You don’t need to be told that IT Service Management (ITSM) is a complex landscape, but ITSM Tools has the numbers to show it. In a recent research roundup, consistent trending themes were revealed. For example, ITSM platforms aid digital transformation, but self-service remains a weak spot. There is also an impression from those working in ITSM that their jobs will become more challenging. We have a few ideas that can help overcome these ITSM challenges.
IT Service Management Landscape
According to ITSM Tools’ State of Service Management 2021 survey, “81 percent of respondents thought working in their team would get harder over the next three years.” Those who felt this most strongly also felt unrecognized.
What’s driving this perception? Well, it’s tough out there.
There are at least five major ITSM challenges being experienced among IT service desks, says ITSM Tools, including:
- The magnitude and change associated with technology.
- Managing a high volume of requests at once.
- A reactive approach to reoccurring issues instead of proactive management of root causes (incident management vs. problem management).
- Cumbersome self-service.
- Difficulty finding, training and keeping talent.
Ongoing Digital Transformation Trends
In the face of these ITSM challenges, the service desk is adjusting to digital transformation trends that point to where technology in business is headed.
Automation is expected to be more fully embraced in organizations to operate more efficiently. The need is pretty clear. According to an Asana survey, employees only spend “one-third of their day on work they were hired to do.” Company leaders are looking for ways to work smarter. Ninety-four percent of companies surveyed in the Automation Now & Next report cite “shifting employees to higher value work” as a priority.
Observability is being embraced to increase transparency for all IT disciplines across complex infrastructures, which often including on-premise and cloud technology. The cloud is bringing change to monitoring, and these methods are being pursued to support security and problem management.
Collaboration reflects a shift in how people will interact and work, and it is a major focus of technology functionality, from ongoing system integration and asynchronous applications (like Microsoft Teams).
These are just three digital transformation trends that are sure to touch the service desk. There could be new kinds of requests, more complicated incident and service requests and greater complexity in changes.
ITSM Solutions are Instilling Order and a Method to Manage It—Mostly
Half of the respondents of The AXELOS 2022 ITSM Benchmarking Report felt that their ITSM capabilities are “good or great.” Sixty percent of this group also viewed their degree of digital transformation positively.
With a platform and process in place, these companies feel equipped to manage and affect infrastructure appropriately. But given unpredictability in economic factors and shortage of tech talent, companies may still need flexibility to maintain consistency and service delivery reliability.
Knowledge Management Needs Work
End user productivity was lost in the knowledge base to the tune of three hours and 51 minutes, according to HappySignals Global IT Experience Benchmark report. This is “78 percent more than what’s lost when end-users go via the telephone channel.”
Some companies are seeing a time/efficiency payoff from investing in a knowledge base. But others continue to struggle with maintenance and creating an efficient user experience.
What Can Help: Upskilling, Community and Clear Priorities
The service desk needs strong leadership, clarity on priorities and a way to feel confident with new technology and the dynamics at play. But in addition, service desk agents also have to think about gaining skills and plotting their path, because it often isn’t defined. Two things can help this: get educated and connected.
Cireson offers two great resources to support professionals working in all areas and skill levels in IT Service Management: Cireson Learning and Community Open Floor.
Cireson Learning consists of free training courses for Microsoft System Center Service Manager (SCSM) and Cireson applications. They cover ITSM and ITIL best practices for configuration, administration, SCSM use. You’ll also find guidance related to reporting, security and interaction with SCSM components as well.
It’s a great way to upskill for SCSM users and internalize foundational ITSM and ITIL principles.
Cireson Community and Community Open Floor Meetups
Training is one thing, but most people need ongoing mentorship and support. The Cireson Community gives SCSM users a place to go online for answers, interesting ideas and inspiration from the entire Cireson team.
The Cireson team holds a Community Open Floor meetup to discuss anything customers are struggling with, new approaches, success stories from their environments—whatever is going on. You can find support and get help with anything Cireson, SCSM, ITSM challenges or ITSM-related.
Use Managed Services to Navigate Unpredictability
There are times when internal IT needs help. Perhaps your team is running lean, a major project is coming up or you lack a specific skill set on staff. Managed Services gives IT teams the ability to supplement or outsource responsibilities so that service delivery can remain consistent and even improve.
Knowledge Base Innovation with AI
ITSM Tools cites some reasons why, despite wide adoption, knowledge bases aren’t consistently paying off. A few reasons are:
- Self-service isn’t being used enough for tier 1 tickets.
- Some ITSM challenges have solutions that are challenging to navigate.
- Upkeep requires specific effort.
Cireson addressed these issues in its Microsoft 365 service desk solution, Tikit, which uses AI to deliver an efficient experience for both end users and service desk agents. Cireson Service Manager Portal (SMP) customers can integrate with Tikit for a dynamic knowledge base and the ability to deflect repetitive requests to a virtual agent.
With Tikit, the virtual agent intercepts and interprets requests, finds relevant knowledge base resources and serves them to the end user (via AI predetermined by your IT admin), end users don’t have to struggle to find answers and agents are freed up to focus on more pressing issues versus recurring, simple requests.
For the ITSM challenges and complexity technology brings, it also enables strong performance and efficiency. We think there’s great power in collaboration, and we’re here to help.
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