To gain a competitive edge, many companies have abandoned the old-school, IT-by-individual-technologies service desk model in favor of IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) practices, which offer a more holistic and flexible way of providing service-desk services to their employees.
(What is ITIL, you say? If you hunger for more info about it, watch this video to learn how its tenets resemble the service cycles of a restaurant chain.)
Unfortunately, after several years of ITIL and data warehouses full of bits and bytes, most companies are still wondering when IT will enable the outcomes they require to remain competitive, improve productivity and get their product out the door faster than their competitors. Sound familiar? What is your IT service desk doing to support your business needs?
Ironically, the reason for the ITIL textbooks was to shift IT from a utility service to a business partner through the concept of IT Service Management (ITSM). What is ITSM? Well, while ITIL is focused around processes that cross IT domains to govern and control how IT works, ITSM aims to constantly improve services by identifying desired business outcomes and measuring progress against those outcomes. Process controls and data governance all play an important part in making sure IT is delivering true value to the business. Unfortunately, after years of ITIL-speak and ITSM implementations, we are still left with piles of data reporting yesterday’s news that has nothing to do with value or profitability.
Introducing modern service management
Modern service management is still designed around ITIL practices, but with the additional speed, agility and automation required to support rapidly changing business needs. Through the use of data-driven analytics and advanced algorithms, modern service management seeks to systematically remove waste, improve efficiencies, cut costs and delight end users. And, yes, the service desk can do this!
How does this work, you might ask? Very simply, modern service management seeks to understand and automate the linkage between processes, people and knowledge. Here are some of the business benefits a shift to modern service management can bring:
- Process optimization: Whether your clients have 250 employees or more than 3,000, you want them to have a better experience with IT support every day. Process-mining capabilities expose areas for immediate improvement based on near real-time data. Connecting ITIL best practices with behavioral variance provides immediate insights into process optimization opportunities. As processes improve and variance is controlled, end users know exactly what to expect, how long it should take and are continually delighted as every contact yields an even better experience.
- Proactively addresses emerging problems: Data-driven analytics and advanced algorithms identify trends and deviations indicative of a potential problem. Say your service desk is suddenly experiencing a surge of tickets in the queue. Is it related to a new software release? A new device rollout? Or perhaps it is a problem unique to one location, building or user group? With near real-time analytics and variance tracking, your service desk will have everything it needs to proactively evaluate issues and address underlying causes before they become bigger problems with greater productivity impact.
- Provides detailed dashboards and reports: Every good reporter knows to go to the scene of an event to provide the most meaningful information to audiences. Does your service desk show you metrics as they unfold? Imagine being able to see the pattern of behavior, the most costly tickets and the teams that are most compliant to service level agreements while you sip your morning coffee, rather than days or even weeks later when it’s really too late to do anything about it. Reports and dashboards reach a new level of clarity when built on top of optimized processes and data-driven analytics. Information is available to make immediate business decisions and to show business users the value of sound IT investments.
By consistently providing meaningful data and insights from ITIL process data, you’ll gain increased knowledge about your users, ultimately keeping them happy and saving you money. A key pillar of ITSM is that there is always room for improvement. Modern service management takes it a step further with the additional speed, agility and automation required to get ahead of issues and provide rapid value.
Does your business currently adhere to ITIL practices? What about ITSM? How can modern service management help you to meet your company objectives? Comment below and let us know your opinions or experiences.