Incident management functionality can have a huge impact on an IT service desk team's ability to sustain efficient operations on a day-to-day basis. A good incident management platform will make it easier to support end-user demands while minimizing waste and maximizing the skills and knowledge of support employees. An unwieldy incident management strategy can get in the way of service desk workers and leave them spending almost as much time dealing with secondary tasks - such as prioritizing service requests and filing completed tickets - as they do on resolving user issues.
Finding ways to effectively eliminate unnecessary work within incident management is critical to saving time in the service desk and creating value for the business. Business process automation is one of the best tools in accomplishing this task.
Three reasons BPA functionality is so noteworthy in incident management include:
1. Many Resolutions are Repeatable
Any task that is handled the same way every time can be scripted and automated through BPA software. Simple incidents like password resets and account creation can be automated to take the day-to-day operational burden off of the help desk. In most organizations, the support team is made up of one of two types of users - non-technical employees who are trained to follow user support best practices or technology professionals who are dealing with help desk tasks because a dedicated support team isn't in place. In either case, users are trained in specific skills meant to deliver value to the business. Having these highly trained workers dealing with repeatable, basic incidents at a high frequency is incredibly wasteful and can be avoided through automation.
2. Clerical Work is a Problem
Help desk or service desk workers are present to help business users regain full technology functionality as quickly as possible in the event that something goes wrong. Having those employees spend time documenting tasks, filling out forms to pass tickets on to more advanced users, recording incidents and how they were resolved, prioritizing support requests and handling other forms of documentation takes time away from meeting user needs.
In many cases, the demand to support end users can become so difficult to deal with that documentation gets pushed onto the back burner. BPA capabilities eliminate this problem by automating many of the clerical tasks that go along with effective record keeping, making it easier for workers to focus on the most important tasks without sacrificing documentation. This doesn't just pay off for the support worker on the front lines, it also leads to huge benefits when it comes time to complete a regulatory or operational audit to evaluate the service desk.
3. Human Error Should be Aggressively Combated
Human error is a major point of failure in the service desk and issues like tedium, boredom and rushed work are major causes of basic mistakes. BPA functions will effectively automate many of the more mundane tasks that help desk or service desk teams have to perform on a day-to-day basis. Besides freeing time to help workers handle more, this also lets them take more time to focus on what they are doing, think through the implications of their choices and avoid making mistakes driven by handling repetitive tasks that can be automated. The goal here is to get employees to work better, not harder, and doing so can help organizations combat human error.
Incident management is a foundational component of any help desk, service desk or IT service management strategy, and effective automation can lay the groundwork for operational success.