Case Study

London School of Economics

Quick Wins for IT

  • Powerful improvements to productivity delivered through automation of tasks
  • New capability to implement staff requests for functionality into the live environment
  • Flexible solution delivered efficient new working practices

Nicos Kyriacou, IMT Service Management Officer at LSE talks through the challenges he and the team faced and the difference Cherwell’s IT Service Management solution has made.

The Challenge

Founded over a century ago for the betterment of society, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is one of the foremost social science universities in the world. The prestigious University has produced some of the leading lights in fields including law, economics, history and politics, with dozens of Nobel Prize winners and Members of Parliament among its alumni.

Today, the LSE is home to more than 10,000 students and 3,300 staff, placing considerable demand on its IT service management team. However, as the university continued to expand in scope and complexity, its support team looked for new solutions to overcome the inflexible and outdated service management tools.

Nicos Kyriacou, IMT Service Management Officer at LSE, explained: “We had the same tool for over a decade and it was so rigid that we were forced to adapt our working practices around it, rather than vice versa. The tools were so specialised that we needed to hire expensive contractors to work with them. The whole department was unhappy with this set up and we felt the tools were forcing us to be less productive.”

The Solution

To address the increasing limitations of its old toolset, the service management team launched a competitive tender to find a replacement. Cherwell’s IT Service Management solution first came to the team’s attention at a conference.

Nicos explained: “As a public-sector organisation, the tender process is complex and we are required to view a lot of different suppliers before deciding on any new contractors. It was important that the stakeholders at the University were onboard with the new solution and process changes from the outset, and that this change was seen as progressive rather than a potential block to development.”

College students collaborating

He continued: “Cherwell immediately stood out from the competition as they were the only ones to put their money where their mouth is. They built a brand-new form in front of us during a session at the conference and were able to run reports on all the fields we requested. The demonstration of how easy the Cherwell tool was to use really set them apart from other offerings on the market.”

Because the LSE service management team had been forced to adapt their working practices around their old toolset, implementing a new solution also required a complete overhaul of their processes. Despite the scale of the challenge, implementation went very smoothly. The LSE team received hands-on training for the new tools and were well supported on the go-live date in case they had any additional needs.

The Results

Once the implementation was complete, the LSE service management team immediately began to see numerous benefits across their operations, particularly thanks to the solution’s capabilities in automation.

Nicos explained: “A lot of previously time-consuming manual tasks are now taken care of by Cherwell automatically. For example, the service desk used to have a spreadsheet for service staff to look through and assign calls to the right support team, as we have multiple teams covering different areas.

“Cherwell now does this through automation, in an instant, saving a lot of time and avoiding sifting through a spreadsheet. Cutting out all these mundane tasks means our team is free to get on with more complex and valuable work.”

“In addition, automation has been very beneficial for the change management process, as the Cherwell solution can automatically determine the risk of proposed changes and how the authorisation process needs to happen.”

The flexibility of the Cherwell IT Service Management solution also delivered major benefits for the LSE team, particularly in comparison to the static and inflexible nature of their previous solution.

“Because the Cherwell tool is so adaptable, we were able to quickly start taking staff requests and implementing them into the live environment. The team was very enthusiastic about this opportunity, as we’d never been able to provide anything like it before. The ability to see their suggestions for new functionality actually added into the system created some real engagement from the staff and encouraged them to think about how processes could be improved further.”

Following the successful implementation, the LSE team is now planning to expand their capabilities with Cherwell Mobile, a mobile platform that enables users to connect directly with the Cherwell Service Management solution from any location via a mobile app or browser.

Nicos explained: “We have a lot of people moving around the campus and working from different locations. Currently if they meet someone with a request, it has to wait until they get back to their desk to be properly logged. With Cherwell Mobile, we’ll be able to register it on the spot and perform other actions like scanning product codes and taking screen shots – a major boost to productivity.”

He concluded: “Looking further ahead, we’re very excited about some of the new developments in the Cherwell roadmap. We’ve become very active in the Cherwell community and there are some very innovative plans ahead such as the use of AI to solve problems based on previous calls.”