The turn of a new year usually leads people to pause and reflect on what has gone well in the past, which areas of life need improvement and how to move in a more positive direction. This isn't just something that happens in the form of New Year's resolutions, but also a common planning and vision-casting process in the enterprise. For IT service desk leaders, 2015 holds the promise of significant new challenges as emerging technologies take a stronger hold in organizations and support teams need to step up in their ability to deliver sophisticated apps and services to end users.
New challenges for 2015 are clearly evident when it comes to the self-service portal component of the IT service management suite. End users are demanding more control over their technology use methods (BYOD), and demand to leverage self-service solutions in an effective and easily accessible way. However, finding success hinges on tackling these challenges head on and embracing innovation across the entire service desk. A few of the key challenges that need to be overcome in the coming year include:
1. Getting Employees to Embrace Self-Service
To a certain extent, the consumerization of IT movement creates a natural transition toward self-service portals because users are generally more interested in taking control of how they use, access and manage the technology that is essential to getting the job done. However, not all of your workers are going to be comfortable engaging with technology systems on the more nuanced level needed to handle self-service. These employees may lack the confidence when it comes to using forums or knowledge base databases in order to find a solution to a problem, following steps set forth to resolve basic issues or even initiating the process of handling self-service.
It is important to realize that as business evolves and organizational operations change, not every employee will be equally capable of keeping up. Those workers shouldn't just slip to the wayside, as they may offer value in critical areas. Instead, organizations that want to maximize the value of their workers and their ITSM tactics need to make sure they train all of their employees accordingly and ease them into using self-service components in order to alleviate the day-to-day burden on support teams.
2. Creating a Complementary Knowledge Center
A self-service portal is incredibly useful because it empowers users to gain insight into how their services are managed and lets them enact processes to resolve issues they experience. A basic solution can help employees with extremely simple matters (like password resets), but you can also have your workers handle even more complex issues by applying knowledge center elements to the self-service portal. This can include forums, FAQ pages and an archive of resolutions to common incidents. Users would then be able to track down the solution to their issue and, if they have the right authorizations, solve it themselves. If they aren't authorized to interact on the deeper level necessary, they can send a more detailed and informative support ticket so the IT service desk can deal with the issue efficiently.
3. Adding Remote Access
With more employees using smartphones, tablets and cloud apps to work remotely, organizations need to consider how they will access support resources. If the self-service portal is not accessible from a remote location, or the interface isn't flexible to work well on a variety of mobile devices, its effectiveness will diminish. With a variety of technology trends coming together to empower a mobile workforce in 2015, organizations need to optimize their self-service solutions for remote access.
A self-service portal can be an invaluable tool in easing day-to-day operations for support teams, but this benefit only comes through if the solution is well designed to meet the current needs of non-technology users.