IT waste is out of control in many organizations. There are many factors that contribute to waste, but in the end the problems often go back to the service management plan. A good service desk solution establishes a foundation for business-IT alignment, making it the vital linchpin in any strategy to improve IT efficiency. Avoiding waste is key, and an effective service desk investment can prove vital in this area.
There is a problem, however - many organizations end up either overbuying or underbuying with their IT service desk and find themselves creating a pattern for waste. Avoiding this problem depends on a company being able to create a maturity roadmap that details what technological innovation is planned within the company and how the organization needs to adapt its service management strategies in response. This knowledge is vital in guiding purchases to make sure they are the right fit.
Organizations choosing a new service desk need to look holistically at their IT maturation plans, and there are four key questions they should ask in this process:
1. What do we know about current and future service desk demands?
This is the question that deals with data. Choosing a new service management solution can quickly become a misguided process if organizations do not gather information about service management strategies, process execution, staffing and IT operations. These metrics provide a core baseline that organizations can use to evaluate their current service management plans and project future demand.
For example, a business that properly evaluates the average number of incidents created by a new application release within the first week after it is put into production can use that data to project challenges that will come based on the number of anticipated application releases over the course of the next year. This type of data can help you understand everything from how large the staff will need to be moving forward to which specific service desk suites will be most profitable.
Asking what your organization knows, right now, is a key part of finding the right fit, and gathering data is essential to gain clear insight.
2. What issues are holding back our staff?
Now it is time to get direct feedback from the people in the trenches. Ask yourservice desk staff where they experience process bottlenecks, what functions take too long, what new features they would love to have and other clear questions pertaining to day-to-day operations. This question is all about taking that foundation of data you got by figuring out what you know about the service desk and supplementing it with the intangible observations that only the actual workers can bring to light.
3. How do business users feel about the service desk?
Keep customers in mind. Drastically changing the service desk only to find that it doesn't really fit the demands of your end users can be disastrous and easily lead to shelfware and other problems. You need to know what business users want from the service desk team and any solution that is the right size for your company will find that sweet spot in large part because it meets the requirements of business users when they need help.
4. What do we need moving forward?
It can be easy to install a large, complex service desk and get stuck with it for the next five years because you can't really make a major update without having to rebuild the entire system. Keep your future needs in mind when making your purchase and find a solution that gives you flexibility to meet your anticipated demands without forcing you to tear down what you have and start over.
A service desk that is the right fit can be the catalyst for IT efficiency, so make sure you are asking the right questions before you make a purchasing decision.