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How to Support a “Bring Your Own Service” Model in Today’s Changing Workplace

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by Jim Kane

The traditional workplace is fast giving way to the office-on-the-go, fueled by solutions that tap the potential of social, mobile, cloud and analytics technologies and populated by a workforce that increasingly depends on devices and services that allow them to interact anywhere and at any time. Though this new workplace may promise increased productivity and efficiency, it also requires new levels of support by the IT service desk.

To prepare for—and to take best advantage of—this next-generation workplace, enterprises need to embrace the “bring your own service” (BYOS) model in which they allow users to obtain software and services via prescribed channels and use those channels for automated support and incident resolution. BYOS can reduce cost and increase customer satisfaction, but it requires users to wean themselves from the traditional service desk and to feel empowered to find answers elsewhere.

At first blush, it may seem the IT organization’s two goals are at odds with one another: to empower users to manage their own devices, data and applications and to provide security, compliance and governance to the enterprise. But these goals are no longer mutually exclusive.

Here are the Top 5 ways enterprises can support the BYOS model:

1. Provide Service Catalog-as-a-Service. The proliferation of the Internet of Things makes it possible for business units to request almost anything with an IP address, creating truly automated customer service. Service Catalog-as-a-Service (SCaaS) offers a set of pre-approved applications and services covering a wide range of business needs in a retail-inspired, online shopping experience. The most successful companies will have a cloud-based service catalog that is designed with input from business users and continually updated over time.

2. Refer to the masses via social media. Because the IT service desk can’t possibly know every answer about every service available to users, it can encourage the use of social media through communities of interest within the organization, where users can ask a question of a colleague and obtain a fast and relevant answer. Yammer, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are effective entry-level platforms that can ease the pain of transition toward IT self-service.

3. Create and publish trusted knowledge. When employees need to resolve an incident, they prefer to access knowledge assets that come from IT, such as frequently asked questions. Keep these sources of information current and valid so they, in fact, prove to be trustworthy. Users must have absolute confidence in the services they are using or they will seek what they need from another service; help build this confidence by providing them with easy access to the right information.

4. Consider the benefits of hyper-automation. Artificial intelligence and natural language processing autonomics, such as IBM’s Watson and Wipro’s Holmes, can perform simple and repetitive tasks at a much higher rate than a human can. These programs can handle tasks such as automatically routing and assigning service-request tickets, generating suggested resolutions based on similar previously solved issues and conducting automated chats and tasks over the Internet. This kind of automation prevents many incidents before they occur and resolves them when they do, turning them into “learned events” that can be automated the next time.

5. Set up kiosks and genius bars. Kiosks, genius bars and equipment vending machines that are strategically placed near users enable them to visit on their own time when they need to resolve a specific issue or seek assistance with a new service.

Just as it brings a new set of advantages, today’s workplace is also posing a new set of challenges, but one thing is for sure: the IT Service Desk cannot do its job if it does not change with the times.  Enterprises that are including BYOS methods in their sourcing solutions and seeking forward-thinking service providers will be in a position to leverage these changes for the benefit of the business. ISG can help you prepare your service desk for the future. Contact me to discuss.

About the author

Jim has in-depth experience in assessing and managing complex IT Infrastructure engagements focused on helping corporations achieve their business objectives. He offers expertise in strategy assessment and development, statement of work, service level agreements, business-driven RfP development, transactions, contract negotiations and transition planning across IT Infrastructure areas and expertise in IT service management integration. Jim has worked with global enterprises in the automotive manufacturing, banking and financial services, healthcare, utilities, aerospace and retail industries, focusing on collaborative techniques with clients and service providers to achieve the desired business outcomes. He recently led the negotiation of a large infrastructure contract with a utilities company and a cloud computing transition. Included in this successful project was the development and execution of the sourcing strategy, assessment and transaction process and project management, negotiation strategy development and financial proposals and executive leadership communication. Jim is ITIL V3 Foundation certified and a thought leader on the topic of the digital workplace.