I'd like to apologize in advance to all the wonderful bank tellers that still happily provide high quality, customer service and extended banking functionality every day, or at least Monday through Friday, and generally between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. Unfortunately, I don't think I've spoken to any of you in at least five years, maybe more.
Now, that's not because I have some hidden disdain for bank tellers. In fact, that is on the contrary, as some of my best friends are tellers. However, in 1972 the drive for financial institutions to reduce overhead, increase revenue, extend operating hours , and automate simple services, culminated in the first ATM.
Of course if the goals of the above sound familiar, that's because those same bank customers are the IT users we service each and every day. Plus, they've become accustomed to services being automated and offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In fact, back in February, CIO.com ranked automation as seventh in a top ten list of tips for IT to prepare for an Industrial revolution.
So, what critical area can IT teams automate? The best place to start is the service catalog.
By automating the Service Catalog, end users can find answers to their questions quickly, and without the need of a support or service professional to be on duty - reducing cost, and in many cases removing unnecessary time associated with contacting the support desk for common issues. Perhaps even more important, automating the service catalog gives you a jump on ITIL and process standardization.
For a working example of how an automated service catalog can assist your IT team, check out the flash demo of ChangeGear's Service Catalog Module.
Image: Flickr, Dennis Wong