Three projects for your five-year IT service management plan – Part 3

In the final of the three-part series, I would like to round off by discussing the importance of improvements from both a behavioural and technological perspective in relation to self-service.

If conducted effectively, self-service capabilities will transform efficiency standards and user experience through daily tasks, offering a drastic reduction in demand for IT services and resources.   

Project 3: Improve Self-Service

Many organisations provide basic self-service portals to allow employees to request corporate software. As millennials and other tech savvy employees enter the workforce, it makes sense to empower them to handle common IT requests on their own. Done correctly, self-service projects also improve service desk response times and end user satisfaction.

A recent global study shows that more than 81 per cent of end users try to solve their own IT problems before asking for help. As a result, the study also indicates that less than 18 per cent of those users leverage their organisation’s service portal, turning to Google or co-workers for help before calling IT directly.    Clearly, there is room for improvement.

For instance, when a user has a problem, a good self-service portal should provide access to a knowledge base of common issues and frequently asked questions (FAQ’s). Recent knowledge management innovations simplify the process even further. A user can now take a picture of an error on the screen and the system will automatically search for an answer. If additional help is needed, the user can open a support request from the page, using a simple form designed to route the incident to the appropriate group.

The automation example above can also extend to self-service. For example, while many organisations provide automated password resets for customer-facing websites, they haven’t made the same capability available to employees. When a user forgets his/her password, support staff with the appropriate rights are needed to unlock the account using network tools. An automated process would instead allow support to trigger the reset by simply pressing a button on the incident page.

Ultimately, the best way to handle this scenario is with a secure self-service process that eliminates the need for support to be involved at all. Whether your self-service portal needs an update, or you need to build one from scratch, this project can leverage your asset management and automation efforts. The good news is, like automation, self-service projects can significantly reduce IT support costs – freeing up the resources necessary for other initiatives that enable your organisation to adapt to future technology demands.

IT leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve ITSM, but no matter how they aim to tackle it, keeping end user experience and ‘Operations-to-ITSM’ integrations in mind is critical. When putting together a five-year ITSM plan, IT leaders must be aware of the immediate needs of the organisation and what’s to come in the future. Planning for development of new technologies and growing eco systems such as Internet of Things (IoT) and the resulting demand on IT asset management will be the difference.

Automating processes and integrating tools such as self-service portals will not only assist IT teams now, but ensure stability for years to come.

Marcel Shaw, ITSM and ITAM specialist at LANDESK

Image source: Shutterstock/OPOLJA