Innovation isn't easy to come by. You need good ideas, people capable of communicating those ideas, flexibility to refine thoughts over time and technology that lets you put concepts into action. When it comes to IT operations, innovation often needs to start with processes and then extend out to the technology. The reason for this is simple - IT teams are facing a constant onslaught of urgent tasks to complete, making it nearly impossible to innovate unless you either add staff or find more efficient ways to get the job done.
Your IT service desk can serve as a major catalyst for innovation by providing the process management and automation functions you need to ensure your IT teams operate at peak capacity and are well positioned to find time for new projects and initiatives. Three ways your service desk can function as the fuel for innovation include:
1. Streamline Changes and Releases
Continuous integration is a growing reality for businesses of any size. New apps and services, not to mention patches and updates, are entering enterprise configurations at a dizzying rate as IT consumerization takes hold. The result is an operational climate in which IT teams are constantly scrambling just to keep up with the near-constant burden of updating servers, provisioning new virtual machines and completing the moves, adds and changes needed to support these systems.
Change and release management tools are built with these specific process types in mind, making them incredibly valuable as specialized service desk modules that meet the needs of modern businesses. In particular, these solutions let you automate repeatable processes, freeing your staff from tedium and making it easier to coordinate operations across geographically diverse technology teams.
2. Simplify Regulatory Compliance
Regulatory issues are putting incredible pressure on businesses across a variety of industries, and organizations that want to keep up with regulations must document everything so they can pull out internal audit trails that verify they are following best practices. This is an incredible burden on IT teams, as it forces workers to stop what they are doing to record the processes they handle on a periodic basis. Advanced IT service desk tools will automate these logging processes, letting your technology workers focus on the tasks at hand while the software creates a built-in audit trail to support regulatory goals.
Eliminating the time-consuming documentation tasks that go into day-to-day IT operations can streamline operations in diverse ways, creating the kind of flexible time technology workers need to focus on innovative projects.
3. Let Users Solve Their Own Issues
How much time is your IT department spending on extremely basic incidents that don't really require special expertise, and only demand access to service desk tools? Give your users the ability to leverage those tools and a simple process checklist and they can resolve those issues themselves.
Self-service portals are emerging as an invaluable tool for IT teams because they provide a combination of forums, quick resolution checklists and basic access to the service desk that business users can leverage to handle simple, repetitive issues. Somebody needs to reset a password, they don't need to contact IT anymore. A worker is experience a glitch with an application, the system will take them through a basic checklist of restarting their computer and completing similar tasks to potentially resolve the incident.
Creating time for IT teams is key to fueling innovation, and self-service portals alleviate many of the operational burdens facing technology teams.
Urgency is the enemy of innovation. A constant influx of urgent tasks stifles new projects and creative thinking in IT departments, but a good service desk can streamline operations and be a catalyst for operational growth.