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BYOD step 3: define what you support

ITSM, for better or worse, has largely been about creating an absolute structure for managing business services: if action X takes place, process Y kicks in and leads to conclusion Z. Adopting the “stop, look and listen” approach to BYOD that I recommended in my last post means this rigid approach no longer fits.

A flexible, business-centered approach to service delivery

The future of the service desk, not just in the context of BYOD, will be defined by a flexible approach to solving technology challenges. The starting point is to ask business users what’s really important to them. The answers may surprise you – for example, they may need peripherals for their tablets more than they want updated PCs every few years. Then define the services you can provide to support those requirements, and continue to refine the list over time based on their feedback.

The aim should be to become like a hotel concierge, providing what users need on demand and helping them to use it. For example, the service desk can help newly recruited salespeople to register for mobile access to enterprise applications, show them how to connect with colleagues who use the same type of kit as them, and provide any additional peripherals they need. That way, they can get on the road fast.

Flexibility mustn’t mean loss of control

By breaking away from the traditional rigid structures, service desk teams can contribute far more value to the business than they have in the past.

However, the team needs to create and adhere to some basic rules in order to be able to prove that they are making that contribution. The average service desk doesn’t know how much it costs to support the Office suite per customer per month. The problem is there are multiple factors around training, cost to deploy new options, costs to support. Yet because we don’t know these costs, when a salesperson offers to take the problem away for $25 per month, the CFO accepts because it is a tangible number.

The team therefore needs to use analytic and reporting tools to quantify and demonstrate the costs and benefits of its work. It is important not just to measure the cost of new services, but also the savings made by eliminating redundant support services.

A BYOD approach that saves money

The approach I’ve outlined here saves money by helping you zero in on what’s really important to the business and eliminate generic services that are not. You offer a limited range of services for BYOD based on customer input, and refine them based on further feedback. The key is keeping the parameters fluid, with the option to change in line with user requirements.

This way, you can perform what looks like alchemy, offering an expanded range of support while reducing costs.


Gerry Sweeney

Written by Gerry Sweeney

Our CEO, Gerry Sweeney, founded Hornbill in 1995 and launched our very first product Supportworks, a Helpdesk tool used by IT teams. Gerry is an industry beacon for innovation, ensuring the Hornbill platform has the fastest release cycles to deliver the market with the latest in workflow automation, service management and collaboration.