The future of Service Desks is customer request centers. They will be designed with an outside-in approach that flips the traditional focus on technology to an emphasis on business demands and user expectations. While IT Service Management has already shifted IT to a service delivery model rather than the traditional technology availability focus, the next generation of service management technology emphasizes customer experience and business self-service.
Key attributes of this model include:
- Process-based: Today’s Service Desk should include significant process automation – not just basic tasks like approvals, but connecting human and system tasks throughout request fulfillment, spanning IT and business areas such as Finance or HR.
- Insight and transparency: IT staff, line-of-business owners and users all need role-based visibility.
- Easy to measure and adapt: You need good metrics and simple methods for adapting to change.
To achieve this vision, I recommend starting with a self-assessment. Here are some questions that can help you examine your current state.
|How we’re doing||Need for improvement|
|Strong yes||Mostly yes||50-50||Mostly no||Not at all||Urgent||Important|
|Do you have a User Request Portal that lets users find information, perform self-help processes and submit tickets?|
|Did you usability-test your User Request Portal implementation before launching?|
|Are most users successful in helping themselves (or do you get a lot of tickets for issues that should have been resolvable by self-help without a ticket submission)?|
|Behind the scenes, have you automated processes that users are likely to use? Do you measure their successful use and adapt as needed? Can you add or change processes easily?|
|Can users access a knowledge base that explains their issue?|
|Can users gain visibility into the status of a request on their own?|
|Can users easily respond – and get a response from IT – when they are not satisfied with the outcome of a ticket they submitted?|
|Do you facilitate input from users on how to improve the site and your services?|
|Do you regularly measure benchmarks for self-service and conduct surveys to assess user satisfaction?|
|Do you have plans in place to continually assess and improve the User Request Portal? Are your portal and its underlying processes easy for IT staff to adapt?|
If your answers are not overwhelmingly yes, then you are ready to investigate and evaluate a new approach to ITSM. Do you have comments or additional assessment questions to add?