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Managing Mobility in the Enterprise Part 3 - Mobile Device Incidents

09/21/2011 by: The SunView Team

We've looked at the wave of end user owned mobile devices ( Bring your own Device, or BYOD) which IT is now expected to support with the same level of service as IT issued equipment. Options such as the Service Catalog and Knowledge Base can help answer user questions about how to use their devices with IT services, and at the same time, reduce call volumes into your already over-worked service desk.

However, as any IT veteran knows, not all questions and problems can be covered by even the best KB (and some users won't read the information published even if it answers their question!). So, given that some mobility related questions and incidents will come to your service desk, how can you leverage IT Service Management (ITSM) tools to at least minimize the impact of mobility related incidents?

The critical step is to make sure your ITSM processes to specifically address how your IT team supports mobile devices. While you can adapt your current processes and policies governing corporate owned devices, such as laptops, to address end user owned mobile devices, it is important to delineate the key differences between corporate owned devices and employee owned devices. You may, for instance, lock down the user owned device or only permit certain types of email sync which are supported by your team. ITSM tools, such as ChangeGear Enterprise Edition, provide your team with a flexible process workflow and business rules which can accomplish custom forms and processes specific to end user owned devices; allowing your team to set priority and different levels for Service Level Agreements and publish those rules to the end user community to set expectations for service on their devices.

Of course, the most important component of managing mobility related incidents is the rapid identification of the type and priority of the issue. The more information your team can collect during the submission of the incident, the more likely the incident can be managed quickly and routed to the appropriate person or team tasked with supporting the device or service.

One of the best ways to gather this information quickly is to employ an ITSM tool which allows you to publish a custom incident submission form to the end users which is designed specifically to collect data on the mobility related incidents. The form should be as simple as possible and should only collect the minimum data needed to determine the type of incident and how it should be routed. For instance, consider that 90%+ of mobility related issues are due to connectivity (cellular, VPN, and Wi-Fi,) mobile device application issues, and server-side application issues.
By creating a specialized form which collects key data, your IT team can immediately route the incident ticket to the right team, reducing time spent triaging the issue and minimizing the amount of IT staff which need to touch the ticket. This saves both IT time and end user time. Connectivity problems can be quickly routed to the network or security teams. Server Side application issues can be routed to your server and/or application teams, and mobile device applications to your service desk or even to your vendor support teams.

Finally, if your team has invested in Mobile Device Management MDM tools (and if you have a lot of users, you should consider MDM tools) it is important to link these tools to your ITSM system. This integration allows your team to quickly manage tickets by feeding MDM information in to your ITSM system to provide a complete view of the incident.

Image: Flckr, Craig Murphy