Your first task of 2014, before you think about addressing new challenges, is to review the successes of the year that just passed and congratulate your team on its achievements. Start 2014 on a positive note, and the challenges it holds will seem just that little bit more manageable. (Some of) the big challenges:
Giving real business value
This has been rising up the management agenda for years and is hot right now. Getting inside your customers’ heads and finding out what the real business value is that they want from you is essential. It’s crucial to develop the service and support you provide in line with the business’ most important requirements, and to able to demonstrate and market how well you do this—now more than ever. Workshop groups at the 2013 itSMF conference in November came up with the following ‘top desired behaviours’:
- Business and IT Services have great understanding with each other
- Business specifies outcomes not just output
- Business provides priorities for those outcomes needed
- Business has insight into current and future capabilities of IT and its people
- IT people communicate benefits, costs and risks so that well informed business decisions can be made
- Business management communicates IT changes to its users and customers
- BUSINESS is the accountable owner of info systems and should lead IT service directions
- The enterprise fosters a culture where Business and IT share the same table and have a joint vision
As ever, there’s plenty going on here—both in the sense of the technology our customers are using and the developments to be aware of—that could help us address the needs of the business more effectively.
Service desks have always had to deal with changing requirements and environment, but in 2014, this evolution will be even faster. You will need to understand many new concepts and technologies in order to operate to your optimum level. Here are just three examples:
- BIG DATA: For years, service desks have kept data on customers and interactions in service management systems, but have we made effective and enough use of it? Data could tell you what effect certain variables have on service desk efficiency levels or customer happiness and which metrics correlate to the outcomes that matter to the business.
- Self-service and knowledge base systems: Development and integration of these is increasing and, if used effectively, can give you and your team more time to focus on the more complex issues that demand a human intervention.
- Mobile devices: Mobile support for smartphones and tablets will continue to increase. Tablets are rapidly becoming the device of choice to replace a laptop. Almost every day, I’m spending time with businesses using or developing mobile apps for everyday tasks. Whatever stage your desk is at with mobile support, remember to be aware of wider issues and potential pitfalls by keeping up to date with industry papers, blogs, topical events, and by networking with peers.
You might feel you’ve got your hands full just staying aware of the ‘big issues’ each year, let alone making sure you can use them to improve your service desk, but there is help out there. One source is SDI, and we’re going to be covering these topics and more at our events over the coming months.
What resources for you turn to for help?
Good luck with your plans for 2014.