Originally Posted 10/19/11
As much as the advice “learn from the past in order to prevent a repeat in the future” pervades our culture, we seldom tend to follow it. It’s understandable though. We often only tend to relate to something that is happening now. In a sense, only those things that can be, without question, tracked back to cause, really have an impact. Moreover, you can liken it to touching a hot stove. You definitely understand the consequence going forward. This is mainly due to the fact that verifiably, a hot stove will always burn you.
Well, a swamped service desk, smothered by more ticket submissions than they can possibly manage, results in an overworked and inefficient staff, but doesn’t quite have the hot stove causality. This is mainly due to the fact that reasons for a stressed Service Desk can have many causes, some completely out of our control.
Now, I realize that convincing the masses to look to the past for answers might be a bit of an exercise in futility. So, instead let’s look at something happening right now, that is likely affecting your Service Desk on a small level, but has the potential to increase that volume, pushing your team into threat mode, raising tempers and stress – mobile devices and OS upgrades (and BYOD).
Just today, Google unveiled Ice Cream sandwich. The OS aimed at bridging the mobile and tablet Android devices on the market. That’s great news right? Well it is especially if you are trying to triage tickets in an environment where multiple tablets and mobile devices are being rolled out. Unfortunately, while great to consumers, and to vertical customers looking for OS consistency across devices, this presents a potential for disaster for Service Desks.
In the past, Service Desks managing primarily Windows OS machines only had to triage security updates and patches – which, in and of themselves cause issues that translated to an increase in the occurrence of tickets to a Service Desk. Major OS releases, which were provided in the span of years, were often implemented months, if not years, after the release. Even with the delay, chaos often ensued requiring training and an endless set of questions from users that were not related to actual issues.
Now, as these devices walk over the grave of the PC, it’s very likely your “once a decade upgrade” could very well start happening a couple times a year or more. The good news (though perhaps bad if your control over business devices is liberal), users are becoming much more accustomed to the updates mainly from the communication they receive from device manufactures, regularly and openly. They are informed and becoming accustomed to change and improvement on a regular basis.
And this is where we learn our lesson from the present: understand change, prepare for it, and communicate it openly. In fact, these announcements find a great home on the announcement calendar, just one of many intuitive and impactful communication features in ChangeGear. With the lead time that companies still give, and the interest and buy-in from users with regard to the personal nature of modern computing, updates have the potential to improve and even reduce the impact to your service desk. Of course, that’s entirely up to you, and your team’s ability to learn from the present.