Introducing our new smart guide to peer-to-peer support

I’m delighted to introduce our latest Smart Guide on Harnessing the Power of Peer-to-Peer Support, which is designed to help you deliver more efficient ITSM by capitalizing on untapped knowledge and capabilities within your workforce and ITSM team.

As with several of our recent publications, we’ve developed this one to help service teams that are experiencing increasing pressure from their organizations to do ‘more with less’ ¬– to provide the same level of service, or better, at a lower cost. From talking to clients, I know that this is true of most service teams today. In the downturn, budgets came under pressure, and even now things have started to pick up, organizations often remain unwilling to increase their IT expenditure – and if they do, they want to spend their money on innovation rather than simply keeping things up and running.

The only way to do more with less is, of course, to become more efficient. There are various ways to achieve this, including automating repetitive tasks, eliminating problems leading to recurrent issues, and adopting a ‘shift-left’ strategy.

This new guide addresses the last of these strategies. Shift-left is quite a broad concept, defined by service guru Pete McGarahan as “moving issue resolution to the lowest cost level in the service and support organization, with a focus on resolution at the front line or at the closest point to the customer”. Shift-left started with a drive to resolve more issues at first contact and continued with enablement of self-service, with customers encouraged to help themselves via a portal and to search for their own solutions in knowledge bases.

After this, the logical next step in a shift-left strategy is to promote collaboration and self-help, and this is the main topic of the new guide, which draws on work by Aberdeen Group, reported in the study Embracing 21st Century ITSM. This research found evidence of the value of social collaboration across both IT and user functions, reporting for example that “Best-in-Class firms are 48% more likely to use social concepts as part of workflow and project management, enabling improved team collaboration to quickly and effectively solve issues and improve the relationship with other departments.”

Our guide looks at the practicalities of peer-to-peer support: of achieving greater efficiencies by embracing new technologies and the collaborative outlook of the modern end-user. Among other topics, we outline some scenarios where peer-to-peer support is valuable, describe its business benefits, and offer some tips for making it happen in your organization.

I’ll be discussing some of these issues in more detail in future blog posts, but in the meantime, please click here to download the full guide.

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