How the Public Sector is Tackling Top ITSM Challenges

When it comes to managing IT for state and local governments, there are several challenges according to this survey on IT Service Management (ITSM) in the public sector from eRepublic.

Download the full survey findings.

ITSM challenges it service management

Regardless of IT maturity, most respondents say their top challenges include a lack of resources to handle the volume of tickets; too much manual processing; and a lack of integration, automation and workflow. And for nearly all respondents, tackling these challenges is a top priority. So, what is the best way to do this?

Using No-Code ITSM Tools to Address Top Challenges

To start, investing in the right ITSM tool can help relieve some of the burden placed on IT in the administration of service delivery. Whether supporting a state, a large city or a small town – having an ITSM tool that is easy to use, easy to own and easy to operate can make all the difference, here’s why:

  1. Reduce Resource Drain with Automation and Workflow – ITSM platforms that introduce self-service portals, a knowledge base and workflow automation can help reduce the drain on IT technicians.
  2. Low Total Cost of Ownership with No Code Administration – Many ITSM platforms require 4-6 FTE just to manage the system; this includes system configuration, building workflows and setting up automation. A no-code ITSM platform is easy to use and does not require a team to administer. In fact, you can use just .25 FTE to manage within systems like TeamDynamix.
  3. Improve Self-Service Adoption with Easy-to-Use Portal – Many portals require technical resources to manage and maintain. However, a true no-code platform allows users to modify the service catalog, add new forms, build workflows and set up knowledge base articles quickly and easily. Self-service adoption goes up when end-users can quickly and easily find what they are looking for.

In addition, no-code ITSM tools can help with resource constraints by enabling employees to automate and streamline IT service processes without the need for extensive technical expertise or dedicated development resources.

Traditionally, implementing and maintaining IT Service Management solutions required significant technical expertise and resources, including software developers, database administrators and IT operations staff. However, with the emergence of no-code ITSM platforms, organizations can leverage pre-built, customizable workflows and automation tools to automate common IT service processes, such as incident management, service requests and change management.

Using Knowledge-Centered Service to Help Improve ITSM

Self-service adoption is critical to reducing ticket volumes, yet many organizations struggle to get their self-service portals off the ground. According to the survey, 22 percent of public sector organizations say they struggle with self-service adoption. And 55 percent of respondents say an improved portal and knowledge base would greatly improve their IT service desk outcomes.

A great way to improve a portal and knowledge base in order to drive adoption is to start using Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS). KCS is a service method that focuses on knowledge as a key asset of your organization. By using KCS, you can scale and extend your support capabilities without needing additional staff or budget resources.

When using KCS, an organization focuses on creating and curating knowledge content that’s already being collected as part of current troubleshooting and problem-solving efforts. As the information is collected (whether through tickets or other interactions) articles can be created in a knowledge base. This knowledge base can then be used for self-service. Meaning anyone having trouble can search the knowledge base for a resolution without needing to contact support. By making the answers to your most asked questions or requests readily available in your knowledge base, your help desk and IT resources can focus their time on bigger, more complex problems.

In addition, KCS can help organizations:

  • Lower inbound call volume.
  • Increase customer satisfaction.
  • Provide customers with the answers they need when they need them.
  • Keep content accurate and up to date by crowdsourcing knowledge.

Prioritizing Service Management with Orchestration

Another great way to help reduce resource drain is to start automating manual processes within your ITSM. To do this, you need a tool that allows you to leverage integration and workflow. By doing so, you can create workflows throughout your organization – not just within IT – to automate a variety of processes, from bill payments to address changes and more.

In addition to the standard orchestration available with many ITSM platforms, organizations are investing in iPaaS (integration platform as a service) to pair with ITSM for no-code automation and integration. iPaaS centralizes all integrations into one hub with a library of connectors to common systems such as Office365, Tyler MUNIS, Workday, DocuSign, AWS, Azure, your ITSM and hundreds more, as well as any APIs.

Tools like iPaaS are a great way to automate and integrate systems across an organization and reduce the toil caused by repetitive and manual tasks. Did you know 58 percent of organizations say their IT team spends more than five hours per week on repetitive requests from business stakeholders, and more than one in five say they are averaging 10 or more hours per week on these tasks?

These requests include things like onboarding new employees, name changes, department changes and provisioning software.

These tasks not only drain resources, but they can be draining on the morale of IT employees who often join organizations seeking to innovate and problem solve – not get bogged down with technical grunt work.

In fact, a recent survey found that 90 percent of respondents felt these types of repetitive manual IT tasks directly contributed to low morale and attrition within their IT organizations.

At Pima County, one of the goals of bringing on TeamDynamix for ITSM and iPaaS (integration platform as a service) is to reduce toil.  

“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,” Mark Hayes, information technology leader at Pima County, said.

“Our ITSM is our entry point to our entire IT organization, and we want our employees to graduate out of this area into other roles within our organization – network technicians, client services, desktop technicians, developers and project managers,” he continued. “If all they’re doing is handling tickets and doing the same mundane, manual tasks over and over that’s not particularly great training. So investing in tools that allow our employees to engage in meaningful work is something that’s important to us as an overall IT organization.”

With TeamDynamix now in place, Pima County is looking to automate and integrate as much of the manual ITSM processes into workflows as they can.

City of Avondale, AZ Achieves Greater Efficiency with Enterprise Service Management

For the City of Avondale, the TeamDynamix Enterprise Service Management (ESM) platform plays a critical role in helping multiple branches of city government with service delivery – not just the IT department. The government for the City of Avondale consists of 14 departments serving nearly 100,000 residents. While they started by using TeamDynamix in IT, they quickly expanded its use through the rest of the city government’s departments.

Avondale CIO Jeff Scheetz said his department has created workflows and automation to handle help desk service requests, and it’s transformed the way they deliver IT service for the city, “With the portal, IT has been able to create workflows and automations, rather than managing the many email and tickets requests. The workflow ensures that the requests are handled efficiently and provides additional reporting capabilities. Before, it was hard to prioritize tasks without a full view of what was going on.”

And that visibility has been critical to the improved success of service delivery, “We have much better communication now, and tickets are getting handled much faster,” Scheetz said. “The TeamDynamix platform saves everyone a lot of time and helps us make sure that nothing gets lost in the shuffle.”

Outside of IT, Human Resources, Facilities and Finance are now using TeamDynamix to streamline their own processes.

Streamlining the Employee On-boarding Process

Prior to using TeamDynamix, Scheetz said onboarding new employees was a multistep process that was quite cumbersome. Once new hires completed all of the paperwork required by HR, they also needed network privileges from IT; had to be added to the city’s payroll system; and needed access to the building from Facilities.

This process involved a lot of paper shuffling and often took a while to complete. Now, the entire workflow can be initiated with a single service request that is routed to the various departments automatically. “We can make sure we’re addressing all of our needs expeditiously,” says Scheetz.

Managing More Effectively

TeamDynamix has not only helped streamline workflows and improve communication among city employees; it also provides key insights that help leaders manage their departments more effectively.

“We can see trends and patterns that help us deploy our limited resources in a more intelligent manner,” Scheetz explains.

Leaders can see how much time various tasks are taking, so they can plan better for the future—such as by justifying additional hires or reassigning staff to other projects. Leaders can also see which service categories are getting the most requests, which helps with resource allocation as well as troubleshooting. If there are a lot of support tickets related to a certain piece of software, this might indicate that staff needs more training on how to use it, or it might be time to look for a system that’s easier to use. Having this insight allows IT and other departments to be more proactive in solving problems.

TeamDynamix has enabled employees to streamline city operations and deliver better service to Avondale residents, and the system’s versatility has added a tremendous amount of value to the city government.

“Everybody has a limited staff,” Scheetz says of municipal organizations. “Having a system like TeamDynamix makes a huge difference.”

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