Why collaborative IT support – and how?

In this new series of blogs I’d like to introduce you to a recent Aberdeen Group report, Building the Connected IT Service Organization by Jim Rapoza.

Let me give you a quick overview of the report here. First, it looks at the needs and expectations of today’s users, and why they have problems with traditional ITSM platforms that can be seen as “closed, restrictive and secretive”. These systems are characterized by:

• Minimal collaboration between IT and end-users
• Inflexible access to support systems
• Lack of visibility of status for users

These traditional platforms typically result in poor user experience and/or poor perception of the IT support function.

The report makes the case for replacing these traditional platforms with new socially enabled ones that “let IT, users and their peers work together to solve issues”.

Based on research into ITSM and businesses that are leaders having implemented collaborative IT support (or “social” ITSM as Aberdeen calls it) as part of their ITSM System. , Aberdeen points out that it’s not enough to add a tool like live chat as an afterthought. Instead, companies need “to integrate collaboration and social throughout their entire IT management infrastructure and make it a key component of most processes and workflows”.

Finally, the report describes Aberdeen research that confirms the benefits of collaborative ITSM. These include:
• Faster solutions for incidents
• Faster delivery of services
• Increased end-user satisfaction
• Fewer support calls and tickets
• Lower IT service costs
Alert readers will know that I’ve been banging the drum for collaborative ITSM – and the closely related concept of “peer-to-peer” IT support – for some time, so it’s good to be able to share independent research that bears it out. In the rest of this series of blog posts I’ll discuss different aspects of the report and research.

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