Qadir Nawaz, Director, Business Solutions, King’s Hawaiian
COVID-19 has forced all business functions of the organization to change and Information Technology is no different. How we deliver service to our organization now has also changed drastically, as our users went from being in the office to working remotely full-time and those face to face interactions seems like a story from a book.
With this change during the pandemic, most companies will likely have permanent remote positions (onshore/nearshore/offshore) to attract talent, and a policy to be more flexible on remote work. IT organizations will have to evolve and find ways to deliver services to all those employees in ways that are most efficient and centered around the employee experience.
Some of the focus areas that we’ve been working on and I see many other companies adapting are:
Service Management is not just limited to IT anymore
ITIL 4 has evolved to not only include the best from ITIL v3 but also add additional practices and approaches to deliver valuable products and services to customers and to extend the same standards across other departments.
The mindset is to help the businesses improve the efficiency of service provisioning to employees and bring other business functions like HR, Finance, and Facilities, etc. into that picture. Having a single point of contact ServiceDesk for all IT/business issues improves the delivery experience to users and also saving time.
Self-Service is not a new concept but an increased focus on this area now as companies are managing costs and boosting productivity in IT support functions
Employee experience and wellbeing
Working from home during this past year has had an enormous impact on employee experience. Employees are not working in the office space that was optimized for the precise type of work that they were doing. Instead, they’re working at the kitchen table while kids are screaming in the background, and they’re no longer using the setup that was designed for them to be most efficient and have all the tech hardware, etc.
What is the solution? – Employee experience and ESM will go hand in hand to deliver that 360-degree user experience when It comes to service delivery.
There will be a shift to initiatives driven by outcomes, including employee empowerment, experience, satisfaction, and engagement, with cost savings becoming a result rather than a driving factor. As the pandemic drags on, companies will have to acknowledge and take steps for employees’ wellbeing, including those in ITSM, and find ways to prevent anxiety, stress, or burnout.
Self-Service and Automation (where it makes sense)
Self-Service is not a new concept but an increased focus on this area now as companies are managing costs and boosting productivity in IT support functions. The pandemic increased reliance on digital services, which in turn, increased pressure on support staff due to high ticket volume. With self-service, employees are less dependent on technicians for general, known issues thus reducing their workload.
Automation has been in trend for a while, but it is the most relevant now. To help the employee focus on what matters to business rather than fixing “computer issues”, there are some key areas:
Chatbots and smart suggestion tools to allow employees to discover solutions before they open a ticket for IT staff Auto ticket assignment to the right resolution group with the help of AI Standard workflow automation across an array of common support-related tasks Robotics Process Automation (RPA) for Onboarding, Incident management, and notification, etc.
To conclude, IT teams are in a tough position today and like everyone else, they need to balance increased demand on time due to the nature of how work-life has changed. Organizations will need to take steps to keep employees engaged, leverage tools and technologies where they make sense to be more efficient and have a cross-functional service delivery model that enhances user experience and allow them a resolution to their issues with a single point of contact.