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3 Must-Follow ITSM New Year’s Resolutions That Will Move the Business Forward

Posted by on January 02, 2017

3 Must-Follow ITSM New Year’s Resolutions That Will Move the Business Forward

Editor's note: To kick off 2017, we're running a series on New Year's resolution for IT leaders. For this first post, we're taking a deep dive into the IT service management (ITSM) landscape, outlining the major issues and objectives that ITSM leaders will face in the upcoming year.

For IT leaders, there is no better time than right now to contemplate the course of the IT’s organization’s future. This isn’t hyperbole: The continuous improvements IT organizations make in 2017 will determine if they have the dexterity required to compete as a digital business.

ITSM plays a critical role in enabling digital business outcomes, and in the spirit of continuous improvement, the work of an IT leader is never done. As services increase in size, scope, complexity, and business relevance, so too do the corresponding needs for resources, capacity, security, and risk management.

Tweet this: The major issues and objectives that ITSM leaders will face in 2017 and how continuous improvement will play a role.

One factor exacerbating the issue is that as much as 29 percent of IT spending comes from business units rather than traditional IT, according to a recent Gartner survey. This trend is set to increase dramatically over the next few years. An increase in technology spending from other departments doesn’t just mean more services and dependencies to be aware of—it also means IT leaders have to build relationships with key stakeholders and ensure that IT can enable safe and secure business outcomes, regardless of who purchased the technology.

New Year's resolutions allow you to turn dreams and aspirations into goals and objectives, simply by writing them down. What are your work-related resolutions for 2017? At Cherwell Software, we have the pleasure of speaking with countless IT organizations over the course of the year, and what follows is a list of three common objectives, along with insight into how ITSM leaders can achieve them in the upcoming year.

1. Resuscitate Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management (KM) is an on-going initiative that requires people, process, and technology integration. When done correctly, KM curates and consolidates knowledge from pockets, making it useful, purposeful, and easy to find. These initiatives typically begin with a lot of excitement, but quickly fall out of favor the first time a technician or business user finds an out-of-date artifact that doesn’t solve their problem.

Despite this challenge, there’s a lot of value in Knowledge Management. ITSM leaders should press on to understand which technology solutions can solve such challenges, and also think through new approaches to advance the people and contextual aspects required to make KM effective.

To improve Knowledge Management outcomes, ITSM leaders should look to methodologies such as Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS), which understands and recognizes knowledge as a key asset of the organization implementing it. The recognition that content should be created as a by-product of solving problems, and evolve based on demand and usage, helps to optimize resources and costs. This requires leaders to make knowledge contribution and consumption a requirement, not an option, and it's why establishing and improving KCS’s Use/Fix/Flag/Add metric should be at the forefront of your resuscitated Knowledge Management initiative.

2. Modernize IT Self-Service

Solid Knowledge Management is a prerequisite for IT self-service, which is becoming a viable channel to support the demands of an increasingly digital and tech-savvy workforce. The promise and benefits of IT self-service remain appealing: 24/7 support, fewer contacts, lower costs, and higher customer satisfaction.

While few organizations have decreased ticket volume year over year, those who do cite the presence of a knowledge base and self-service as the top contributing factors. The reality is that many organizations have users that prefer self-service over a phone call or free-form email, yet don’t find their IT organization’s self-service portal easy to use or aesthetically pleasing—if it exists at all.

To modernize IT self-service, ITSM leaders should start by focusing on the user's experience (and not the IT team's). Users crave the simple, easy Amazon.com experience, and while that may be difficult to deliver, there are elements to draw from that can pay immediate dividends.

For example, converting the top 10 knowledge articles into “How-To Videos” can be a quick win. Ditto for automating the workflow delivery of the top three most requested services or applications. Furthermore, it's vital to understand that promoting and marketing the self-service portal’s existence is something ITSM leaders have to take an active role in—simply building it doesn’t ensure your users will utilize it!

Tweet this: Knowledge Management is a prerequisite for #IT self-service to support the demands of a digital workforce. 

3. Mobilize the IT Service Desk

Even as solid Knowledge Management and modern IT self-service reduce contact volume, your business users will still encounter technology issues that require IT's help to solve. Forward-thinking IT organizations understand the value of those interactions; rather than discouraging interactions, they encourage them!

In an effort to “consumerize” the IT support experience, many IT organizations are establishing walk-in/walk-up service desks, in addition to roaming IT support, where users can get face to face with technicians for help on their most pressing issues, as well as insight on how best to utilize IT services and the hardware that supports it.

The establishment of a mobile service desk can begin with a simple pilot, where a cross section of IT support blocks a conference room for an afternoon, creates signage, and communicates to business uses that any IT issues can be addressed face-to-face if they so choose. ITSM leaders can also have staffers “adopt” a certain business area or location, so that team member can gain a better understanding of the goals and challenges of the business unit, and propose new approaches or even technology solutions to aid them.

By following these three New Year's resolutions, your IT department will flourish in the upcoming year, keeping up with users' needs and expectations, and making future-looking improvements that will serve users well.