The IT industry is in a transitional period between traditional ways of supporting business operations and a new climate in which the goal is to empower enterprise users through advanced services. This shift comes in response to a variety of trends, but the result is an environment in which IT teams need to operate with greater efficiency. Furthermore, there is a greater impetus on responding to user needs quickly as organizations become more dependent on IT to complete even the most basic work tasks. Any downtime means a loss of productivity, so the IT service desk needs to be positioned to deliver solutions as efficiently as possible.
This new operational climate creates an environment in which self-service functionality is more important than ever. A self-service portal presents users with basic service management tools and other knowledge centers that allow them to resolve basic incidents on their own.
A few reasons why this is so vital in modern IT departments include:
1. Increased Mobile Device use
The bring-your-own-device movement has contributed to a situation in which new smartphones and tablets are being added to the configuration on a frequent basis. This can lead to major challenges for IT support and service desk teams as they need to make background adjustments to service delivery systems to ensure the new device can be added to the setup without any problems. Furthermore, tasks often need to be completed on the smartphone or tablet itself to get it ready to receive various apps and services.
This process of getting a new device ready to access company apps and services can be time consuming for IT, especially for a fairly menial task. At the same time, users are left waiting on IT or support teams to find the time to get to their device and configure it. This entire process leads to potential waste for end users and forces support teams to put other tasks aside to handle a basic process. A self-service portal can give users all of the tools they need to configure their personal device without input from IT, leading to benefits for all parties involved.
2. Improved Resource Allocation
IT and support teams often face a daunting number of tasks to complete on a day-to-day basis, and it is common for urgent issues that are extremely basic to take time away from more important strategic tasks. Empowering business users to resolve basic incidents on their own can free IT service desk workers from having to deal with these issues. This has two key positive implications for an organization - it lets support teams spend less time on simple tasks and focus more on high-thinking operations and it lets users deal with any issues that come up immediately without having to wait on support workers getting to their ticket.
3. Respond to Consumerization
We already talked about BYOD, but it is important to remember that consumerization is just as much about cultural change as it is about dealing with trends like BYOD. The consumerization movement is headlined by users wanting more control over how they access technologies and services. The result is demand for more responsive, user-friendly IT operations that can create a consumer-like experience for business users.
A self-service portal gives enterprise employees the control over how they access services and solve basic issues, creating a clear response to the cultural shift that is happening in light of consumerization.
Self-service portals can be a key strategic enabler as IT teams face mounting pressure from a variety of technology trends. In many cases, the solution helps both support teams and business users, leading to significant value creation.