Self Service and Self Help IT Not Fulfilling Potential
November 30, 2017

Rex McMillan
Ivanti

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While self-service and self-help IT are in common practice, about half of organizations surveyed are still struggling with full deployment and realizing its value, according to a new report by Ivanti and the Service Desk Institute (SDI). Time restrictions, and lack of appetite from end users and enterprises, are key hurdles in achieving more deployment, according to respondents.

Analyzing responses from 25,000 service desk professionals, predominantly in the UK, the survey found that uptake of both self-service and self-help services has grown due to a need to improve user experience and save time.

While end user uptake has been slow because of a continuing preference for "human touch," respondents cited several major benefits of these services such as better user experience, reduced call volume, 24/7 support, and a better perception of the service desk.

Key findings of the report were:

■ 74 percent of service desk professionals use self-service (a 10 percent increase from 2013) and 58 percent offer their users self-help.

■ The largest motivation driving the implementation of both self-service (90 percent) and self-help (81 percent) is improving services to the end user.

■ Uptake on the end-user side is slow, with 83 percent of users preferring to call the service desk rather than use self-service, and 88 percent preferring to call the service desk rather than use self-help.

■ Respondents overwhelmingly claimed this was due to a preference for "human touch" (72 percent regarding self-service and 88 percent for self-help) but a lack of marketing awareness within the service desk could also be a factor (i.e. professionals are struggling to build an understanding of the role and value of these tools.)

■ The biggest obstacle to implementing both self-service (50 percent) and self-help (53 percent) within organizations is time, closely followed by a lack of appetite from end users and the business (43 percent self-help and 40 percent self service.)

Ollie O’Donoghue, SDI Industry analyst and author of the report, said, "As industry trends change and new generations enter the enterprise IT user base, the demand for self-help and self-service capabilities will undoubtedly increase. Both have an integral role to play in supporting the modern service desk, and organizations armed with the experience and knowledge of a vendor organization, and supplied with the right tools, will undoubtedly overcome the obstacles facing them when implementing these tools."

Self-Help Report Implications

This report raises a very important point – that the customer (and what they want) must be at the heart of any strategy. When developing any service management technology, it is imperative to make meeting business and user demands the priority.

Modern service delivery requires that stakeholders inside and outside of IT be continuously engaged. Solutions such as workflow automation and cloud-based or on premise deployment options enable IT to quickly configure solutions that can increase customer satisfaction.

In encouraging further use of self-help and self-service, organizations need to increase the efficiency of these tools so that the end user is satisfied with letting the "human touch" go. In parallel, more internal communications need to occur so that all stakeholders understand self-service and self-help will contribute business value to the organization.

Rex McMillan is Principal Product Manager at Ivanti.
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