Support Your Burned-Out Employees with Smart Service Management

In the wake of the global pandemic, businesses and organizations everywhere are having to get creative to support employees who are feeling burned out, without using up already limited resources. Employee burnout is especially high amongst IT departments, according to a new survey featured in CIO Dive. The survey found that 61 percent of tech workers say their stress levels have risen since working remotely, and 54 percent described themselves as exhausted.

“Workers are also unhappy with the technology — and therefore the IT department — used by their organizations. Forty-three percent of respondents to a ClickUp survey have been frustrated by the number of tech tools and apps they use for work; 42% of employees state that their company is stuck in the “dark ages” when it comes to adopting new technology tools or apps,” the article states.

And it’s these frustrations that help desk employees in IT have to manage every day, “When employees run into a technical problem, the first point of contact is usually the IT service desk. The employee tends to be frustrated or unhappy, and empathy they may have had toward the IT workforce at the beginning of the pandemic faded,” Sumir Karayi, CEO of 1E, said in the article.

42% of employees state that their company is stuck in the "dark ages" when it comes to adopting new technology tools or apps.

Many companies are also feeling the effects of the “great resignation” – struggling both to hire and retain talent. “We don’t have enough IT professionals, anywhere – there’s a huge drain and we’re all experiencing this,” Angela Neria, CIO at Pittsburg State University, said in a recent interview with TeamDynamix. To attract and retain employees, many businesses are offering flexible work options. But without the right software in place, this can lead to disconnect and fragmented teams.

So how can leaders support their remote workforce, deliver exceptional customer experiences, AND relieve some of the stress and burdens placed on their IT department? By investing in smart service management. Smart service management combines IT Service Management (ITSM) with enterprise integration and automation (iPaaS).

Reducing Resource Drain with IT Service Management and Automation

To start, businesses and organizations should make sure they have an IT Service Management tool that supports the needs of their IT department. The ITSM tool should have these features and functionalities to be most effective:

  • Comprehensive Support for ITIL – ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library and refers to a specific framework for ITSM that was developed in the UK in the 1980s. The ITIL framework bases itself on the five phases of the service life cycle – service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation and continual service improvement. By using ITIL, you can mitigate ongoing service gaps within your organization.
  • Easy-to-use, Functional Service Portals – Your IT service management software should come with an out-of-the-box self-service portal with a knowledge base that can be easily configured and personalized with your branding WITHOUT any coding or scripting. In addition, the portal should be WCAG 2.0 AA compliant and fully accessible. When you have a functional portal that’s easy to search and navigate you can drive your customers to self-service which saves your IT organization time and money. A support call can cost as much as $22 (according to HDI), while self-service is just $2 per incident. The City of Avondale, Arizona wanted to respond to citizens’ needs faster and more effectively. By leveraging a single portal with automated request routing and workflows, the team can be more responsive and transparent with citizens. “Before, people would have to call or email our help desk with their service requests,” says CIO Jeff Scheetz. “However, now with the portal, IT has been able to create workflows and automation, rather than managing the many email and ticket requests. The workflow ensures that the requests are handled efficiently and provides additional reporting capabilities.
  • A Knowledge Base that Promotes Knowledge-Centered Service® – Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS) should be part of your ITSM processes as a complementary strategy to self-service. By employing KCS across your organization, you will be able to crowd-source content to keep your knowledge base accurate and functional. A solid knowledge base is the core of self-service success, and it really brings results. When the University of South Dakota implemented KCS and built out their knowledge base they saw an 18-percent reduction in time logged to service tickets, “What would you do if you had an additional day a week?” Knowledge Manager Paula Cottrell said.

Once you have your ITSM in place, you can explore scaling it throughout your organization (Enterprise Service Management).

Rather than a service request dead ending to a queue, what if the request could kick off a series of steps to action the request in real-time?

Supercharge Your Service Management with Integration and Automation

Adding integration and automation to your IT and Enterprise Service Management (ESM) practices is another great way to free up resources and boost efficiencies. By investing in smart service management for your organization, you’re investing in service management that connects the entire enterprise and allows everyone to interact in real-time, supercharged by iPaaS (integration platform as a service). iPaaS allows you to automate tasks, both simple and complex, as well as connect disparate systems throughout your organization – all through a codeless platform, meaning anyone can use it.

Here are just a few ways iPaaS can reduce IT resource drain:

  • Facilitate enterprise integration by using a single hub with pre-built connectors to systems that you use every day as well as a connector concierge for the creation of specific connectors.  (Imagine being able to automatically change a username, add someone to a distribution group, or onboard an employee)
  • Expedite creation of automation and workflows with a visual flow builder (codeless) that is easy to use, own and operate; reduce IT backlog of integration and workflow requests. 
  • Optimize resources across IT to allow for improved output and a higher level of service delivery to your internal and external customers by removing redundant data entry and manual processing. 
  • Reduce API risk with a single connectivity platform that will offer increased oversight and control.

Why CIOs Should Care about Codeless IT Service Management

IT Service Management platforms often form the foundation for many organizations’ service management processes. Because they are so integral, it’s important they don’t drain already scarce IT resources. This is why so many CIOs are turning to codeless ITSM solutions. With the right codeless ITSM software you can:

  1. Reduce Administrative Resources – Codeless ITSM systems will allow organizations to manage the platform with less than a full FTE; this could be to create configurations, create new workflows, set up automation or even create a new form.
  2. Enable Faster Expansion for Enterprise Service Management (ESM) – When you consider the evolution of ITSM platforms, one key development has been the expansion of enterprise service. The concepts and structure that worked so well for IT, are now working for other teams such as HR, Marketing and Facilities. However, to really make this work, the platform needs to be truly codeless. This will allow for quick and easy spin-up of new applications for various groups and then with segregated admin, each group can easily manage their own application. For instance, if HR wants to create a new form for “Register Child for Bring Your Child to Work Day” – this can be done. HR can create a form, add the widget to a desktop for tracking and even put a button on the portal – all without the assistance of IT resources.
  3. Make Enterprise Integration Easy – When systems run in code-heavy environments, it makes integration harder. This is another reason why CIOs are seeking codeless platforms that can be more easily integrated. ITSM platforms such as TeamDynamix are now also using codeless iPaaS to facilitate enterprise integration and workflow.

For CIOs looking to relieve budgets and reduce the drain on IT resources, a codeless platform for ITSM is the answer and will allow you to allocate your budget to more strategic initiatives such as enterprise integration leveraging iPaaS platforms.

When it comes to Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) it’s even more important to have codeless functionality.

When you use iPaaS to integrate your point solutions and APIs you can unlock a level of productivity you’d not be able to reach otherwise. And using iPaaS throughout your organization can enable the citizen developers through your various lines of business in marketing, HR, facilities, etc. to integrate and automate some of their most time-consuming activities – meaning they don’t add to the drain on IT resources.

For example, in HR you can use iPaaS to fully automate the onboarding or offboarding process for employees. One simple action, like a signed offer letter, can kick off a series of event-based triggers that fully automate the creation of an employee record, the provisioning of technology and equipment to even sending a welcome gift.

By enabling your staff through a codeless iPaaS solution, you can increase employee satisfaction, and productivity, and increase revenue.

At Pima County, one of the goals of bringing on TeamDynamix for ITSM and iPaaS  is to reduce toil and redundancy for employees.  

“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.

“The drudgery of working through mundane, repetitive tasks doesn’t exist just in IT,” Hayes said. “I think the more we can reduce toil within the departments that we support, the more people are going to buy in and understand the value of what we’re trying to achieve. There’s nothing like success to breed more success, and once other departments see the benefits they’re going to want these tools too.”

To learn more about Smart Service management and the positive effects it can have on your business check out our eBook – Smart Service Management: Working Better Together With a Connected Enterprise.

This article was originally posted in May 2021 and has been updated with new information.

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