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Connecting ITSM Strategy with Employee Productivity

When an employee switches jobs, they take along the skill set, knowledge and experience unique to themselves. For an IT Service Desk organization that relies on knowledge of engineers and ticket resolution agents to resolve the growing volume of ticketing requests, employee turnover and the resulting talent gap has emerged as a major challenge.

In the age of hyperautomation intelligence however, progressive organizations are following a logical approach: democratizing knowledge and decoupling knowledgebase from the need of physical presence of individual employees.

The great resignation fueled by the market competition for talent and possibility of remote working opportunities is growing at unprecedented rates. In the U.S. for instance, around 4.4 million employees quit their roles or switched jobs. Before understanding how technology can address the problem of knowledge loss resulting from workforce turnover, lets first review the underlying problems that keep employees from operating a productive IT Service Desk, being impacted from the growing workload and ultimately resigning from the position:

Overworked Employees IT Service Desk:

As organizations scale their user base, the ticketing workload tends to scale accordingly. Without adequate ITSM ticket routing optimization and self-service issue resolution capabilities in place, the workload trickles down to front-line support agents and engineering teams. These employees are expected to meet strict IT Service Desk metrics goals without adequate increase in human and technology resources, ultimately forcing a burnout leading to resignations.

Strict Governance Controls:

In order for employees to solve sensitive operational tasks, organizations provide a mechanism to request the necessary IT services. This mechanism however, is typically established based on strict risk-averse policies. Strict governance workflows not only slow down the approval process of provisioning new IT services, but also impacts employee morale and trust into the process. As a result, they tend to completely bypass the governance controls and access IT services from third-party vendors, engaging in the practice of Shadow IT. The lack of an efficient and employee-friendly mechanism for IT Service Delivery is therefore seen as a key contributor to employee turnover.

Lack of Strategic View on Automation:

Automation promises several key improvements in the domain of ITSM: productive tasks, reducing dependence manual efforts and scaling business operations without having to employ more employees in the same proportion. In reality, a lack of strategic and end-to-end automation in ITSM organizations instead causes several key issues: information and technology silos as multiple automation tools fail to interact and integrate across the enterprise; automation of waste process causing a additional delays and bottlenecks in operational workflows; and complicated automation scripting that makes any changes to the code challenging when the original contributors leave the organization.

Lacking Culture for Operational excellence:

The organizational culture is reflected in the ways ITSM organizations operate. Too many bottlenecks and information silos may point to the wider underlying challenge: how does the organizational culture promote operational excellence? For instance, strict governance controls and limited flexibility for the employees means that IT Service Desk agents can only follow a strict and pre-defined ITSM operational workflow, which may not work effectively as the organization scales its user base.

Leadership and the Disconnect with IT Support Agents:

Decisions at the top of the organizational hierarchy are often based on insights from a limited set of metrics. Front line support agents on the other hand gain immediate view of the IT issues, incidents and the nature of service requests that impacts end-users. This view is further isolated between independent resolution teams that operate in silos. Without the technology capability to analyze a vast pool of ticketing requests at scale, leadership cannot make decisions that would ultimately help address problem root cause that shows patterns and signs across the evolving ticketing requests.

How ITSM and Hyperautomation Intelligence Helps?

Investing in multiple automation technologies only to add to the operational silos; and tightly coupling core ITSM knowledge with individual employees bound to leave the organization seems to be a paradoxical statement. This however, is a reality for ITSM organizations that fail to recognize the issues mentioned above, set false expectations on employee productivity and struggle to maximize the value potential of automation tools.

The true value of automation technology emerges when decision makers gain a holistic view of the way their ITSM organization operates, unique challenges facing employees and using automation as an enabler for productivity. The two key ingredients of an effective ITSM automation strategy include: end-to-end and holistic automation; and intelligence embedded into all processes of the ITSM workflows.

 

These are in fact, the key differentiators of a modern hyperautomation intelligence platform. In order to help IT Service Desk agents and resolution teams operate productively, hyperautomation intelligence plays a key role in optimizing ITSM operations. For instance, a common IT Service Desk use case of hyperautomation intelligence involves real-time analysis of IT issues from the ticketing requests, optimizing ticket routing with few hops between resolution teams and thereby shrinking the ticket queue.

 

This capability provides an additional and important value for ITSM leaders and decision makers: understanding how specific decisions around technology investments and ITMS workflows impacts the end-user experience, and how that in turn impacts employee productivity, morale and turnover rates.

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