When you’re asked to justify how your IT department spends their time, do you have a solid response, or are you left grasping at straws to answer for their antics? This is a big cause for concern among some larger enterprises, despite the fact that there’s plenty of work to be done. IT support resources often spend their time performing tasks that aren’t necessarily their responsibility; and, often can be thought of by management as just plain wastes of time.
How can you make sure that your IT staff is paying attention to their goals and providing value to your enterprise? It starts with working with them to ensure that they understand what’s expected of them, what kinds of services they are supposed to provide, and to make sure they understand the organization’s goals. Once these details have been ironed out, you can optimize workflow processes through the use of service level agreements (SLAs) and your company’s customer relationship management (CRM) or professional services automation (PSA) interface.
Clearly Define the Duties and Expectations of Technicians
Before you can expect your IT department to be productive, they first need to understand what’s expected of them. One of the best ways to do this is by organizing a department-wide meeting and saying, in very clear terms, “This is what’s expected of you–don’t deviate from these responsibilities.” Another alternative is to issue an important bulletin that lists their duties and responsibilities. Either way, it is integral to make sure they’re aware of what they need to do. Once you do that, they’re accountable for their actions.
Set Goals and Metrics for Use in Refining Processes
You can take the aforementioned process one step further by implementing goals and metrics that need to be met. In this case, you can perform a monthly audit that takes a look at how productive each individual technician was. If they don’t meet certain requirements, or are prioritizing the wrong projects, you’ll know, and you’ll be able to address these issues as they pop up. Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine your enterprise’s IT goals, and be able to express them to ensure that they don’t fall flat.
Develop a Service Catalog
It’s often the case that an end-user puts in a support request, but their request won’t be an issue that falls under the IT department’s responsibilities. To resolve this problem, you can implement a service catalog. A service catalog is a list of services that your IT department is responsible for. This gives your IT department a resource they can consult in the event that they don’t know if it falls under their current responsibilities. You can also distribute this catalog to your end-users so that they know whether or not to reach out to your IT department for certain problems.
Consider Implementing Service Level Agreements for Internal Departments
Service level agreements are great ways to keep your internal departments aware of priority levels for specific maintenance. When your IT department is issued a request, it will be assigned an SLA as per the aforementioned goals and the severity of the issue. An SLA could include, but isn’t limited to: the conditions of service availability, expectations for resolution, responsibilities of both the IT department and the end-user, escalation policies, and the overall cost per time ratio. Of course, these policies also need to be managed and adhered to, so once you put them into place, be sure to enforce them. You can monitor metrics, implement a reporting process, and consistently update the terms of the SLA in order to get the best return on investment from this process.
Use PSAs to Assist with Internal Work
If implementing SLAs sounds like too much work, there’s a way to simplify this process–by using professional services automation (PSA) solutions. PSA systems provide a plethora of services in one solution, including (in many cases) scheduling, audit trails, and so much more. This helps to resolve one of the most overarching complaints about IT support, which is that IT doesn’t respond in a timely manner. With a PSA, your end-users have a single point of contact for their support requests, which gives them no excuses for failing to receive support. Plus, the PSA gives your internal team the ability to thoroughly document the experience throughout the course of the request. In fact, it’s practically necessary to be using a PSA, as otherwise your internal IT department can get overloaded with requests–the fallout of which ultimately falls on you. With a PSA, you can have solid statistics and proof that your IT department is succeeding and performing according to your specifications. Furthermore, some of the most popular customer relationship management (CRM) solutions also can provide the type of end-to-end support you are searching for.
Perhaps the best way to alleviate the troublesome wastes of IT resources is by adding some more resources of your own. The cost of a technician’s salary may not seem appealing to your IT budget, however. To resolve this problem, IronEdge Group provides co-managed IT support for enterprises that need to see more productivity and efficiency out of their business, but don’t necessarily want to take on the expense and headaches associated with hiring additional employees. Co-managed IT succeeds by outsourcing some of the more menial tasks, such as help desk support and patch installation, to IronEdge Group’s professional It technicians. The goal is to cut down on the responsibilities that your IT team has and to give them more time to innovate and implement new cost-effective solutions.
Could a co-managed IT solution be the answer to your productivity issues? You can contact us anytime through our website or call us at (713) 574-5555 to see how we can supplement your internal IT team’s ability to support your business’ crucial computing infrastructure.
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