Today’s IT infrastructure has become highly sophisticated and operationally complex to meet demanding business requirements. When you add in the recent trend towards remote-first due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also become far more varied and nuanced as many new and highly diverse local IT environments within homes and remote offices are used to work.
Automating the service desk
To cope with today’s rapidly shifting endpoint landscapes and provide the level of support that IT stakeholders require, effective and widespread automation is the only real way of providing the quality, coverage, and timeliness of service that businesses need today. One of the most fruitful areas of IT to automate remains the service desk, the key IT/worker interface which users have traditionally contacted to get their needs met and issues resolved.
Yet the service desk function has been stubbornly resistant to effective automation as recent data from The New Digital Workplace: Employee Experiences with Universal Remote Working tells us. 53% of users would still prefer to phone in to get help, believing that to be faster than more effective than using an interface like a chatbot. Even worse, 24% of workers would try to fix something themselves, than use the chatbot. This strongly implies that the type of automation being used in popular ITSM automation approaches like text-based interfaces is probably focusing on the wrong target.
The key insight here is that when automation is used primarily to enable record keeping, such as creating a trouble ticket for a user (which will actually be handled when a human is available), it will have limited impact. Instead, real improvements will be achieved by automating the actual resolution of the underlying problem itself. This has a much more telling impact on key endpoint management KPIs such as time to resolution and satisfaction scores.
In general, transforming the management and support of endpoints using automation will require the following capabilities:
- Automation from beginning to the end of an endpoint incident, including the specific steps taken to resolve the issue at the endpoint (instead of just automating the record keeping or issue tracking)
- Proactive automation that seeks out problems before workers or IT operators even notice them
- Autonomous analysis of the endpoint logs and events to detect or predict and then address or prevent emergent or systemic issues
Automation is the essential key to unlocking higher quality ITSM delivery at scale in today’s rapidly changing operation conditions. My recommendation is that most IT organizations must analyze the most time-consuming half of their endpoint management activities and automate as many of them as they can over the remainder of 2020.
WFA Enterprise Conference 2020
If this blog has intrigued you, Dion’s presenting at the first-ever Work From Anywhere Enterprise Conference 2020 on July 29-30. He’ll be continuing to discuss this topic, presenting a detailed blueprint for the future IT infrastructure in a WFA world. Want to get involved? Sign up here: wfaconf.com/2020-july/day2-keynote-dion-hinchcliffe/