If not, an enhanced, technology-based “trouble-ticket” system might be the answer.
If your firm is like most organizations, you have internal IT staff who are responsible for a variety of projects. These may range from provisioning new employees with computer systems to establishing and managing permissions for access to data stores, web apps, and more.
Over time, you may have discovered it is more effective to outsource day-to-day IT maintenance and support to a third-party provider. These issues, while potentially mundane, can derail IT staffs’ work plans. Not only do they crop up unexpectedly; they always seem to occur when staff are in the middle of an important special project.
If this sounds familiar, you likely have some form of “help desk” or “trouble ticket” system, whereby personnel submit problems, either directly or through IT staff, to the external provider for support. These requests may take place via phone, email, online request or all three.
Sound familiar? Then we have some important information to share. Although IT staff need to be involved in overseeing your external IT provider and ensuring users have support, they do not need to be integrally involved in every activity. In fact, they shouldn’t have to get involved, and they certainly don’t need to be responsible for submitting support requests and confirming they are completed.
Rather, they should oversee the effort, intervening only if the system breaks down. Optimally, the majority of IT staff interactions with an external tech provider should be coordinating adjustments that need to be made and/or getting an “extra hand” on special IT projects when they need it.
Making the Connection
So, how can an organization ensure its IT staff doesn’t get bogged down in the day-to-day support that external technology vendors are hired to provide? The solution is to put technology to work for your IT staff and your other workers. Rather than continuing to use an outdated, even manual support request system that invariably requires involvement by IT staff, many organizations are moving to technology-based “trouble-ticket” systems. These platforms offer a variety of benefits:
- Expedite the handling of support requests through electronic delivery straight to the external support resource.
- Enable IT staff to direct IT support where appropriate without excess involvement. For example, they might establish initial support priorities for staff, departments, and projects, but automate escalation protocols for ongoing operation.
- Provide robust reporting that gives IT staff the confidence not to check on every ticket – and also to easily discern when system upgrades or other changes would benefit workers or the operating environment.
- Maintain a database of all reported incidents and actions taken and generate reports at the desired intervals on issues, response time and resolution time to ensure the external provider is meeting its Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Of course, while ticketing systems can substantially reduce the involvement of IT staff in ongoing support issues, they will never take the place of innovation and ingenuity. For that, corporate IT staff should be able to leverage their external IT provider. While day-to-day IT support is vital to your operating capabilities, if that’s your current IT provider’s best game, we encourage you to give us a call.
Carmichael Consulting has long been engaging with its clients to support technology at every level. Not just managing support for office staff, but assuming some of the “heavy lifting” for IT personnel – from exploring ways to increase IT efficiency to designing and managing cloud environments – and fostering significant productivity gains in the process. To request a complimentary evaluation of your current IT environment and its efficiency, call 678-719-9671 (press extension 1) or email