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January 30, 2024

9 minutes read

How IT Leaders Can Improve Their IT Service Desks

By

Andrew Graf

IT service desks are the first line of defense when it comes to triaging IT issues. They provide an invaluable source of support for day-to-day operations, allowing teams to troubleshoot problems quickly and efficiently. However, with ever-changing business priorities and goals, it can be difficult to ensure your IT service desk is well-staffed and has the tools and resources needed to provide the best experience for anyone coming to IT for help.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps that IT managers and directors can take to keep their IT service desk operating at peak efficiency. Below are four tips for helping your team get the most out of its service desk.

Automate Tasks Where Possible

Automation is key when it comes to ensuring tasks are completed quickly and accurately. Automating repetitive processes frees up your staff so they can focus on more important matters while also reducing wasted man hours spent on mundane tasks.

The key here is to make sure you have the right IT Service Management tool in place with integration and automation capabilities. Many organizations chose codeless ITSM platforms that come with iPaaS on a single platform. With iPaaS connected to your ITSM, you can integrate and automate systems and apps throughout your entire organization. iPaaS (integration platform as a service) centralizes all integrations into one hub with a library of connectors to common systems such as Workday, Oracle, your IT Service Management platform, Salesforce, the Active Directory, Azure, and hundreds more, as well as any APIs.

With all systems connected and data points now secured in one spot, end-users can leverage the platform to move data, transform data, and build out automation and workflows using a visual flow builder that can be triggered from a field change, form fill or any number of actions.

What does this mean for your IT service desk?

recent study from InformationWeek found:

  • 58% of organizations say their IT team spends more than five hours per week (six-and-a-half work weeks annually) fulfilling repetitive requests from the business.
  • 90% of respondents say that manual and repetitive IT tasks contribute to low morale and attrition in their organizations.

When you look at the statistics, it’s clear that many IT service desk employees are wasting time on tasks that can be automated. And these tasks are directly impacting the morale of IT employees.

When asked to rank the tasks that directly contribute to low morale, the study found the top 5 time-wasting tasks are:

  • Password resets.
  • IT ticket clean up.
  • Onboarding/offboarding employees.
  • Managing credentials.
  • Software provisioning.

If you’re looking to see improvements in both efficiency and IT service desk employee retention, the data shows automating tasks is a great place to start.

Pima County made the switch to TeamDynamix for ITSM after using a different system for the last 10 years. Traditionally, the county has taken in tickets through email, phone and a service catalog with base-level triage, but with TeamDynamix in place, they will be able to leverage self-service and automation to better serve its citizens and reduce the drain on employees and resources.

“Prior to TeamDynamix, we didn’t have the ability to automate things and build workflows to do things that eliminate toil and redundancy for our employees,” IT Leader Mark Hayes said.

And with many organizations struggling to maintain or hire new talent, especially in IT, this was critical for the county, “People feel so much more empowered and have so much more worth when they are doing things that are intellectually rigorous and challenging versus when they are just repeating the same mechanical actions over and over and over with very little thought,” Hayes said.

Increase Visibility and Streamline Communications

Once automated processes have been put in place, you should make sure your team has visibility into how they’re performing.

You should be able to track the status of tickets against SLAs within your ITSM platform. The right ITSM tool can help you monitor performance over time so you know exactly where to focus efforts or which areas need improvement.

In addition with better reporting, you can better-informed business decisions. And creating custom dashboards and tracking key KPIs can help keep your IT service desk on task while improving transparency for leadership.

The insights that IT leaders are gaining from using an ITSM tool like TeamDynamix enable them to recognize patterns and identify the root cause of problems, instead of having to fix the same issues over and over. This big-picture view allows them to be more strategic while also providing improved service outcomes.

For example, MarketLab’s IT department had been receiving many service requests related to the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. It wasn’t until they implemented TeamDynamix ITSM that Enterprise Systems Engineer Brendan Lesinski and his colleagues were able to track those requests and see that more than half were linked to a single screen.

“Just by stabilizing this one screen, we were able to greatly reduce the number of problems our employees were experiencing,” Lesinski said. This, in turn, also reduced the number of tickets the IT service desk received.

With improved transparency, it’s critical to ensure you also have effective communication between different teams within the organization so you can maximize productivity levels across the board for all projects that involve IT resources; this includes being able to communicate with customers when necessary too.

To improve communications you can use iPaaS to automate notifications using modern channels like mobile messaging, Slack or Teams. You can also automate emails so everyone stays informed regarding progress updates or changes in the workflow – further increasing efficiency levels overall.

Prioritize Issues and Invest in Self-Service

With visibility into how well different components of your IT service desk perform, you can start to prioritize issues as they come in. This helps direct resources where they’re needed most, allowing departments to operate more effectively by tackling bigger issues first instead of wasting time on trivial ones.

In addition, you can use your ITSM platform to build out a well-designed, user-friendly self-service portal and knowledge base. When you connect a knowledge base to a self-service portal and make it easily searchable you can deflect calls and tickets from your IT service desk and instead direct people to the portal where they can find the answers they need.

And if they can’t find the answer, you can have an easy-to-fill-out form that automatically routes requests to the appropriate place – or with iPaaS you can take action from the form. What does this look like? Say a person needs Adobe Creative Cloud. They can come to the portal and fill out the appropriate form with all the information needed. Once they hit submit, iPaaS can kick off a workflow that checks to see if the person is allowed to have the software, approve the request and then set the requestor up with the software – all without anyone needing to do anything manually. This process, in total, can take a matter of minutes.

The easier it is for people to do business with IT and get the answers they need, the happier they are with the service your IT service desk provides.

All in all, these three tips should help IT managers and directors improve their service desks significantly. By investing time into automating tasks, increasing visibility, prioritizing issues, streamlining communications and investing in self-service, you should start seeing improvements not only in terms of cost savings but also improved customer satisfaction levels. Ultimately, this leads to better ROI for both employees and customers alike; making it a win-win situation for all involved in managing and working your IT service desk.

Andrew Graf

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