IT service desk investments have increasingly become process-focused implementations. Adopting a new service desk gives you powerful technology tools to put in the hands of your support workers, while also providing process management and automation functionality that is becoming more important to modern businesses. The increasingly interconnected nature of IT service management practices and business processes is making strategic planning more important before you purchase a new service desk solution.
Aligning processes for service desk users so they can easily escalate incidents, interact with business users more efficiently and collaborate with IT teams when it comes time to deal with complex issues like change and problem management is key, and getting a solution that can meet your process needs means performing more self analysis than you would if you just wanted a basic service desk. A few questions you should ask yourself before stepping into a conversation with an ITSM vendor include:
1. What are my short- and long-term goals?
The service desk industry has changed substantially with the advent of the cloud, and one of the biggest gains is the ability to flexibly fine tune solutions over time. You can buy exactly what you need now and gradually add to the solution over time without breaking the bank or dealing with huge integration challenges. This makes it easier to maximize the value of your investment if you understand what you want to accomplish immediately and where you want to be in a few years. Such knowledge helps you align your software investment with the process gains you want to put into place to create a maximum return and make sure your process investments pay dividends.
2. What returns are most important?
In the end, having a stable, reliable and efficient service desk should be a top priority for your organization. However, IT leaders need to be aware that they aren't the only ones looking at this project. You may have CFOs that want to see immediate fiscal returns, CIOs that want to make sure security benefits happen right away and support team members that want to have a better solution without worrying about too much disruption. Just like you need short- and long-term goals, you also must understand which immediate returns are most important and whether you need to prioritize any instant value creation over long-term stability to make sure everybody will get on board for the project. Process innovation takes time, but some initiatives may never get off the ground if you can't promise at least some immediate returns.
3. How will you measure success?
Calculating ROI on the service desk is often a matter of comparing previous KPIs and cost efficiency data with new information gathered after the solution has been deployed. However, a good service desk solution will fuel process innovation, creating ROI in diverse ways, including some that may be difficult to measure. Creating internal benchmarks can help you assess the results of your project with a broader scope.
In general, measuring process advances means gaining an understanding of how the investment is impacting users on a day-to-day basis. This can end up meaning you need to take a close look at KPIs, interview employees to find out what they think about the new solution and work hard to train workers so they feel comfortable taking full advantage of the technology. Measuring success isn't just about gathering data, it's about being able to use that information to make immediate process refinements.
Investing in IT service desk process advances creates a wide range of challenges, but if you ask yourself the right questions you can go into your purchasing conversations with an understanding of what you need.