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.
For the past 10 years, the majority of CIOs have had a transformational focus (currently 42%), however, this year, there is strong momentum in CIOs taking on more strategic responsibilities (40%), according to the 2020 State of the CIO research from IDG's CIO ...
The tech world may be falling in love with artificial intelligence and automation, but when it comes to managing critical assets, old school tools like spreadsheets are still in common use. A new survey by Ivanti illustrates how these legacy tools are forcing IT to waste valuable time analyzing assets due to incomplete data ...
Over 70% of C-Suite decision makers believe business innovation and staff retention are driven by improved visibility into network and application performance, according to Rethink Possible: Visibility and Network Performance – The Pillars of Business Success, a survey
conducted by Riverbed ...
Modern enterprises rely upon their IT departments to deliver a seamless digital customer experience. Performance and availability are the foundational stepping stones to delivering that customer experience. Along those lines, this month we released a new research study titled the IT Downtime Detection and Mitigation Report that contains recommendations on how to best prevent, detect or mitigate brownouts and outages, given the context of today’s IT transformation trends ...
While Application Performance Management (APM) has become mainstream, with a majority of tech pros using APM tools regularly, there's work to be done to move beyond troubleshooting ...
Over the last few decades, IT departments have decreased budgets in part because of recession. As a result, they have are being asked to do more with less. The increase in work has amplified the need for automation ...
Many variables must align for optimum APM, and security is certainly among them. I offer the following APM predictions for 2020, which revolve around the reality that we will definitely begin to see much deeper integration of WAN technology on the security front. Look for this integration to take shape in the following ways ...
When it comes to growing a successful company, research shows it isn't about getting the most out of employees, but delivering an experience that empowers them to be and do their best. And according to Priming a New Era of Digital Wellness, a new study conducted by Quartz Insights in partnership with Citrix Systems, technology is the secret to doing so ...
Only 11% of website decision-makers feel that they have complete insight into the scripts that they use on their websites. However, industry estimates state that about 70% of the code on a website comes from a third-party library or service. Research highlights a clear need to raise awareness of the potential threats associated with the vulnerabilities inherent in third-party code ...