Optimizing the end-user experience has many dimensions to it, and one key element of them is ensuring that any issues from password reset, to application access, to support for multiple endpoints by a single user are all addressed without your users feeling that they’re queuing up at the Department of Motor Vehicles. This blog leverages EMA research to examine how a truly efficient service desk can make itself all the more effective by becoming more transparent, less verbally visible, and yet ultimately far more end-user empowering.
To begin with, I’d like to make clear that all of the data-specific insights in this blog come from two research projects: ITSM Futures (2015) and Optimizing IT for Financial Performance (Q3 2016). Together these research efforts paint a fairly clear picture of what’s changing in optimizing end-user values — and what’s staying the same.
What’s New (and What’s Not)
If enhanced automation for self-service is a number one functional priority, it’s worth taking a closer look at how this plays out more broadly. When we asked about priorities for self-service management in general (ITSM Futures), we found the following:
1. More effective automation for supporting end-user access to services
1. Knowledge management
3. More effective automation for resolving end-user issues
4. Service catalog
5. Mobile access
6. Enhanced role-based visualization
7. Social media
I’ll be examining the importance of service catalogs and mobile access later in this blog, but in this section I want to focus on the stunning combination right at the top.
Automation enabling access to ITSM and IT application services, along with automation for resolving end-user issues, both underscore the growing need for a time-sensitive approach to caring for end-user support. In other words, organizations need to eliminate the “I’ll get back to you’s!” with no end in sight, and speed up delivery and remediation.
Second in rank — right in the middle of the automation priorities — quite tellingly, is knowledge management. Speed is good, but without added visibility and wisdom, speed can lead to figurative (and sometimes even literal) train wrecks.
Service Catalogs, App Stores: Automated Access With Accountability
In both surveys, we saw a growing requirement for service catalogs, app stores, and the inclusion of both cloud and in-house services as ways of providing users with faster access that is also more flexible and satisfying. Service catalogs and app stores can also ideally create a full audit trail of usage, cost, and any SLA expectations for the ITSM team. In Optimizing IT we found a strong correlation between success and the inclusion of usage, cost, and pricing in service catalogs.
Looking at the success rates reported in both research areas, we also saw the value of integrating cloud services of various kinds (SaaS, IaaS, etc.) with in-house delivered services in service catalogs and app stores. And both surveys also underscored the value service catalogs can provide by giving internal users access to business services such as HR, facilities, legal, marketing, etc.—extending the “end-user experience” discussion to business as well as IT processes.
The Mobile Dilemma and the Mobile Opportunity
In “ITSM Futures,” nearly two-thirds of ITSM teams felt that they were significantly or completely impacted by mobile, upping the ante for end-user support. This is just one of many data points that underscores the rising importance of supporting mobile end users. Mobile is indeed not only creating a new set of lifecycle management requirements, it’s also raising consumer expectations about the speed and efficiencies needed for acceptable IT support. A consumer population, in fact, is far more digitally savvy and likely to seek alternate routes and alternate options when IT support isn’t as it should be.
But the “mobile dilemma” isn’t about “mobile-only.” It’s fundamentally about mobile as a part of an increasingly heterogeneous set of end-user devices. Managing a mixed endpoint population can present huge challenges, affecting everything from onboarding to ensuring high-quality service delivery. So not surprisingly, the vast majority of ITSM teams facing these challenges believe that a unified console for managing both mobile and non-mobile devices is critical. Moreover, when this is done effectively and mobile access can be shared between IT and its customers, the result, as both surveys show, is improved responsiveness to IT service consumers.
There are other trends in making the service desk less vocal and more efficient. Although it still scores as a low priority in much of my research, the need for social IT is definitely on the rise. Much of the low score there is due to still early and often crude vendor implementations — but these are picking up. On the other hand, the need for improved peer-to-peer dialog, which social IT can significantly accelerate, scores very high pretty much across the board — suggesting that social IT can and should play a greater role in optimizing end-user experience.
Finally, I’d like to stress that while I’m all for a less vocal, less bureaucratic Motor Vehicles-type environment — I’m not for a voiceless service desk. There will always be, as far as I can tell, a need for human dialog when a labyrinth of automation and electronic forms leads the unprepared end users to a virtual high-tech Minotaur. What that will mean with cognitive analytics and bots, only the future can tell us. But right now, I for one am still quite happy when all else fails and I hear a wise, welcoming, and well-informed human voice ready to help me navigate my way through new levels of unexpected automation.
Dennis Drogseth is VP at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA).
A growing IT delivery gap is slowing down the majority of the businesses surveyed and directly putting revenue at risk, according to MuleSoft's 2017 Connectivity Benchmark Report on digital transformation initiatives and the business impact of APIs ...
Why containers are growing in popularity is no surprise — they’re extremely easy to spin up or down, but come with an unforeseen issue. Without the right foresight, DevOps and IT teams may lose a lot of visibility into these containers resulting in operational blind spots and even more haystacks to find the presumptive performance issue needle ...
Much emphasis is placed on servers and storage when discussing Application Performance, mainly because the application lives on a server and uses storage. However, the network has considerable importance, certainly in the case of WANs where there are ways of speeding up the transmission of data of a network ...
The majority of IT executives believe investment in IT Service Management (ITSM) is important to gain the agility needed to compete in an era of global, cross-industry disruption and digital transformation, according to Delivering Value to Today’s Digital Enterprise: The State of IT Service Management 2017, a report by BMC, conducted in association with Forbes ...
Let’s say your company has examined all the potential pros and cons, and moved your critical business applications to the cloud. The advertised benefits of the cloud seem like they’ll work out great. And in many ways, life is easier for you now. But as often happens when things seem too good to be true, reality has a way of kicking in to reveal just exactly how many things can go wrong with your cloud setup – things that can directly impact your business ...
IT leadership is more driven to be innovative than ever, but also more in need of justifying costs and showing value than ever. Combining the two is no mean feat, especially when individual technologies are put forward as the single tantalizing answer ...
The move to Citrix 7.X is in full swing. This has improved the centralizing of Management and reduction of costs, but End User Experience is becoming top of the business objectives list. However, delivering that is not something to be considered after the upgrade ...
As organizations understand the findings of the Cyber Monday Web Performance Index and look to improve their site performance for the next Cyber Monday shopping day, I wanted to offer a few recommendations to help any organization improve in 2017 ...
Online retailers stand to make a lot of money on Cyber Monday as long as their infrastructure can keep up with customers. If your company's site goes offline or substantially slows down, you're going to lose sales. And even top ecommerce sites experience performance or stability issues at peak loads, like Cyber Monday, according to Apica's Cyber Monday Web Performance Index ...
Applications and infrastructure are being deployed and commissioned at a faster rate than ever before, the number of tools it takes to effectively manage these services is multiplying, and the expectations placed on IT to ensure customer satisfaction is increasing, according to The State of Monitoring 2017 report from BigPanda ...