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Why a functionality gap prevents service desks meeting user expectations – and its impact

Gerry Sweeney -
Why a functionality gap prevents service desks meeting user expectations – and its impact

Last time, I introduced the idea that many service desks are lagging behind user expectations and that this is usually due to their ITSM solution. I now want to look in more detail at why that happens.

Obviously, nobody makes a deliberate decision to use an obsolete solution. What happens in most cases is that your ITSM vendor introduces innovative new functionality but you get stuck with an out-of-date version because the upgrade process is much harder than they expected. Typically, these organizations have customized their solution, and as a result the time, resources and costs associated with moving the customizations forward mean it’s not practical to upgrade. Sometimes, abandoning customizations may not make it any easier.

Your service desk team becomes stuck with increasingly outdated service desk technology. The longer this situation persists, the wider the functionality gap between available, innovative features and what your service desk agents actually have at their disposal.

IT departments stuck on an out-of-date version face the following consequences:

Wasted time and staff burnout. If your agents are constantly resolving repeat incidents via a complex interface, then not only are they wasting valuable time but they are also more likely to burn out and leave.
Opportunity cost. By persisting with a legacy ITSM solution, you limit your potential to provide quality service and miss out on potential cost savings and efficiencies.
Dissatisfied customers. With customer expectations rising and a team that’s struggling with an inadequate ITSM solution, customer satisfaction with the service desk rapidly gets eroded.
Negative perception of IT. The reputation of an entire IT organization can be damaged by an ineffective, outdated service desk. You risk being seen as a mere supporting function, instead of a proactive, agile business partner who knows how to get the best from technology.

All these risks are easily avoided by moving to a next-generation ITSM solution and following four strategies that I’ll discuss in the rest of this series.

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