The new year is in full swing and with a new year comes the need to think broadly about both short- and long-term strategies. IT service management leaders need to be thinking about how their support and service delivery strategies should evolve in throughout the year and develop into a cohesive plan to gradually adopt new solutions or improve practices moving forward. Five reasons to engage in these types of annual planning efforts include:
1. IT Demands are Always Changing
Your organization's IT needs are going to shift and evolve during the year, even if your support teams aren't ready to handle the changes. If you want to maximize revenue potential and be well positioned for the year, you need to be thinking ahead about which technology trends are likely to gain strength within your organization in the year and establish a plan to respond accordingly. All of this starts with a good service delivery paradigm, but technology change can lead to significant support disruption, and you need to be prepared for new IT systems that will force your IT service desk to change how it functions.
2. Short-Term Solutions Need to be Revisited
Organizations run into plenty of support problems over time that end up getting resolved by putting quick solutions into place that deal with the apparent issues, but many of these fixes have unintended consequences on other processes or procedures.
These quick fixes are necessary to sustain operations when support teams are facing major day-to-day challenges just keeping up with operations, but at some point, managers need to look at the new strategies that were adopted over the past year and determine if they are still the best options. It may be possible to resolve the issues that required a new process entirely or it may be that the quick fixes should be formalized into the service delivery plan because it has proven effective. Taking some time to look at these small process adjustments and integrating them into operations is key to avoiding a disjointed service delivery scheme that are filled with patched-together solutions.
3. Investment Planning is Key
With cloud ITSM solutions increasingly dominating the market, organizations have an opportunity to add new service desk modules to their system on an ongoing basis. As a result, organizations would do well to have a clear, organized roadmap for expanding the service desk or adding new modules. Taking a look ahead at what you are expecting for the rest of 2015 and making investment decisions accordingly can help you get ahead of support team needs by giving them the tools they will require with enough time left for training and integration before those solutions become absolutely essential.
4. You Need a Consistent Vision
Organizations that want to be successful when managing complex IT configurations need to occasionally look back on how they are working and glance ahead at how they need to function to meet changing demands. Vision casting is a critical part of operations, especially in sectors like IT where change can happen quickly and integrating new technologies and solutions is time consuming. The beginning of the year is a great time to stop and establish a clear vision for the next 11 months.
5. You Can Learn From Last Year's Mistakes
No support team is perfect, and taking time to reflect on the previous year can help you identify areas where mistakes were made and work to rectify the situation as possible.
With 2015 finally here, it may be time to pause and look at the how your service desk is doing.