IT Service Management: Great IT Service Management: The Most Important Tools
How would you define the term “digital transformation?”
Does it conjure up images of brand-new computer equipment and innovative new gadgets? Eliminating paper and doing everything digitally? Screens, flashing indicator lights, and robots?
Not really. It’s really not so much about technology!
Digital transformation is all about people and how people change the way they use technology to improve their work, increase their satisfaction with their work, and thereby improve the quality of their lives. When you’ve been doing the same thing over and over again every day and suddenly a computer does that thing for you automatically, that’s a digital transformation! Now you’re free to do more meaningful work that takes better advantage of your skills and is far more interesting and engaging for you.
The first blog post in this series, Great IT Service Management: What You Need to Know — What You Need to Do, discussed how important it is to have great service managers to deliver great customer service. Here’s a look at the tools needed to support great IT Service Management.
What are the Most Important Tools used in IT Service Management?
For many of you, your first thought may have been “Google” for indeed many IT professionals turn first to the search engine when looking for specifications or instructions regarding the repair of a particular piece of equipment or software.
Some may think of screwdrivers, needle-nosed pliers, or other hardware-store tools. Others may immediately turn to software code and scripts they write to fix problems on the network. Still others may list a variety of software utilities they favor.
But when you come down to it, in today’s IT service world our most important tools are the data.
It’s All About the Data
There’s a great deal of information involved in the information technology industry, especially when it comes to servicing IT systems.
Customers – There’s plenty of information you need available to help you better serve customers. Not only who they are and where they are, but also what services they are entitled to under warranty or contract, and what equipment they currently have installed. What’s the service history of all that equipment? You may find one or a few units failing more often than all the others which may suggest a different service strategy. How are each of their units configured? What IP addresses are in use on them? Who first installed them and when? And there’s much more.
Financial – Managing an information service company is very dependent upon financial data. How much revenue have each of your service resources generated? How much have you spent on them? Determining whether or not you’re operating profitably can be tricky when so many different resources are being used for so many different things and costs become difficult to assign. Profitability itself needs to be measured along a variety of axes. How profitably did each service professional operate in the past period? Each team of providers. Each location you deliver services from. Which categories of service were most profitable? Which of your customers were not profitable causing you to consider not renewing them next time?
Operations – Usually you’ll only achieve profitability if you’re operating your service company efficiently. Is each employee moving through their daily workflow on time? Are your field personnel arriving promptly and completing each assignment within budget and on time? Are you fulfilling each of your customer’s service level agreements (SLA) delivering the committed quality of service (QoS) and hitting your targets on all key performance indicators (KPI)?
Employee Experience – Here’s a metric that is often overlooked. Everyone prefers to feel gratified by the work they do. Nothing feels better than performing beyond expectations and knowing that your employers and customers appreciate it. And everyone wants to continue growing in their work. Are your team members proceeding along their chosen career path? Is your company paying attention to maintaining diversity, equity, and inclusion among your workforce? Is there an equal abundance of opportunity available to any qualified employee who works to earn it?
Customer Success – Many focus on customer satisfaction, but that’s only a step along the path. Customers engage you to help them continue being more and more successful in what they’re doing. Don’t stop at just measuring how well you’re doing. Measure your customer’s success as well! How did your work impact their ability to achieve what they set out to achieve? Are you helping increase their profitability? And when you ask them how well they feel you’re performing on various criteria, first establish how important each criterion is to them. Nothing is served by scoring high on something that doesn’t matter to or affect your customer. Measure in context!
Ultimately your path to a successful IT service management operation lies in how much you know and how effectively you use that knowledge. Keep learning. Keep striving.
Senior Resultant Howard M. Cohen is a 35+ year executive veteran of the Information Technology industry who today writes for and about the IT channel. He’s a frequent speaker at IT industry events that include Microsoft Inspire, Citrix Synergy/Summit, ConnectWise IT Nation, ChannelPro Forums, Cloud Partners Summit, MicroCorp One-On-One, and CompTIA ChannelCon, frequently hosts and presents webinars for many vendors & publications.