Is Your Organisation's IT Support Delivering Value?

By Alan Conduct|26 May 2016

Businesses exist in a new normal, one of constant change. As an operational function, IT has never been under more pressure to support change, innovation and cost savings.

Some IT service desks have adapted, ensuring they are aligned with business objectives, even implementing mission critical digital transformations. Whereas others are struggling to demonstrate value, continuing to act in a back-office capacity for technical issues, rather than proactively support operational objectives.

Service desks that operate on a legacy model continue to believe that ‘resolved within SLA’ and cost are the two most important objectives. These metrics are based on monthly reports, which only 28% of customers (internal or external) ask to see; even though 50% of businesses make IT decisions based on monthly service desk reports.

IT isn’t entirely to blame for a misalignment with objectives. Senior management usually accepts that technical professionals know what they’re doing; simply letting them ‘get on with it’, rather than exploring how IT can better support growth and efficiency goals. HR has been moving from an administrative into a partner-level operational role over the last few years. Now is the time for IT, providing both parties understand how and where to create value.

IT Service Desk Checklist

Here is a six-point checklist, based on the Service Desk Institute (SDI) Standard; ‘the definitive reference guide for any service desk looking at how and where to improve service levels.’ A four star rated IT service desk, according to the SDI Standard, must demonstrate the following:

#1: Leadership

  • Service desk management are trusted business partners, able to evolve to meet growth requirements.
  • Resources are adjusted according to business demand, to ensure SLA targets are achieved/exceeded.
  • Service improvements are continuous and proactive.
  • The service desk is active in projects that improve performance across an organisation. Improvement is evident trough distribution of timely, meaningful and relevant service information and reports.

#2: Strategy

  • Service desk vision and mission statements are fully aligned with the organisation, with it clear to partners and internal customers that their role is to support and enhance operational efficiencies.
  • Strategic plans exist and are used to support the changing requirements of the organisation. Stakeholders have input and can provide feedback, to ensure visions remained aligned.

#3: Talent Management

  • Service desks use a skills matrix, to ensure job roles are aligned to business needs and changes in the technological environment, providing these are relevant to operational objectives. Innovation for its own sake is not progress.
  • Job description reviews, training and career progression is integrated with staff development and service desk performance.
  • People satisfaction results are also integrated with service desk HR management. Reward and recognition schemes need to be an integral part of how IT leaders manage staff, to ensure they have performance-based incentives.

#4: Resources

  • Workplaces must provide a high-level of ergonomic design, demonstrating value to the organisation.
  • Incoming service requests must be delivered quickly and efficiently, using web or telephony-based ticketing systems, to ensure customers know the incident they report is being handled.
  • Staffing and resource allocation is designed to cope with peak workload times, and long-term strategy implementation.
  • Customers must be told when interaction statuses (for support tickets) change or when SLA’s are approaching a breach, to ensure that stakeholders are kept fully informed.
  • For the benefit of customers, knowledge is seen as a support asset, with results published within the organisation and externally (e.g. blogs, articles, white papers). Self-service is also an important feature of four star rated service desks.
  • Security is top priority. Systems and resources are protected and continually reviewed and evaluated on a regular basis.

#5: Processes, Procedures & Costs

  • Procedures are proactive and focused on how the service desk can improve business performance.
  • There is a comprehensive customer satisfaction programme in place, which includes a follow-up procedure to improve performance when a customer is unhappy.
  • Regular reviews take place to ensure stakeholders are satisfied with service levels, SLA performance and other KPIs.
  • Proactive service desks meet first contact and SLA fulfilment goals for at least one year without failing to hit targets. Re-opened incident rate targets are also in line or above the target set within an SLA.
  • IT costs are within or below expectation, demonstrating that a service desk can achieve efficiencies without excessive costs.

#6: Social Responsibility

And finally, service desks that proactively add value should be aligned with an organisations social responsibility goals. Contributions to environmental policies are also a way that IT professionals can make a meaningful impact on an organisations wider, role in society.

So is your IT service desk hitting any of these criteria? Can you make improvements?

Four star rated service desks have dozens of other criteria to hit, but these are some of the most important and visible when aligning IT with business objectives. As an example of best in class and to demonstrate significant maturity, a 4* IT service desk is an attainment to aspire to, something UKN Group have worked to achieve over the last 6+ years

Did you know that UKN Group are one of only x2 service providers in the UK and one of only x5 globally to have achieved and subsequently retained the prestigious 4* accreditation? Find out what 4* accreditation means to our clients here.

Further Information

Is your IT Service desk 4*?

Benchmark your IT service desk against our 4* checklist.

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