Organizations that get the most out of their service desk experience typically see benefits like improved productivity, increased stability and smoother paths to innovation. These gains, however, can be difficult to measure with precision when it comes time to figure out how your service desk drives operational efficiency. You can find some metrics to support ROI calculation, but measuring service desk efficiency may be easier if specific use cases are reviewed instead of a generic top-down view of operations.
Specific IT service desk use cases can reveal just how much technology is improving processes, streamlining operations, and empowering employees. The value created in these areas is clear, and the benefits will be most visible when reviewing how the support tools are being used. Three service desk use cases that can prove service desk efficiency benefits include:
1. Responding to Downtime
Imagine a situation in which an HR server goes down: employee records are not accessible, sensitive data is put at risk, and integral responsibilities are postponed until service is restored. The implications of scenarios such as this can be staggering. With a good service desk solution in place, however, incidents resulting from an outage can be combined to identify the underlying problem. The ability to identify technical patterns and pinpoint the source of outages can accelerate the response process and help streamline the resolution.
With the problem identified, a request-for-change (RFC) can be created. Organizations can then use their configuration management database (CMDB) to properly plan their needed change efforts to accelerate operations. A CMDB can also be used to highlight users who could be affected by the issue, making it easier to notify employees of the problem. Additionally, the self-service portal can be used to obtain additional information regarding the problem status and provide users with instructions for resolution.
The combination of automations and streamlined communications established by an IT service desk can be invaluable for driving efficiency in your organization.
2. Managing Change Across Organizational Boundaries
Businesses are being tasked with accelerating change processes to keep up with end user demands and foster an environment of continual integration. This can become complex as organizations are more reliant on IT systems that are spread out between multiple internal data centers, colocation facilities, and cloud systems than ever before.
Organizations can utilize the service desk software to schedule all change tasks, assign those change tasks to employees, and automate notifications between users to ensure that tasks are performed in their proper order. Your employees won't have to wait for notifications that may not come, worry about having to manually document process completion, or send colleagues emails. The automatic log of all events lets you go back and undo an action if anything goes wrong. With these built-in checks and balances, you can drive efficiency by letting employees move forward with changes without jumping through approval hoops due to the ability to easily undo changes if unintended consequences arise at any point.
3. Dealing With Basic Incidents
Password resets, small glitches, and similar incidents can often be resolved within a few quick steps. These types of issues don't require specialized knowledge but many organizations get inundated by the sheer volume of these types of requests.
A good IT service desk will include a self-service portal that enables users to handle these basic incidents on their own. This functionality can be extended out to slightly more nuanced issues as well. For example, IT support teams can create a list of actions to take before filling out a support ticket. In many cases, activities like restarting a computer or clearing out a data cache will solve glitches or performance issues. Giving users a guide to perform these actions on their own has the potential to resolve many incidents without the support team getting involved.
These use cases highlight specific situations where a good service desk will deliver meaningful value by driving efficiency. In many cases, the direct benefit a service desk provides to a business is easiest to measure by looking at specific use scenarios.