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Self Service & Automation Are Inexorably Tied

Nigel Martin -
Self Service & Automation Are Inexorably Tied

As the world takes its first tentative steps out of lockdown, the pandemic has forced organizations to reassess their technology stacks and transformation strategies. Advice from global consultancy groups such as McKinsey could not be clearer: act with urgency. To stabilize effectively, re-write your transformation strategy, and re-align your business processes to drive automation and realize the maximum level of efficiency.

Those organizations that remain tethered to a pre-COVID thinking, management practices, processes, and culture, that fail to re-evaluate their transformation strategies, and continue to apply pre-existing plans and previous practices, will soon find themselves on the edge of extinction.

The stakes could not be any higher. In the face of an imminent economic recession and with current funding levels at only 3% of the business budget, IT groups must lead the transformation and support every function of the business through a period of relentless change.

Fortunately, there is a broad consensus between leading global management consultants on how organizations must respond to the oncoming economic storm. Research from McKinsey suggests that over 40% of an organization’s processes can be automated with the technology available today, however less than 5% of organizations are taking advantage of this opportunity. With the rise of self-service retail experiences such as online banking and shopping, the market was already moving towards greater levels of automation and self-service. The severe financial impact of the pandemic on brick-and-mortar retail has driven these trends to unprecedented heights.

Is the new normal self-service?

A report by analyst group Forrester found that self-service had, for the first time, surpassed phone support as the preferred channel for customers in all but the most complex support cases. It is the best way to handle those high-volume, but low-value interactions that the customer would prefer not to make, and the Service Desk would prefer not to take. If given the option to use a self-service channel, most of us choose it, and when it is effective, we neither need nor want to speak with a person.

But to ensure Service Delivery teams are efficient and versatile enough to cope with the new normal, with tools that allow them to rapidly automate, integrate, and adapt to any service interaction across the whole organization, they need more than self-service. They must utilize the largely untapped potential of automation.

Though implementing automated processes in an organization has traditionally been associated with prohibitive cost, time, and reliance on technical gurus, modern Service Management tools have made process automation and integration a walk in the park. By dealing with any repetitive, low-value tasks, automation liberates IT teams from mundane, day-to-day tasks and leaves them free to focus on more valuable work.

To successfully navigate the emerging post-COVID business landscape, investment in Service Management technologies will be crucial and a deciding factor as to whether an organization survives or thrives. IT team must be able to quickly innovate and iterate in an environment of constant change, in addition to becoming increasingly self-sufficient. If your current technologies are unable to support this, you must consider accelerating their replacement.

To find out more click here to read our latest briefing paper on self service automation.

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