Service Delivery from the Outside In (Part 2 of 2)



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?

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