I am Apple convert -- I use an iPad, iPhone and my beloved MacBook! I converted about 18 months ago and have found the experience to be wonderful with little or no support requirements. However, last week I was not able to get access to wireless while visiting another office. Rather than opening a support issue, I quickly looked at our collaboration site and my issue was resolved in about 60 seconds. Whether you are aware of it or not, this process is part of business as usual for me and is a behavior that is becoming more typical of today's consumers of technology.
Changes in technology and behaviors, and the availability of information on personal devices are providing consumers of technology with not only increased levels of personal flexibility and functionality, but also more access to information. One of the outcomes is a growth in the expectation that information and solutions should be available anytime, anywhere and instantaneously! The unfortunate outcome here is that the traditional service desk cannot deliver the information demanded in a timely manner leading to the end user bypassing the service desk. In fact, I am seeing that poor and immediate support combined with ease of use, leads to the consumers abandoning applications and using alternative capabilities.
Last week I had a conversation on this topic with an ITIL guru from a large organization who has spent years implementing Incident, Problem and Change Management. During our chat, I found out that the numbers of incidents and changes are rapidly decreasing; yet they are aware that the rate of change is increasing dramatically! The years of service management process implementation have been usurped in about 12 months of culture change leading to a radical change in the delivery of service management, the social service desk and the manner that the Level 1 staff spends their time. For instance, instead of spending all of their time answering the phone, their time is shared with working social networks and news groups and so on.
"In short our user community wants to be productive as rapidly as possible and is capable and desirous of solving their own issues so that they can get on with their job and not be concerned about technology or calling a service desk." Another fundamental change is their business knowledge -- training is no longer about tool usage, it also includes business knowledge with regular training sessions as part of the standard education regime. Finally, the service desk staff is empowered to identify patterns and proactively seek resolution - proactive vs. reactive! The team is also supplied with the mobile devices that the business is using to help ensure they are conversant with the devices.
Is your service desk delivering in the traditional method? If so, it is time to look to new and innovative methods to engage the business community. If the transition is not underway, you need to get this underway soon to be business relevant and valuable to your organization.