IT self-service isn’t the miracle worker we’d like it to be. In fact, companies regularly fail at implementing self-service solutions and miss out on real values such as availability, service levels, user experience, and financial benefits. If the challenge was purely a technical one, it would have been solved years ago. Instead, it’s time to look at the people factor to realize self-service goals.
IT self-service could address as much as 40 percent of all service desk contact volume, according to Gartner. The concept builds on empowering end users to solve simple IT problems themselves, such as password resets, but can also be applied to resource availability such as applications or file/printer access or how-to information. The fact is that people resist change. If that change has value to the organization and taps into a true need of users, you will see adoption. The people problem starts before a solution is selected, when an organization is still discussing what they want to achieve. This planning must include the representation of different groups within the organization - from Human Resources to line managers to communications and end-user advocates. The primary goal of IT, to lower operational costs for the service desk, may not be a concern for the other groups. Their input and perspective will help drive successful adoption.
Once a solution is selected it’s time to plan. Identify the target audiences that are critical to the success of the implementation project. Target audiences have different needs and using a simple communication model can show how to tailor messaging appropriately. Ask yourself “what do I want target audience X to know, feel and do?” Plan implementation activities based on addressing each group, using the support of the other parts of the organization that are involved in the project.
Get them to use it
The easiest way to gain acceptance and adoption is to show the value for the individual. Use the findings from the simple communication model to tell each group how their lives will be better thanks to IT self-service. Values could include: 24/7 availability, faster service, faster escalation, and increased productivity. Showing the value, not just talking about it, is very effective at increasing understanding. Use the service desk to follow through on the self-service message by directing people to selfservice, or guiding them through the process the first time they get in touch.
Check out this recorded webinar: Bootstrapping Self-Service Solutions to put this into practice.
Kevin Sullivan is the Director of Sales Engineering at Specops Software and a former Program Manager at Microsoft.