and IT service management, IT asset management, innovation and creativity facilitation, project management, finance consultancy, internal audit, and product marketing for a SaaS IT service management technology vendor.