IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: Evolving the Enterprise with the Service Desk and Improved Workflows through IT Service ManagementDecember 26, 2016 No Comments
In this Interview, Nancy Van Elsacker Louisnord, president of TOPdesk US, discusses the value of IT Service Management within the ever evolving IT Enterprise.
- Q. IT service management technology, solutions and protocols seem to grabbing more headlines now than ever before. Can you tell us why and what the reasoning for this is?
A. Well, there are several natural reasons for the rise in popularity of ITSM solutions, closely related to the changes in the workforce that we are seeing. These days the CIO does not just have to make sure everything in IT is just working, they are also very much involved in adding value to the business and the employee retention. Especially the millennials expect different things and the most important aspect to retain them in the company is to help them be productive all the time. That is where the real value of service management comes in.
For example, TOPdesk recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a major study to examine the total economic impact and the return on investment to an organization by deploying a service management solution. The results are quite interesting. To better understand the benefits, costs and risks associated with an ITSM implementation, Forrester interviewed four existing ITSM users with multiple years of experience using service management solutions.
Prior to the organization’s use of service management software, the user organizations had been using outdated and somewhat obsolete service management tools, Forrester reported. The kind of tools that lacked structure and processes to support ITIL practices. In addition, teams struggled to prioritize helpdesk tickets as there was very little visibility across the organization. These limitations led to duplicate tickets, reopening and closing tickets, and inefficient workload.
Through the use of the TOPdesk service management solution, user organizations were able to streamline and automate processes, enabling them to adopt ITIL practices increase productivity, meet their user’s service level agreements and keep costs in check.
- Q. What are some of the most noteworthy benefits enterprises experience with the use of service management technology, from your experience?
A. Well, according to the study, the organizations experienced improved service desk process efficiencies between 25 percent and 35 percent. TOPdesk service management enabled service desk analysts to reduce duplicative efforts, creating a single point of contact, and equipping analysts with more information and visibility across all tickets. Additionally, they reduced call volume by 30 percent to 50 percent through better self-service and automation. An entire organization can search and identify solutions to their issues through a self-service desk. Its estimated users are now able to find solutions to their incidents on average 30 percent faster. There were also improvement in service desk management efficiencies, giving managers visibility into all the open tickets and issues that were going on within the organization. By equipping managers with this information, they were able to make more effective prioritization decisions and manage problems much more efficiently.
According to those interviewed, prior to their use of service management, they weren’t able to track calls or emails and tickets were often closed and reopened, and processes were inefficient, reporting was lacking and managers were not able to prioritize effectively. Resolution times decreased by 50 percent.
- Q. Speaking of workflows, also a big headline grabber recently, can you speak to how service management affects these areas in the enterprise?
A. Again, they are streamlined, to say it simply. So, like tracking and improved services offered in an organization, workflows are improved and made more efficient, increasing speed and enhancing quality. As Forrester notes, the most significant benefits experienced through service management were improving service management as a whole. With the technology, they were able to create a single point of contact where service desk tickets could be managed effectively and questions would be routed to the knowledge experts.
Also, we’ve found that metrics tracking and reporting improved, as does time to call resolution. Visibility, measurements and reporting were basic requirements not being satisfied with the composite organization’s prior solution. As we see at TOPdesk, equipping managers with performance measures and reporting allows them to address issues or concerns before they become a problem. Additional reporting helps management prioritize incidents and allows them to ensure that the level of service requirements are being met while reducing the number of escalating incidents.
Finally, self-service helps alleviate workload on service desk and improves quality of service. The organizations Forrester interviewed said service management is an important component of their customer experience strategy that help improve customer satisfaction scores. One of the main drivers for this improvement is the implementation of self-service portals that empower users find and identify solutions to their issues before contacting the service desk. This not only speeds up the process for users to find answers to their problems, but also reduces the workload on service desk analysts, allowing them to focus on more pressing matters while reducing call volumes by 40 percent to 50 percent.
- Q. So then the service desk is evolving? Their capabilities are becoming stronger? Then what are their goals?
A. The goal of a modern service desk is the successful delivery of technology and business services or applications so that employees can deliver superior customer experience. The service desk team helps employees stay productive, which means ensuring their access to adequate tools and task- and customer-critical information. Seems pretty simple, really, but, as we can see, it’s more complicated than it sounds, especially if these teams don’t have the proper or appropriate solutions for them to meet their needs.
- Q. What can you tell us about the advent or rise of “out-of-the-box” service management solutions and what that means for service desks?
A. First, it’s important to define “out-of-the box.” It isn’t all things to all organizations; in fact, it’s quite different. In plain terms, the phrase is often abused, usually by ITSM marketing teams so now it means everything and nothing at the same time. Important for clients to understand that the investment they made in the configuration of their solutions is protected. That is true standard or out of the box.
For example, one of the things TOPdesk strongly believes in is shared service management in which multiple teams work together to deliver services to end users. In this regard, offering out-of-the-box solutions means supporting processes like building management, visitor registration, planned preventive maintenance, HR services or room booking management. This framework means users can then use advanced reporting capabilities, dashboards, task and planning boards that can be used to manage their processes.
For some, “out-of-the-box” is simply another term that’s meant to suggest that their products can easily be removed from the packaging, installed and implemented. In most cases, this also means that there’s no customization and very little innovation, but “out-of-the-box” doesn’t mean a solution labeled as such is any better than the marketing behind it.
- Q. Tell us about the biggest changes you are seeing within service management?
A. One of the biggest changes definitely is everything around Shift Left. It is not a revolutionary change as it has been coming up over the past years, but I feel like it really took off in 2016. The importance of a self-service portal, a good knowledge management and automation tools, all examples to achieve a Shift Left strategy, went up dramatically.
The reason why I believe it really gained traction fast is that it clearly adds value to the entire business. End users, especially the millennials, want to solve things themselves and fast. Supporting departments, on the other hand, will save time and money and get to focus on more proactive work.
Nancy Van Elsacker Louisnord is the president of TOPdesk US, currently responsible for leading the division’s business development, client acquisition and customer services efforts. Prior to launching TOPdesk’s North American division in 2015, she led the organization’s expansion efforts in Belgium for eight years and was responsible for the startup and expansion of TOPdesk’s operations there. TOPdesk develops, markets, implements and supports standard user-friendly service management software for IT, facilities management, HR, maintenance, complaints registration and the service desk for all sized organizations.
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