ITSM

5 IT Service Management Resolutions for 2020

5 IT Service Management Resolutions for 2020

For many, New Year’s resolutions emphasize a fresh start and becoming better versions of themselves; adopting a healthier lifestyle, being more organized, starting a business, starting a family. The list of resolutions is infinite. But how are organizations preparing for the new year?

It’s not lost on business leaders that reliance on IT is growing. Departments are taking an active approach to maximize technology resources. IT professionals are taking advantage of using a service desk that creates a more streamlined way of performing and completing tasks, communicating with employees, as well as monitoring and maintaining the systems and applications those employees use. So, we’ve made a list of five IT service management (ITSM) resolutions to utilize in your service desk heading into 2020.

Encouraging service portal adoption—stop the emails

Implementing a service portal is a great way to curb the constant emails and redundant questions. Benefits of the service portal include self-service articles, AI-powered suggestions, request forms, and full-visibility into open tickets. All of these offerings act as a net between employees and the IT department, giving employees the opportunity to resolve the issue as best they can before involving IT pros.

The concept of stopping emails may not be as easy as it sounds, though. A service portal is great to have but if employees don’t take advantage of its benefits, it has no real value. It’s important for IT to educate employees on all the service portal can do in order to encourage portal adoption. Here are a few ideas:

  • Promoting internally (hanging posters around the office with simple messaging and URLs, putting launch memos in mailboxes, etc.)
  • Suggesting other methods of self-service while customers are holding on phone calls, beefing up “thank you” emails with messaging promoting use of the portal
  • Link to the portal on all forms of IT communication, add it to email signatures or banners with your internal support team, encourage leaders to mention it in meetings with employees

This isn’t to discourage employees from calling on IT professionals when they need assistance. Instead, the goal is to offer additional, more efficient options for getting their problems handled.

Differentiating between incidents and service requests

Most people in an organization know what a “ticket” is. No matter what the issue is, there’s a person or department to get in contact with to resolve said issue. But let’s get a little more technical. When submitting a ticket, do you know if it classifies as an incident or service request? Did you know there’s a difference? If not, you’re not alone.

Incident: This type of ticket is typically submitted when a piece of hardware needs fixing or to be replaced, or a software application is not working properly.

Service request: This is a request for a pre-approved service that your organization can offer to its end users through a service catalog. Examples of a service request include onboarding and offboarding processes, office moves, and requesting to be a licensed user for an application.

So, why is it important to differentiate between the two?

It’s possible to include some automation for incident management, but there’s only so much data you can collect within a ticket. These issues are fairly open-ended. After all, anything can break. Employees can submit tickets that IT has never seen before, and that’s expected. There can be some predefined routing or priority for certain categories of tickets, but there is much more automation available for regular requests.

Service requests can follow defined workflows, created by the service desk specifically for that type of request. In regards to something like onboarding, human resource managers can input basic information about the new hire into an employee onboarding request form. Tasks like providing hardware and granting security clearance are then assigned to the appropriate people and handled according to the workflow.

Providing flexible engagement methods

You just prepared the most delectable cup of coffee. It’s the right temperature, not too sweet, well-balanced. You sit down at your desk, open up your laptop and you’re ready to conquer the day. Then BOOM! Your clumsiness wins again. That perfectly brewed cup of Joe is now in every nook and cranny of the only way to do your job. But how do you get help when your laptop is literally drowning in caffe Americano?

Good thing you downloaded the service desk mobile app onto your smartphone, right? Right. The mobile app allows you to access the service portal wherever you are (and in this case, whenever disaster strikes).

It’s important to note that not everyone submits requests the same way. A fully functional service desk allows employees the flexibility to engage in ways that are most convenient for their situation. One employee may use the live chat function in the service desk to communicate directly with an agent, whereas it may be more valuable to another employee to use the self-service option if issues arise for them that are commonly searched for in the system.

Whatever the engagement method in a given situation, the service desk should be multi-dimensional, making the job of IT pros easier and expanding the ways in which employees can engage with those professionals.

Measuring employee satisfaction

If you’re meeting employees where they are, providing them with easy to use and easily accessible methods for getting the support they need—chances are good that customer satisfaction (CSAT) will rise. In a recent ITSM survey, 63% of IT pros said automation will be among the most critical features to enhance the employee experience in 2020. The service desk is a powerful tool for automation. Having a service tool that can identify an employee’s needs with just a few words inserted into the search bar makes a world of difference when resolving a problem.

With frequent use, artificial intelligence in the portal is able to pick up on common requests or issues that employees experience. If another employee experiences the same issue in the future, by performing the same process of typing in keywords, the answer to their need appears in the results and can be handled at a much quicker rate. Integrating automation should, as a result, boost CSAT.

A great way to measure CSAT is through customer satisfaction reports. Asking employees to respond to a quick survey (as simple as a thumbs up or thumbs down), then creating reports gives an inside look at employee satisfaction over time. Knowing which service agents, requesters, and departments are linked to positive or negative feedback will help managers provide additional resources or training as needed. The primary goal of the service desk is to provide value to employees in the organization, yet only 45% of respondents in a recent webinar poll currently send CSAT surveys. That means 55% can add this one to their list of 2020 resolutions.

Integrating IT operations with the service desk

IT operations management (ITOM) is “responsible for managing the capacity, performance and availability of mechanisms in an organization’s IT infrastructure.” Its two main responsibilities are monitoring and delivering services. The monitoring function tracks network and systems performance, and security threats. This acts as an alarm system, using sensors to pick up on unwarranted issues. Service delivery ensures servers are working properly, and devices and applications are updated.

IT should know exactly what applications and infrastructure are there, how they are performing, and have the ability to alert relevant teams to important issues when they arise. Integrating ITOM into your service desk can play a vital role in keeping business systems up and running smoothly and in enhancing IT’s ability to be proactive.


Sarah Nielsen is a Senior Implementation Specialist at SolarWinds Service Desk, helping customers set up their service desk according to their organization's goals. She is also the resident Star Trek expert.