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Despite advances in technology and increasingly tech-fluent end-users, enterprise systems will always break (often on a company-wide scale) and passwords—as long as they are in use—will never cease to expire or be forgotten. Not even the most pragmatic, agile business can eliminate such productivity-draining concerns where technology will always be disruptive.

Although the transformation of workplace computing hasn’t had a significant effect on the existence of these basic IT issues, it has considerably changed end-users’ expectations of how IT delivers its services. As organizations are looking for effective service desk capabilities at lower prices, IT leaders are noticing the trend of “support” for end-users shifting more toward “enablement” for customers. Increased automation is being driven in service desk offerings, and Level 1 support teams are expected to provide Level 3 service. This is a new challenge for IT and for business in general.

In order to compete in today’s digital workplace, organizations need to incorporate customer-oriented approaches and technologies into IT. Business leaders must continuously shift and balance priorities—keeping an eye on big-picture projects and initiatives is critical, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the day-to-day needs of end-users.

In the pre-digital workplace, waiting for a solution was standard. Today, end-users expect quick resolution. Some IT organizations have turned to the “shift-left” strategy, which involves pushing issue resolution as close to the customer/end-user as possible. Instead of the help desk escalating an issue “to the right,” the issue is resolved on the front line, or by the customer via self-help. Shift-left is not a new approach, but it has been gaining attention in recent years because of its potential to decrease support costs and increase productivity.

SOME IT ORGANIZATIONS HAVE TURNED TO THE “SHIFT-LEFT” STRATEGY, WHICH INVOLVES PUSHING ISSUE RESOLUTION AS CLOSE TO THE CUSTOMER/END-USER AS POSSIBLE.

Today’s end-users also want to be assured that their time is valued. To accomplish this, IT departments should provide multichannel support, and work to improve communication—whether it’s promptly informing end-users about service issues that will affect their workday, setting up systems to enable them to check the status of tickets or incidents, or providing them with resources to resolve issues on their own.

When end-users are provided with the services they need on their terms, IT departments and organizations can direct more effort toward innovation, staying current with business and consumer technology trends, developing and maintaining best practices, and evolving with technology to ensure processes aren’t out of date.

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