ITSM processes are all about supporting the implementation, administration, and innovation of your customer-centric IT services. To do so, you’ll need software that meshes well with your ITSM platform of choice, such as Jira Service Desk, to meet your organization's needs. That app can change how you tackle cost reduction, service disruption, and much more.
Rising IT-related consumer expectations means that non-technical business executives are taking notice of ITSM’s importance, especially in the context of digital transformation. A recent study from PagerDuty indicates that 69% of consumers “will stop trying or leave a digital app or service if it takes more than 15 minutes to resolve a service disruption.”
The rub? Over 38% of companies take more than 30 minutes to address IT issues.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the ITSM market is expected to balloon to over $8.7 billion in size by 2021, with ITSM tools being a major reason why. In this blog post, I’m going to walk you through how those digital IT aids can improve your organization’s efficiency through streamlined workflows and information transparency.
Let’s start with the most obvious efficiency benchmark for back-office operations: how well (or not) it can manage a high volume of incoming service requests.
Zendesk reports that internal support teams receive an average of 492 tickets per month. That’s just shy of 6,000 per year. This can be overwhelming for even well-staffed service desk teams to accommodate, especially if they’re relying on outdated technology or (gulp!) manually updating spreadsheets to get the job done.
With the right ITSM tools at your disposal, you can leverage functionality like automation triggers, custom fields, precise workflows, and IT asset dependency mapping to respond to service requests in a prompt and meaningful manner.
Otherwise, you may be drowning in a deluge of tickets that makes just treading water difficult.
Many of those same features I just mentioned also apply if you’re looking to reduce your ticket resolution time.
The same Zendesk survey also indicates that the average first response time for a ticket is 24.2 hours. Clearly, this is way over the 15-minute timeframe it may take for consumers to ditch your services, possibly in favor of a competitor. Unfortunately, customers pin the blame on a service desk’s human element when, in fact, it’s usually a tech-related limitation at play.
A lot of the same ITSM tool features that help you to manage high service request volume also play a part in slashing your resolution time. They all combine to furnish your service desk staff with a single source of informational truth, which speeds up the process of pinpointing the root causes of issues and implementing the appropriate fixes.
Faster resolution time also means loosening up that queue of open tickets, which brings us to:
A bloated service desk backlog is the thorn in many a support technician’s sides. Not only does it lead to confusion and frustration for both employees and consumers, but it also inviters an accumulation of technical debt, which is never a good scenario.
However, reducing your MTTR is the gateway to shrinking that IT ticket buildup. The latter also includes tickets that are passed from person to person or department to department, without ever resolving the customer’s issue.
In fact, only 69% of requests are resolved in a one-touch fashion, a symptom that can be directly linked to a mountain of IT service tickets that have been left unattended. The larger that pile gets, the more chaotic the problem-solving environment becomes. In the end, it’ll be your user experience that takes the biggest hit (more on that later), an end game that you must avoid at all costs.
Bottom line? ITSM tools can work together to help you solve a number of problems in tandem. Let those issues accumulate, and you’ve got an untameable mess on your hands.
One of the biggest reasons to implement various ITSM tools into your service desk ecosystem is the resulting ability to set up consistent practices and policies that all stakeholders can adhere to.
While some may view the term “consistent policies” as an overly rigid inhibitor to being truly agile, the best strategic leaders, both in IT and business, are able to balance the ability to pivot with the solid foundation that consistency provides.
As per the Harvard Business Review, “just as consistency can turn into rigidity, agility can become a lack of focus when it isn’t tempered. So aim for a balance.” With the added information transparency that ITSM tools provide, there’s no reason why governance, communication, and implementing universal practices should be out of your reach.
“The frenetic, never-enough people/time/money reality of [business] can make us feel like we're chasing it down rather than leading it along,” adds Michael Hess of CBS News. “But if we get in front of it with consistent standards and practices [...] every aspect of the business benefits."
In an ITSM context, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) outline the quality and type of service being offered to clients in exchange for whatever fee is being charged. SLAs also dictate a remedy or course of action in the case of any service outages or large-scale issues.
Hitting your SLA standards and, in so doing, avoiding protracted periods of downtime is one of the best ways an IT service desk can save its parent business money. A recent Gartner study puts the cost of downtime at thousands of dollars per minute for the average company.
In the case of retail giant Amazon, technical glitches cost the company an estimated $1.2 million per minute.
Therefore, it almost goes without saying that investing in the ITSM tools that can reduce the prospect of downtime and ensure that consistently strong SLA achievement is maintained needs to be a major priority for any organization investing heavily in digital infrastructure.
Another unsung benefit that comes with implementing the ITSM tools of your choice is how well they can establish a stronger customer feedback loop. In turn, that influx of consumer information makes formulating future upgrades and feature development that much easier to prioritize.
This starts with automation and custom fields, which allow consumers to include additional information about an incident they’re reporting. This eliminates a lot of wasted diagnosis time for support agents, who can use those details to decrease resolution time and even spot trends when it comes to IT service or asset performance.
The positive impact of those enhanced practices extends to the software development side. Working with consumer-centric, data-driven insights, stakeholders can get a much better grasp on what customers want to see in future updates. This helps to prioritize projects, workloads, and the distribution of internal assets.
In short, using ITSM tools as part of your daily operations empowers you to work with accurate information that comes directly from your users.
Speaking of which...
Finally, we come to the most important aspect of these efficiency boosts that ITSM tools can bring to your business: improving your existing user experience.
This 2019 report states that 69% of customers feel they’re treated like a ticket instead of a person. As a result, 63% say they’ve abandoned ship for a competing service that provides a better user experience. In other words, skimping on your ITSM tool spending will result in an exodus of consumers who aren’t willing to settle for “average” or “mediocre.”
To be sure, developing those customer experience enhancements won’t happen overnight. When executed successfully, the process is all about the confluence of smaller boosts in operational efficiency. Quicker issue resolution, a smaller ticket backlog, a reduction in downtime, a fortified consumer feedback loop–they’re all part of the puzzle.
Remember, current and future generations of customers, each one more tech-savvy than the last, are not in the wrong for having higher performance expectations. It’s up to organizations to up their ITSM game in order to meet and even exceed those standards.
According to MetricNet, the average service desk spends less than 10% of its yearly budget on technological tools, compared to more than 68% on staff. If they don’t have the proper tools at their disposal, how can your support team hope to deploy meaningful responses to issues?
Whether you’re using Jira Service Desk or another IT management platform, how you use your ITSM tools will be a key indicator of how well or not your business performs in your industry’s digital marketplace. Consumers crave a reliable, powerful, and unique user experience.
With the help of those service management means, the real question revolves around whether or not your organization can streamline its operations in order to deliver in that regard.
As far as ITSM apps for Jira go, Insight proudly stands out from the crowd as one of the most versatile options, as well as one of the most affordable. For more information on what the software offers and to see the product in action, click below!
Originally published Oct 3, 2019 7:00:00 AM