81% of IT people say the work is getting harder. This will have a profound impact on an organization’s ability to execute on their digital agenda. IT people already have a hard job—and as the breadth and complexity of IT’s remit continues to rise, this will have a double impact.
Bigger workload means slower pace of innovation
A larger operational burden will consume more of IT peoples’ time, preventing rapid execution of innovation projects. Estimates show that ticket volumes are up by 35%. So how can you fix it? How can you push back on workloads to create more time? ITSM automation is the antidote to high complexity and bulky routine workloads.
IT people shouldn’t be manually collecting infrastructure data. Automated collection of real-time data gives you hands-free visibility of what’s going on in your IT ecosystem, helping you cut through the complexity. With no blind spots, organizations enjoy better visibility of status and suffer fewer of the surprises that trap IT teams in a firefighting loop. And with less time spent manually gathering information, people have more time to work on solving recurring problems, making performance improvements, and driving planned projects.
There are processes that IT people shouldn’t be doing manually. Workflow automation can shift up to 80% of routine work away from people, giving them more time to focus on digital transformation projects. With tasks such as user administration, password resets, and app provisioning covered by end-to-end automation, large chunks of daily workload can be quickly cleared away. Detect-and-correct automations (which automatically respond to common error states with fixes) make services more resilient and drastically reduce the time spent manually sifting event alerts and working infrastructure issues. Many issues can be identified, logged, and resolved hands-free.
Growing workload increases risk of burnout
Bigger workloads mean more pressure on IT people, bringing an increased risk of staff churn. 95% of HR leaders agree that burnout is driving turnover of staff. Top workers—being more desirable hires—tend to move first when expectations become unrealistic. With a shrinking talent pool, execution of the digital agenda become slower and slower.
An organization is nothing without its people. CIOs regularly state that a shortage of people and skills is a major barrier to digital transformation. Retaining and developing the talent you already have has never been more important.
Employee well-being is a major influence on your organization’s ability to find and keep the best talent. People working in toxic cultures, struggling under unsustainable workloads will leave. Research indicates that at any given moment, 44% of workers are considering changing jobs.
Stress, boredom, and a lack of fulfilment are major factors—particularly in ITSM sphere. Service desk staff typically churn at around 40% per year. A person’s day can switch back and forth from energy-sapping routine work to stressful emergency firefighting. There’s a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of IT people. And that responsibility is growing as technology becomes increasingly interwoven into the fabric of an organization. Think about how many tasks the average worker in your organization could get done with a complete absence of technology.
Part of the formula for better well-being is culture—the behavioural style of environment in which people work. But another big influence on well-being is the work that people do. Is it boring or fulfilling? Repetitive or varied? Are workloads sustainable? Are people routinely working evenings and weekends? Is there time for mentoring, training, and personal development? How about time for rotation into other roles?
Changing the work that people do (fewer phone calls to answer, fewer routine tasks, more time to focus on special projects) can have a profound effect on job satisfaction and well-being through reduction of stress and increases in engagement.
Tackling well-being is an effective antidote to the staff churn that is causing the knowledge and skills (that you need to drive digital transformation) to leak out of your organization. IT leaders need to think carefully about the well-being challenges their teams face—and come up with practical solutions. That means listening with an empathic ear to pinpoint the specifics and create a prioritized roadmap towards better employee well-being.
Tackling IT workloads with ITSM automation should be a priority for enterprise organizations that are struggling to execute on the digital agenda. By automating work, IT professionals can be elevated from working endless work queues to driving engaging and fulfilling projects that make a difference. It’s the work they signed up to do.