ITSM Best Practices: The 6 Keys to IT Service Desk Excellence

The IT service desk is the primary point of contact between IT teams and end-users (customers and/or employees) in an organization. It’s responsible for ensuring that all IT-related issues are resolved efficiently, effectively and with minimal disruption to business operations.

When your IT service desk has the right processes in place and is using the right IT Service Management (ITSM) platform to manage tickets and projects it sets your company up for success. Here are some keys to IT service desk excellence:

1. Clear Communication

Clear communication is essential to delivering excellent customer service at the IT service desk. This involves listening carefully to users’ needs and concerns, explaining technical solutions in plain language, and providing regular updates on the status of ongoing issues or requests.

2. Proactive Problem Solving

A proactive approach to problem-solving can help IT service desks resolve issues faster and minimize downtime for end-users. This involves anticipating potential problems before they occur, identifying underlying causes of recurring issues and implementing preventative measures where possible.

3. Knowledge Management

Effective knowledge management is critical to ensure consistency in service delivery across different departments and functions within an organization. By maintaining a centralized knowledge base containing best practices, procedures and troubleshooting guides, IT teams can quickly resolve issues without relying on ad-hoc solutions or guesswork.

4. Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is key to achieving excellence at the IT service desk. By regularly reviewing metrics such as ticket response times, resolution rates and customer satisfaction scores – organizations can identify areas for improvement and implement targeted interventions to address them.

5. Collaboration

Collaboration between different departments within an organization is essential for effective service delivery at the IT service desk. This includes working closely with other teams such as network operations or application development to ensure that all aspects of a user’s issue are addressed comprehensively.

6. Customer Focus

Finally, a customer-focused approach is crucial for achieving excellence at the IT service desk. This means putting customers’ needs first by prioritizing urgent requests over routine tasks, offering self-service options where appropriate, and providing personalized support when necessary.

Automation Key to IT Service Desk Success

Automation is key when it comes to ensuring tasks are completed quickly and accurately. Automating repetitive processes frees up your IT service desk 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 ITSM 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.

In conclusion, achieving excellence at the IT service desk requires clear communication skills, proactive problem-solving abilities, effective knowledge management practices, continuous improvement initiatives and collaboration between different departments within an organization – all while keeping a customer-focused approach top-of-mind.

Using automation to reduce the drain on IT resources and provide a better service experience is one of the key initiatives for digital transformation in the financial services industry. To achieve success in this area, you need the right people, processes and technology in place.

“We’re lean and mean,” Deborah Rojas, Chief Information Officer for Charter Oak Financial said. Her department supports the IT needs of 300+ financial professionals and nearly 200 other staff with only a handful of full-time employees.

With TeamDynamix ITSM, the practice optimization team has created a single point of contact for IT and other types of support: a “one-stop shop” for people to get help.

“We had a merger three years ago, and people are still trying to learn names, functions, and responsibilities,” Rojas said. “Seats changed, and responsibilities changed. So, we said, let’s just keep it simple and use one email address and one phone number. With that, we’re providing the simplest way that people can find an answer to their questions.”

Automated workflows help ensure that IT service tasks are completed in a timely manner, and Rojas and her team have full visibility into the status of service requests—as well as the data they need to measure the team’s effectiveness.

Besides improving the ticketing experience for users, Rojas’ team has also streamlined offboarding processes, and they’re now working on transforming onboarding and developing the knowledge base.

“When you think about bringing someone into an organization, there’s so much that needs to be done,” Rojas said. “We want to help that person feel welcomed into our organization, understand the entire platform and who to talk to. We need to think bigger and bolder and then have some consistent way to deliver that experience, and TeamDynamix lines up well for that.”

Make Sure You Have the Right ITSM Software

When looking for an ITSM tool that can incorporate ITIL best practices and take your IT service desk to the next level, look for the following features and functionalities:

  • Incident and problem management – Look for an ITSM tool that is built on the ITIL framework and delivered, out-of-the-box, with full ITIL support. TeamDynamix allows for proper hierarchies with Service Request, Major Incident, Incident, Problem, Change and Release work classifications. Live dashboards provide managers the ability to see real-time spikes in incidents to allow for the initiation of Major Incident/Problem Management workflows.
  • Asset management and discovery – IT Asset Management (ITAM) and discovery allow technicians to view asset and CI details, status, relationships and ownership. With integrated Asset Management, CMDB and discovery, technicians can plan for changes and view CI configuration history, impact maps and blackout/maintenance windows on dashboards.
  • Self-service and an easily searchable knowledge base – A support call costs $22, but self-service costs just $2 per incident. Drive self-service adoption with a stellar, searchable portal, service catalog and knowledge base. Create multiple portals, leverage chat, integrate with business applications and build workflows – all without coding or scripting. 
  • Conversational AI with automation – Change the way you chat with Conversational AI. Traditional chatbots aren’t built to understand natural language – because of this, they often fall flat. They rely on your input and are unable to process complex queries, offering just basic question/answer pairing – when it works.
  • ITSM workflow – Reduce IT team resource drain with automated ITSM.
    Automatically update the Active Directory, create on/off-boarding workflows, integrate with the HRIS platform and manage ticket triage all without any coding or scripting. Leverage a library of pre-built ITSM integration points with a visual flow builder to create the workflows that make life easier. Use the ITSM workflow builder or go to the next level with no-code iPaaS for enterprise automation.
  • ITIL change management –  Poor change management can cause your ticket volume to skyrocket. TeamDynamix incorporates CMDB-related functionality to service asset and configuration management, meaning each asset and CI are affiliated and visible. Change schedules and history can be easily viewed and all requests are tracked. You can facilitate new technology and maintain continuity by using a single platform to organize and manage plans, execution and communication.
  • ITIL release management – The last thing an organization wants is costly, unexpected downtime following a technology update or rollout. It’s critical to ensure that the implementation of new technology is executed without disruptions. ITIL-aligned release management helps to keep your production environment running smoothly.
  • Enterprise integrations – TeamDynamix is built for ease of use; from how you configure the platform to how you integrate your ecosystem. Quickly and easily connect ITSM/ESM and PPM with your applications.
  • Dashboard reporting – Identify issues before they become big problems, support key stakeholders, identify trends, and get the data you need to communicate the value of IT. Share ITSM dashboards with key stakeholders, publish externally, and integrate with third-party data tools. Highly configurable role-based dashboards and reporting offer a single view across tickets and projects. 
  • Tickets and projects together – Bring tickets and projects together for a single view of work and resources. When tickets related to releases and changes or solutions to problems require significant effort they can evolve into projects. With one platform for ITSM and PPM all work, resources and timelines are in a single view.

Legacy Supply Chain Services, a third-party logistics provider that helps clients enhance the performance of their supply chains, recently switched to TeamDynamix for ITSM.

“Our previous tool worked great, but it was very limiting when it came to scaling our IT services and growing what we wanted to do,” Keyon Farrier, service desk manager, said. “We really needed an ITSM tool that was an extension of our current IT infrastructure team. We wanted a system that could be self-sufficient and really act like an added member of our team.”

Farrier said they began their search for a better, more structured tool using the services of Info-Tech, a technology consulting and research firm.

“We started our search with Info-Tech looking at just change management tool to add to our existing ITSM tool at the time, then realized we also wanted to find a tool that could help us automate processes,” he said. “Info-Tech provided us with some great options, so we started the vetting process and found that TeamDynamix really fit our needs – not just for change management and automation, but for everything.”

“We were blown away by all that TeamDynamix offers, and our renewal was up with our former ITSM tool so we decided to just replace it all,” Farrier said. “We were really excited about the out-of-the-box features from TeamDynamix and knew the tool would help not just with change management and automation, but with some of the other challenges we were facing as well.” 

As a result of the switch to TeamDynamix “we’ve become a lot more efficient as a team because we’re getting the right tickets to the right people faster,” said Farrier. “We can now respond to service requests quicker as well. And we have a lot more visibility in terms of reporting.”

When asked for advice on finding the right ITSM tool – Farrier suggests you start by identifying your pain points. 

“Talk to your help desk employees,” Farrier advised—the people who are on the front lines of doing the IT work. “Get their input into the challenges they’re facing, and then come up with a plan that can help alleviate those challenges.”

In looking for an IT Service Management platform that would help the team accomplish their goals, Farrier engaged his support staff in the search process, as “they’re the ones who deal with the system daily,” he explained. “They might sometimes be the forgotten folks, the ones who stay behind their laptop handling tickets. Yet, they’re the ones who know what it will take to make the system better.”

Want more tips on finding the right ITSM tool? Check out Gartner’s 5-Step Guide to Selecting an ITSM Platform

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