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Brent Bluth, Ivanti
Just another I.T. manic Monday? Automation can help

Just another I.T. manic Monday? Automation can help

Okay, it’s true. I’m a big fan of the song “Manic Monday” by The Bangles. Released in 1986 by Columbia Records, the song—written by Prince under the pseudonym “Christopher”—was the band’s first hit.

It’s a sure bet Prince didn’t have the IT Service Management (ITSM) world in mind when he penned the lyrics. But after reading the research report “Anatomy of the Service Desk in 2016” prepared by the Service Desk Institute (SDI), the song’s chorus could be the IT analyst’s anthem:

It’s just another manic Monday 
I wish it were Sunday 
‘Cause that’s my fun day 
My I don’t have to run day 
It’s just another manic Monday. 

The SDI report, created from responses to an online survey sent out to more than 10,000 senior ITSM professionals earlier this year, unearthed some interesting findings. For example, most survey respondents (32 percent) said Monday is the day of the week where the service desk is most productive, up from 23 percent when the survey was first administered in 2012.

In response to the question “At what time of day do you receive most of your calls?”, 60 percent of respondents selected 8:00 am to 10:00 am, while 33 percent chose 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. For a variety of reasons, including password and login issues and issues of people working remotely, only a small number of respondents indicate they receive most of their calls after 12:00 pm.

Concerning the question “Do you feel under pressure at work?”, 67 percent of respondents said yes while 33 percent said no. In addition, a majority of respondents (64 percent) agreed that there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete their work.

Ticket volumes rise faster than IT headcount

Couple SDI’s findings with data from Forrester Research that “57 percent of service desks struggle with increased ticket volumes, but only 31 percent are expanding headcount.”

SDI and Forrester Research shed light on the fact that IT departments today need to speed up service response, optimize cost management, and shift resources when needed to react faster to the operating environment of the enterprise.

In the eBook “Five Ways to Modernize IT Service Management,” the third section discusses the necessity to adopt automation. The eBook’s author, Ivanti manager of product marketing Melanie Karunaratne, states: “Recent Gartner research cites the top three reasons for driving organizations to automate:

  1. Efficiency (78 percent)
  2. Cost reduction (58 percent)
  3. Risk mitigation (40 percent)

“Whether you’re aiming to work faster, maintain consistency, or reduce costs, automation can help. Automated service management processes let you refocus your time and resources on strategic activities that support business initiatives and goals.”

Where do you start?

Karunaratne recommends reviewing any routine, low-complexity, resource-intensive tasks such as password resets. “Employing automation to reduce call volumes will deliver immediate value to the operation and the business user experience. Any repetitive request is an opportunity for automation.”

According to Forrester, respondents to one of its surveys reported that “the average cost of resolving a password issue was $31 and that approximately 20 percent of all help desk calls were password-related.”

Enabling business users to access self-service and reset passwords automatically reduces direct contact with your team, offers an enhanced experience, and saves administrative costs.

By Brent Bluth, Ivanti

About Japonica Jackson

Japonica is head of editorial at IT Security Guru. If you'd like to get in touch with Japonica, please email editor@itsecurityguru.org.