Digital Future

Why The Coffee Machine, When You Can Be At The Café Changing The Service Conversation With Business?

When technology stepped out of the IT organization into the enterprise’s business, and indeed into the day-to-day life of its many functions, the role of the service management director changed irrevocably. No longer was it enough to keep systems humming; business expected technology to help it innovate faster, better, bigger so it could stay relevant to customers and ahead of competitors. And it wasn’t going to wait in line at the service desk for every little IT fix. Not when it had a considerable IT budget of its own that it could use to find a quicker, better solution elsewhere.

Clearly, the past few years have been some of the most challenging – and yet times of great opportunity for service management leaders. The opportunity to better understand who its customers really are — not just the end users but the ultimate customers of the business. The opportunity to convert the tons of data cordoned off in organizational silos to valuable insights. And to nurture a digital-first mindset that compels them to stop asking “Who can approve a change?” and instead think about “What makes a change necessary?” Yet, instead of focusing energies on delivering great service experience for great business results, several service management heads have still been caught up micromanaging a large IT service force and a larger legacy systems muddle.

Fortunately, relief has begun to take shape in the form of solutions that promise a cloud-based, plug and play way to automate the service desk. To be able to predict and prevent issues, and for issues that inevitably occur, to track them through resolution on an AI-enabled, self-service portal. Imagine being able to isolate the details of the initial affected customer and comparing those against your larger customer base, to arrive at the customer segment to proactively fix the issue for. Or to be able to identify service issue trends early with enough time left to solve them for current customers, while addressing the root cause to prevent future customers from experiencing the same issue. And yet, seasoned managers worry about a year or longer of service disruptions while the wonder solution is being deployed. Also, about the fragmented tools and legacy system. And the sub-optimal processes and governance game plan that mere automation won’t fix.

If you’ve been there, done that, then you know that in the hands of an experienced implementation partner with the right accelerators and frameworks, the solution can be made ready for use in a matter of weeks. Consolidation and rationalization - of the investments already made in legacy tools and processes - also achieved. And yet the ask is for something more. More than just conveniences built over this automated core. Undoubtedly, service catalogues, persona-based dashboards, and the knowledge repository when made accessible by simply commanding a chatbot are invaluable productivity enhancers. But, the real challenge is to bring all of this – first inside the IT organization, and then to also take it all out – outside of the IT department - to the key functions of business. To HR service management, to project portfolio management, to expert appointment management and to security operations management. This means a new joinee in a firm self-serving herself with her welcome kit with just a click. Getting that appointment with the company’s counselor with just a click. Being mobile-alerted to a potential security hazard in real time. And while at it, knowing it’s all customized for the specifics of a business – restaurant, store, manufacturing, travel and more. Now that’s the real ask. The real aspiration. To finally be able to stop making those endless trips to the coffee machine to get that caffeine pick-up you need to manage the next service outage threat, the next hunt for experts to staff the crack team, the next set of demands from the CEO’s office, and to simply head to the café to chat with business about the great ways you’ve uncovered to manage the way people experience service for IT and beyond.

I’d like to think it’s possible. In fact, I know it is.