Creating a smarter IT service desk

Published on the 06/10/2015 | Written by Branko Bugarski

IT service desks can be tough places to work, writes Branko Bugarski, but with the addition of data analysis, collaboration and a ticketless approach, things can be improved…

Service desks can be a maelstrom of activity, with tickets building up throughout the day, logged by increasingly impatient and frustrated people, all of whom are confident that their problem is the most urgent. Managing tickets according to priority and submission time may well have worked in the past. Today, IT service desk requests aren’t so simple. It’s no longer about straightforward, easy-to-solve issues sent by people who don’t know very much about computers.

Today’s workforce is savvy – and there’s some impressive technology used around the office. When an IT issue comes up, the instinctive go-to is the IT service desk, and the expectation is that the IT team knows exactly how to get email working on a device they may never have seen before.

That’s just one example from a long list of problems the IT service desk is faced with every day, as it battles to keep the lights on. And dedicating all of their time and intellect simply to “keeping the lights on” stops IT experts from dedicating their knowledge to the more strategic activities that would bring value to the businesses they serve.

Here are three tips to move beyond “keeping the lights on” to create a smarter IT service desk for your business:

Turn to social collaboration
Social media and the internet have opened a world of collaborative platforms where people help each other. Consumer forums, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are awash with people seeking answers to issues. And because other people have had the same or similar problems before – there are often solutions and answers posted.

Smart IT service desks can make the most of social collaboration by capturing content during employee engagements, social interactions and existing requests. They can then identify solutions to IT pain points facing employees.

By consolidating this knowledge, the IT desk encourages intelligent employee self-service, bringing logical answers to quickly solve problems faced by IT staff and employees with strong, natural language search and knowledge management, so solutions for users are contextually relevant and accurate.

Make the most of big data
When people post problems on social and collaborative platforms in any office environment, it creates a wealth of unstructured data – rich material that, when harnessed and analysed, provides companies with useful information.

IT service desks can be made much smarter with turbo-charged analytics, which allows IT teams to quickly trawl through a goldmine of unstructured data, find connections between structured and unstructured information, identify trends and better understand user sentiment.

This process can help smart IT desks better anticipate user pain points, reveal solutions to existing issues before they escalate into serious problems, and even align better future business needs before they happen.

Ditch the tickets
With a ticketless approach to the IT service desk, the IT department can dedicate more time to applying its expertise to driving innovation, further improving employee productivity and focus on initiatives that take businesses forward. User frustration is lowered, and rather than spending the majority of their time merely “keeping the lights on” the IT department can become a valuable, strategic force in driving business outcomes and employee productivity.


Branko Bugarski is general manager, HP Software, HP South Pacific.

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