Digitalization is pushing the boundaries of IT in the workplace. Professional-personal lines are now blurred and businesses are constantly under pressure to show IT dexterity by providing staff with the same level of technology flexibility they enjoy in their personal lives.
Workers are becoming ever more tech-savvy and businesses are beginning to deploy initiatives such as ‘bring your own device’ to address staff dissatisfaction with corporately-owned equipment. This shift also represents a transition from a product-based to a more service-based model, creating new challenges for enterprise IT support teams. Now businesses must develop the capability to address the diverse technologies they have chosen to implement, while still meeting the levels of customer service that users expect.
These factors are giving rise to a transformation in the way we offer support to our colleagues. However, for the service desk, they also pose a unique challenge: how do you deliver an outstanding user experience in an increasingly complex IT environment, where people work at any time, in any place, and on any device? We explore the key factors that businesses need to take into consideration to ensure that their service desks can keep pace with the demands that are placed on them:
- The growth of cloud technology and shadow IT, together with initiatives such as ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD), ‘corporate-owned, personally enabled’ (COPE) and ‘choose your own device’ (CYOD), means the service desk no longer has full control over the systems and technologies it supports. The number of connected devices is expected to reach tens of billions by 2020
- 75% of millennials will make up the workforce by 2025 and 41% of this group say they prefer to communicate electronically at work rather than face to face, or even over the telephone
- Service desk staff are relied upon to keep businesses running and connected. IT staff make up to 50 to 60 mission-critical decisions a day and no other part of the business has this level of responsibility
- Owing to the growth of the cloud, proliferation of device use and the ability to be connected at any place and time, the next-generation service desk has to become more user-centric and make user experience its first priority. This means becoming more proactive by anticipating and preventing IT issues in a non-invasive fashion – especially as 69% of service desk employees expect to see a focus on user experience
- 47% of service desks expect to see increased demand for use of business intelligence and big data in the near future, which will help resolve issues ahead of or in real-time – vital to understanding the IT environment
- By 2017, organizations using autonomics and cognitive platforms will be able to achieve a 60% reduction in the cost of running IT support services
- Automation is here to stay. 71% of IT consumers prefer dealing with a virtual agent over static web pages. Automated service desk processes will be central to improving the user experience by providing an instant response to queries and issues. Automation will help to lower the workload of the service desk and drive cost savings through reducing the need for human intervention
- Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) will be critical components of the next- generation service desk. Building on the early success of virtual agents, AI and other forms of machine learning will ultimately be able to handle much of the service desk work volume
- Human representatives will always be needed to provide personalized support to users. Rather than replacing staff, automation will free them from lower-level tasks to focus on higher-level functions and assume value-adding, business-facing roles. This hybrid approach will allow for a more rounded and holistic, omni-channel technology user experience and support services
In summary, a clearer picture of the next-generation service desk is beginning to emerge as it evolves into a critical business enabler, playing a crucial role in delivering new, value-adding technologies to organizations.
However, these organizations will need to align their IT services more closely with the needs and behaviors of technology users and their preferences, and the user experience must be considered a priority.
Incorporating emerging technologies into the next generation service desk will enhance this end-user experience, not only by anticipating and automating the resolution of many basic issues, but also by freeing up staff to perform higher level tasks.
As BYOD, COPE and CYOD programs gain in popularity, coupled with the work anytime, anywhere model, service desks are currently under pressure. However, by helping users to get the best from their technology, and by identifying opportunities to achieve business goals, the service desk will complete its transition from an overhead to a profit center, and help enterprises stay ahead of the competition.
For a more detailed exploration of how the next-generation service desk can transform to meet the new demands it is facing, read Fujitsu’s Whitebook ‘The Next-Generation Service Desk’.