Since the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have had to rethink almost everything. Gathering in an office has become challenging and unsafe, so onsite employees are increasingly working remotely. An unexpected benefit has been that many businesses have realized the perks of working from home, in terms of employee efficiency and productivity.
Even before the coronavirus, most business operations were going digital and more remote. IT service desks perform myriad functions, from network monitoring and data access management to maintaining business continuity and disaster recovery. They receive countless calls from your business community, both employees and customers; but rather than only a place where IT addresses problems, the service desk can also be a source of broader organizational strategy, information and insights.
The IT service desk
The new COVID-19 WFH environment demands a shift in your IT approach. Some of the strategies that apply to in-house service desks have become outdated or ineffective with the transition to remote working. So, how have businesses been utilizing their IT service desk before?
Reactive ITSM vs. proactive ITSM
Reactive IT service management is essentially firefighting, a type of incident management in which support teams react to issues that arise without greater business objectives. This approach to IT lacks long-term vision and it can produce bottlenecks that slow down processes and workflow.
Proactive IT is more akin to fire prevention – identifying and solving problems before they occur and affect business continuity. It involves shielding your IT environment from as-yet-unknown errors before they become real incidents. A proactive ITSM approach is characterized by continuous monitoring, detection and surveillance of your network perimeters, as well as an organizational structure, strategy and culture that prizes new ideas, emphasizes innovative best practices and aims to use technology to avoid potential problems and streamline processes.
Cost vs. value
Often, CIOs are faced with an apparent tradeoff of cost and value. Organizations must find the balance between increasing value and reducing costs.
An outsourced IT service desk can help companies realize remote work capability, data security and improved efficiency, achieving both cost-savings and business value. Top-of-the-line outsourced IT service desks are cost-effective and deliver seamless IT operations and solutions by:
- Bringing a wide range of skill sets and capabilities to the table that your staff might not have in-house
- Providing advanced technology and automation and monitoring tools that you don’t have to pay for or develop
- Reducing downtime by tackling data loss, slow internet connections and lagging applications
- Making expertise and consultation available anywhere, anytime, instead of just 9-to-5 in the office
Tips to transforming your IT service desk
You need to update and upgrade your IT service desk to enhance business operations and meet the demands of working from home. It needs to be effective, business-specific and optimized for remote work.
Here are some of the ways to transform your IT service desk:
Automation is a cost-effective approach to revolutionizing your IT service desk. You can computerize processes like routing tickets to the right people and automatically providing answers to standard issues.
Technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA) allow seamless automation. Using artificial intelligence (AI), RPA interprets systems and performs a variety of repetitive tasks. When integrated with your IT service desk, RPA can optimize workloads that do not require human intervention.
With businesses competing to find new customers and keep existing ones, effective customer engagement at the IT service desk is crucial. Examine your customer behavior and learn about their expectations and typical problems. With a better understanding of their needs and challenges, it’s easier to provide tailored solutions before they become frustrated.
Providing a 24-7/365 self-help portal can dramatically improve engagement and customer retention. Other activities, such as satisfaction surveys, help you to understand customers’ views on your products or services and develop a better reputation.
Leveraging end-user feedback
To boost satisfaction and improve user experience, leveraging their feedback is key. Employees and customers, even – or especially – those who are unhappy, can provide a great source of learning and new strategy. Ask for and categorize feedback to make it useful to your business. With the right feedback, you know what to do to improve end-user satisfaction.
Continuous network monitoring
Monitoring your entire IT infrastructure ensures that critical business processes are not disrupted. Smart AI and machine learning (ML) techniques, as well as predictive analysis, allow for preventive actions. With continuous monitoring, it’s easier to meet the demands of remote teams.
Incorporating your IT service desk into the entire business
Your IT service desk can play a crucial role in creating value for your business. It should be thought of as a part of the overall business strategy. Rather than just a place to address problems, the IT service desk also gets many calls from your community. These calls can inspire innovative ideas and new approaches that could make your business more efficient and save money.
Incorporating the IT service desk into your business strategy means expanding its value proposition, including functionalities such as service level management, business metric and enterprise resource planning (ERP) integration. This helps to improve employee productivity and customer satisfaction.
Aligning the IT service desk with the larger organizational strategy delivers maximum business success. It optimizes processes while improving customer service and employee support, in addition to reducing IT costs. It also helps an organization improve quality of support, governance and risk reduction, agility for new IT services and user satisfaction, as well as an operational competitive advantage.
Calance can help your company rethink IT and use the service desk more strategically. We provide a top-tier IT service desk that suits all your business needs and not only integrates but augments your organizational strategy. Contact us today to see how our IT service desk management can make your company more efficient, cost-effective, adaptable, future-proof and successful.