IT Service Desk Automation to Drive Lower Cost and Higher Satisfaction
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Change is the only constant in life.” Despite being centuries old, these words could not be more precise and clearer in today’s competitive world of IT and business. The IT Service Desk has evolved through change from its humble origins as a technical helpdesk to a more incorporated and critically integrated arm under any business operation. The latest incarnation of Service desk is seeing a move towards automation and let us understand why it is the need of the hour.
Automation is very relevant in current times where enterprises are constantly working to reduce costs and at the same time constantly upgrading their technology as per business demands. In addition to this, the COVID-19 crisis has magnified this need to ensure business continuity with minimal compliance risks where most of the workforce is accessing enterprise systems using diverse devices and applications.
If we break Service Desk into multiple segments, we observe that 70% of all costs of a Service Desk (SD) are labour-related viz. salaries, benefits, incentive pay, and contractors. This huge amount of labour involvement often leads to costly human errors and greater response time which leads to poor service quality and lower customer satisfaction. According to Gartner , ongoing reductions in outsourced head count due to intelligent automation will eventually force sourcing and vendor management leaders to redesign the workplace services for their organizations’ users. This will result in a corresponding drop in the numbers of staff required on the service desk, so that
Automation: The future of Service Desk
Let us now understand the drivers which are responsible for the shift towards a fully automated Service Desk:
Cost is always an ongoing issue and it will never go away. The number of people accessing IT services is growing exponentially and as a result more tickets are being created as new service offerings are delivered to customers. We need a shift in mindset from solely focusing on IT costs to considering the true business costs when we look at improving resolution times on the Service Desk. The more automation, the faster is the rate of fulfilment. For services such as service desks, intelligent automation tools can be up to 65 percent less expensive than offshore-based staff. Up to 2021, Gartner expects the costs of commodity services to decline by 15 percent to 25 percent annually, as they move toward this price point.
Organizations introduce service catalogues which help service desks clearly communicate what they can offer their customers. But what most organizations fail to realize is that there is a difference between enabling the end users to ask for help and quickly delivering something what they asked for. End users in today’s times are digital natives i.e. they have grown up with technology that just works.
Let us take a scenario where an end user needs to raise a ticket regarding a system update issue. Without automation, the end user will raise a ticket which will be assigned to an IT agent after going through multiple checks. Then the agent will have to understand the problem and solve it depending on the situation. This entire process will take approximately 10-12 hours. But with automation, there will be instant delivery of the solution in a step by step manner since the program will be pre-configured to solve the issue. So, it makes it imperative to remove any manual time consuming steps in the process and use automated tools that can push services or software on demand.
The service desk needs to continue to ask the question:
Are we adding value to the business, or are we an obstacle to productivity?
Every service desk interaction which is solved by automation results in a productivity gain to the end user. Intelligent automation will play a significant role in complementing humans and enhancing productivity.
The future is bright and exciting
Opportunities for automation will continue to increase, providing improved business productivity and freeing up IT resources to investigate innovation opportunities for the organization. We should embrace the fact that automation does not only reduce costs; automation provides a better experience for both customers and service desk staff. The year 2020 has proved that remote working is not only possible—it results in high levels of productivity. Automation has forced organizations to eliminate manual tasks and multiple success stories are coming up in this context. At Progressive Infotech, we believe in keeping up the momentum and continue to innovate and automate wherever possible.