Without question, technology has become the foundation of business operations across every industry. As a result, help desk functionality is becoming increasingly critical. Help desks provide end users with a direct point of contact through which they can receive support for any and all IT issues they experience. The goal of any help desk operation is to provide fast, efficient first call resolution to reduce down time, thereby improving service levels. Adding IT automation can help facilitate this goal to not only meet, but exceed customer expectations at every turn.
To be most effective, today’s help desk operations must adhere to the following best practices:
- Provide a single point of contact to report all IT incidents
- Staff help desk with skilled, knowledgeable support personnel
- Efficiently track all incoming notifications
- Implement appropriate escalation procedures
- Deliver fast and accurate problem resolution
So, what’s the best way to consistently achieve all of these best practices? The most successful help desk operations leverage advanced technology to handle incoming incidents, both reactively – by more effectively managing incoming notifications, and, in ideal cases, proactively – addressing potential problems before they have a chance to develop in the first place. IT automation provides this added level of efficiency and helps to improve the satisfaction levels of both the end user as well as the help desk agents.
IT automation can enhance help desk operations in a variety of ways, including:
- Real-time, end-to-end incident management
- Seamless notification and escalation process
- Improved accountability and ownership
- Remote incident management
- Ability to incorporate automated response with human decision making
- Self-service options for improved end-user experience
- In-depth reporting to measure incident resolution performance and mean-time-to-repair (MTTR)
IT automation can also improve the internal functionality of a help desk operation. Typically, this department is comprised of personnel at differing levels of skill and expertise. Each level has different responsibilities and expectations. For instance, level 1 support personnel are typically the first point of contact for incoming incidents and may have the authority to provide support for more basic requests, such as password resets and system restarts.
Should the first level support team be unable to resolve the issue at hand, it is then escalated to the level 2 group, who are usually more knowledgeable and possess the experience and advanced IT skills necessary to provide more in-depth support. Finally, level 3 support is usually obtained directly from the software or hardware providers as needed. Of course, the goal of all three levels is to restore functionality and get the end user up and running again as quickly as possible.
What if there was a way to alleviate some of the more basic functions of level 1 support, freeing these staff members up to be able to improve their skill levels and assist those at higher support levels?
How much more efficiently would the help desk run in such a scenario?
Or better yet, what if there was a way to manage IT incidents so that problems could be identified and resolved prior to an alert even coming in?
With IT automation, you can accomplish all of this and more.
By automating custom workflows and supplying end-users with self-service options, level 1 support personnel are free to focus their efforts on more important tasks and projects. This instantly optimizes your resources, allowing for an enhanced level of support without the need to bring in additional personnel, which, in turn, looks good for your bottom line. And by automating and executing certain sets of checks and recovery procedures, incidents can be identified and addressed as soon as they occur, in many cases before a help desk call is even necessary.
Want your help desk to function as effectively and efficiently as possible? Want to improve and exceed service levels and create a better experience for both your end-users and your team? IT automation is the powerful tool that will help you do just that, improving business operations overall.