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Erika Troconis-Rodell | January 11, 2019

4 Realistic New Year’s Resolutions for Your IT Service Desk

January is all about starting fresh—new year, new IT service desk resolutions! You come back after a long holiday break, and maybe you're thinking, “what was our organization missing last year that we can improve upon this year?”

But, with so many ITSM-related topics out there, where do you even start? The key is to focus on topics that will impact your organization as a whole. Service transformation, customer and employee experience, self-service adoption, and AI technologies like chatbots are just some of the key areas that will improve your IT service desk's day-to-day operations and produce a positive outcome for your business.

Here are four important resolutions your IT service desk should consider in 2019.

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1. Decrease IT Service Desk Call Volume

With businesses expanding and adopting new digital strategies, IT needs to prepare to take on the load­­­—which includes taking control of high ticket volumes. Understanding what the top service requests and incidents are will help you allocate your resources appropriately, and prioritize what needs to be moved into a self-service or self-help portal and what needs to be handled by your IT service desk agents.

With the right IT service desk tools and processes in place, you can take the “ticket weight” off service desk agents. Consider implementing tools that will enable employees to find answers they need when they need it without having to make a phone call.     

For more information about how you can reduce calls to the service desk, read: 5 Easy Steps to Reduce IT Service Desk Call Volume

2. Increase Self-Service Adoption (and Take Advantage of AI) 

IT self-service is still a major topic when it comes to scaling your support operations and making improvements to your organization. In fact, a 2018 Gartner report, 3 Simple Ways IT Service Desks Should Handle Incidents and Requests, pointed out that 76% of organizations that are currently using IT self-service have plans to improve it in the next 18 months.1 

There's many things to consider when trying to increase adoption of self-service, like providing interactive applications and intuitive design. But really the reason why employees or customers visit the self-service portal is to help themselves. Providing the right knowledge in the right way is critical.  Your portal should deliver knowledge that is both engaging and keeps the users in mind—think interactive videos and guided steps that will facilitate the delivery of content.

Of course, you can't forget about integrating intelligent technologies, such as AI or chatbots. These technologies will help provide a better experience to users who want to help themselves by providing a personalized experience that delivers the right information at the right time. But in order to be successful in AI, you must make sure you have the right knowledge.

Gartner’s report, When Will AI Virtual Support Agents Replace your IT Service Desk?, explains that chatbots and virtual support agents need a strong knowledge foundation in order to provide intelligent responses and knowledge that adapts to the users’ needs.2  

3. Improve Internal Processes with Automation

This Gartner report explains how “I&O leaders [can] learn how to "shift left" incidents and service requests using an eliminate, automate or leverage (EAL) approach", a model originated by Amazon.3 

Automating recurring or ongoing processes with self-service tools can help alleviate your IT service desk’s load and allow them to focus on higher-value tasks. With the EAL approach, your IT service desk can determine which tasks are priority and understand which should (or shouldn't) be automated. Combining self-help knowledge with AI technology can also provide employees with quick and easy access to the answers they need without the need to talk a service desk analyst directly.

By using the EAL approach, your team can also plan to leverage more high-value interactions that can improve the overall business use of IT. For example, interactions that provide insights on how to increase employee productivity or better manage critical business issues. 

To learn more about the eliminate, automate or leverage (EAL) approach, read: Lessons from Amazon that Will Make Your Service Desk Better

4. Reduce Service Operations Costs

A big part of cost-effectiveness comes from allocating your resources properly, so optimizing your IT service desk’s work process is essential. Certainly, when implemented correctly, the first three resolutions will naturally help reduce cost­ as well as increase productivity in your organization.

Improving onboarding processes is a good example of how your organization can reduce costs and use its IT resources efficiently. For example, when onboarding employees you can use guided learning to provide new hires with a step-by-step solution for complex procedures that IT might otherwise need to tackle, and reduce employee's training time. Eliminating manual procedures will also streamline your organization’s onboarding processing orders to eliminate department oversights and unnecessary work from HR—and the IT service desk!

Get insights on how to improve your onboarding process: 3 Ways the IT Service Desk Can Speed Up Onboarding with Self-Service

What Next?

Reducing your IT team’s workload, supporting your employees, and automating recurring processes will all help your organization become more efficient, and eventually, reduce your IT department’s operational costs. 

The sooner your IT service desk starts focusing on their resolutions, the better! 

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 1,3   Gartner, 3 Simple Ways IT Service Desks Should Handle Incidents and Requests, Chris Matchett, 5 March 2018. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved. 

2 Gartner, When Will AI Virtual Support Agents Replace Your IT Service Desk, Chris Matchett, Rich Doheny, Kenneth Gonzalez, Magnus Revang, 24 April 2017.    GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved. 



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Erika Troconis-Rodell

Erika Troconis-Rodell is the Sr. Digital Marketing Manager at EasyVista. She leads the content and blog strategy for the company, and manages global digital marketing initiatives. She loves all things technology and enjoys reading about ITSM, IoT, and SaaS. Fun fact, she also speaks Spanish, French, and Mandarin.