by Nancy Van Elsacker | 7/21/16
Email has become a symbol of disparity, even of siloed work, and many argue that it needs to disappear from the workplace, at least in large part. Email leads to cluttered environments and disjointed, indiscernible data that are difficult to track, manage or navigate. Likewise, emails get in the way of work. Organizations are bogged down by it. Unfortunately, email typically mean much less gets done, but email is not going anywhere soon so we need to find a way to work around it.
Here’s a good reason why: Consider what happens when an employee is off from work for an extended period of time. If you are like most companies, you still operate in an email-driven environment. For the employee needing to take time from the office, he or she likely starts the process by sending an email. Because such interactions are commonly tracked using emails and spreadsheets, employee requests are often missed or overlooked. Email and spreadsheet mistakes happen, creating opportunities for additional frustration and misinformation. Think about it: For most organizations, when something is needed, emails are sent. Need computer service, you send an email. Need office paper, you send an email. Need to reserve a room or a car from fleet services, an email is sent. Thus, responses are expected, but communication gets dropped. Tasks go undone. Productivity is lost. Workflow is affected.
With email, there‘s simply no easy way to see if a request is stalled or to pinpoint and eliminate process bottlenecks. With email it’s also hard to analyze and respond to employee needs, immediately or effectively.
Service management solutions solve this problem.
IT service management (ITSM) solutions eliminate the need for useless email trails and through the portals, tasks become trackable; work becomes collaborative; printer paper is delivered; rooms are reserved; computers provisioned; clutter is cleared.
With an integrated service management solution, the ITSM technology allows organizations to connect all systems to a central connected station, meaning oversight of nearly every area of the business to meet employee needs and provide services for all who need assistance. Additionally, service management solutions serve as a central portal that helps make information available to those within the organization that need it whenever they need it, meaning it’s always up-to-date and available through most connected devices, as well as plug users into everything thing they need to function in their roles.
Depending on the organization, the technology solution adapts. The needs in healthcare, for example, are different than that of a school district or municipality, but the solutions can be customized to suit each organization’s need and service protocols.
With such solutions in place, gone is the need for the use of disparate solutions or silos of information throughout the organization. Thus, appropriately, there’s no more need to email the helpdesk or to lift the phone and dial HR. Forgotten conversations conducted in the hallway in passing now can happen just as easy through the ITSM technology. Tasks can be managed and assigned, hours tracked, responsibilities assigned, status updates viewed and followed up on, and facilities cared for easily and in an automated manner.
Need a fix-it ticket for the helpdesk? Just log in and process it accordingly. The request gets forwarded to the appropriate team for processing – not just an individual or a generic team email that may not go answered for periods of time. For most service requirements, the same process is followed, a few clicks and the appropriate department is notified and assigned the task.
Multiple reminder emails are no longer needed; spreadsheets can be used for their intended purpose – tracking numbers and building budgets – and conversations and Post-it notes are eliminated from every area of the organization. Automated ITSM solutions provide organizations the visibility and control required to dig into their organization processes, eliminate current email paths and paper, and create efficiency and accountability for all departments like never before. Additionally, everyone within the organization is able to see exactly where tasks are, how they stack up and how they’re moving along.
In so doing, there’s less stress and frustration for everyone in each area of the organization. Processes can be more easily supervised, progress tracked and congratulations given accordingly for a job well done, or follow up conversations in the event a ball is ever dropped.
Nancy Van Elsacker is president of TOPdesk US, a provider of IT service management solutions for IT, facilities management and HR helpdesks. Its award-winning solution helps process questions, complaints and malfunctions, while optimizing services with a user-friendly application, experienced consultants and expert support. Visit www.topdesk.com or follow @TOPdesk.
Nancy Van Elsacker is president of TOPdesk.