For most IT professionals, the sudden leap to remote work has been anything but peaceful. Those working for small businesses evidenced an influx of tickets to their service desk, as their organisations pivoted to remote operations. This shift in volume and behaviour has the potential to greatly impact teams’ productivity, collaboration, and profitability.
It’s time IT pros considered streamlining service delivery by revisiting IT Service Management (ITSM). Doing so can provide better structure to approaching service requests helping to standardise data collection, optimise resources, and heighten cross-departmental communication ITSM strategies and frameworks have proven their worth in corporate settings; it may yet prove to be the right stance when it comes to remote work.
Wrapping Your Head Around ITSM
Whether you’re a newcomer or an old hand at ITSM, familiarise yourself with the latest frameworks. ITIL offers guiding principles and best practices for service areas like Incident Management, Request Management and Change Management. The latest version, ITIL 4, is focused on the co-creation of value to IT services as it aligns with your organisation’s culture. Leveraging ITIL’s recommendations can push teams to think and work holistically to break down silos, which is paramount for remote workforces.
As teams look to promote further automation, how can ITSM practices and platforms help small business teams address remote service requests? Leveraging an ITSM platform can help create a front-facing solution for requesters, fostering a trusted space for users to submit inquiries and requests. It presents an opportunity for IT teams to standardise their operations, like their ticket triage practices or request intake. Consider how you may be currently routing specific categories of incidents or handling recurring processes, like onboarding – is there the potential to automate those motions?
There’s also an opportunity to uncover recurring trends, to further education or knowledge content creation. If users are faced with repetitive issues, like VPN access or password resets, leverage the knowledge base in your ITSM solution to create documentation and clarity around those subjects. Picture a technician handling a common network issue. After reviewing historical ticket data and previous workarounds, the technician may realise that this recurring issue can be avoided in the future by provisioning Access Points for remote employees. By documenting these practices and procedures in the ITSM platform, the team can implement the proposed change to help avoid degraded service and issues in the future. Pairing your ITSM practices with ITIL recommendations, your service delivery can and drive more streamlined operations and positive user experiences.
Unification In A Time Of Social Distancing
Honing your ITSM strategies as organisations are working remotely can enhance visibility and organisational effectiveness. Implementing the self-service options of your ITSM solution of choice can foster a centralised space for your employees to report issues, see previously submitted requests, view announcements, and access knowledge content. Furthermore, your ITSM platform can incite collaboration between service providers, as they track ongoing incidents and problems or help to fulfil service requests. Cloud-based ITSM solutions can help fuel these initiatives by offering out-of-the-box solutions that can be easily configured and quick to implement, enabling IT teams to achieve seamless visibility from a single pane of glass.
Another added benefit is if your ITSM solution can be integrated with other remote work services, like Application Performance Management (APM). Connecting the two allows IT pros to shatter silos between the service desk and operations, speeding up resolutions while preventing miscommunications and work overlaps. Integrating these solutions can also drive improved incident management as logged alerts can automatically be created as incidents and then seamlessly escalated to the appropriate team for triage. If the business maintains a Configuration Management Database (CMDB), these incoming alerts can be linked to the affected assets, providing visibility into previous events. Connecting the different facets of both an ITSM and APM solution, particularly in our remote climates, can improve the effectiveness and quality of service.
As teams are working remotely, IT teams are challenged with maintaining high availability and operability to not disrupt the business and its users. Reviewing your ITSM strategies and applications can help you refine and improve your service delivery initiatives to drive a positive user experience.
Establishing Self-Service With ITSM
Regardless of what the future looks like, IT pros will continue to be challenged to support business goals through a user-centric approach. Digital channels are the medium where remote employees are connecting. Consider meeting users in the middle by potentially integrating your cloud-based ITSM platform to other communication or collaboration tools, like Microsoft Teams or Slack. This can make your ITSM platform more accessible to users, regardless of where they are located, and help break down communication barriers between IT and the business.
Building on this approach, IT can lean on the self-service portal to promote knowledge-sharing to remote employees. Publishing how-to documentation for common issues, like software installation or managing passwords on the service portal, can help empower remote employees to troubleshoot on their own. This can position the service desk and portal as dependable resources to the organisation, helping further optimise IT pros’ time and resources.
Working remotely has forced everyone to find and adopt more efficient ways of performing. Leveraging ITSM practices and platforms can be the uniting force for small businesses as it helps them achieve more streamlined service delivery by seamlessly connecting users and service providers while maintaining your organisation’s cultural values.