3 Things Missing from Your Digital Workplace

You can't just throw around a phrase like "digital workplace" anymore - it's not enough for businesses to get by with the bare minimum when it comes to internal technological innovation. Computers do not a digital workplace make, nor enterprise internet connectivity or VoIP or any number of touchscreen thingamajiggers.

Word choice is intentional there. Whenever companies tout their digital workplaces as if they were solely established through smart hardware and software purchases, they sound absolutely outdated. Their claims all ring hollow to modern ears. We all know truly digital workplaces don't just collect gadgets and apps. The best in the biz reformat their entire enterprise around fulfilling the new requirements of the big data era, instead of simply upgrading their desktop monitors.

If your business's 21st-century reinvention feels like it's lacking a little oomph, it could be missing some pretty glaring features all real digital workplaces take advantage of - and intelligent service management may be at the heart of the solution.

1. Smarter Search Capabilities
Think about how many queries search engines entertain daily. Google receives 40,000 every single second, around 3.5 billion per day. Yet consider its unremarkable success rate of just below 66 percent reported by Search Engine Watch back in 2011, gleaning information from clickstream data collector Hitwise. If you take these rates and apply them to Google's current search volume, that's roughly more than 1.2 billion unsuccessful searches daily.

Now apply the same mathematics to intraoffice data searching, particularly for IT service management. What could happen if one in every three help desk users couldn't find the resources necessary to solve their problems on their own through a self-service portal? More Tier 1 tickets requiring the attention of IT service professionals and escalating costs for the service provider as a whole, that's what.

Automation already does a lot to support smarter, more cost-efficient ITSM processes, but nothing is quite as cost-effective as having the process itself solve the problem for you. Intelligent service management enhances user-facing searches as well as those performed by IT technicians, boosting self-service so IT professionals avoid low-level service requests and augmenting internal data indexing so those tickets that do require manual intervention don't take nearly as long to resolve.

2. Wider and More Effective Channels of Communication
The walls of the digital workplace are built with ones and zeroes, not plaster. DevOps culture effectively changed how IT service hierarchies operate between disparate silos. Goodbye linear "waterfall" techniques and hello agile IT.

By assessing and restructuring the ways in which the modern business exchanges information internally and externally, companies eliminate the obstacles preventing them from achieving truly streamlined communication. Investing in the latest software or management system, however, won't get there - companies must invest in malleable service paradigms instead of just shelling out cash for a "solution in a box."

Sure, maybe intelligent service management suites may not have the glitz of an employee's favorite social media site, but its ability to resolve incidents successfully thanks to machine learning will certainly make it popular in house. A single centralized point of contact for ITSM minimizes how often IT accidentally mutes users' requests because of disorganization or lack of transparency into the resolution process.

3. Up the Ante on Uptime
The phrase "digital workplace" can mislead businesses into thinking a functional IT department is all it takes to earn the moniker. In a way, they aren't wrong per se. Just a tad myopic. Roles IT plays within businesses has expanded greatly in the last couple decades and will continue to do so. Functionality in the face of these multitudinous duties is what really matters.

Defense against customer-facing and internal downtime is not just the cornerstone of ITSM, it's the foundation and most of the first few stories too. Three years ago Computerworld reported Microsoft boasted a more than 99.9 percent uptime availability for Office 365, and since then many other businesses have begun racing to see how many nines they can tack on to the end of their uptime estimates.

Smaller enterprises might not have the resources to achieve power, but the efficacy of their ITSM suites can bring them closer to the razor's edge. By optimizing workflow, bolstering continuous integration and advancing self-service capabilities through machine learning, IT professionals can cut back downtime affecting their own applications, as well as their customers' operations.

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