The corporate IT service desk is currently experiencing a “perfect storm” for change, or, more correctly, for the need to change. In the last few years, a lot has transpired that both adds pressure and provides possibilities for improvement, and the finest IT service desks will be focused on eight major trends for 2022 as firms continue to recover and grow post-pandemic. For many, it will be a case of “change or be changed,” as a service desk’s relevance and value will continue to fade if it does not alter.
In 2022, financial concerns (due to the pandemic) will necessitate increased service desk efficiency.
During the pandemic, most firms saw a loss in income, and when they recover and thrive in 2022, they’ll likely need to focus on costs. Or, to be more particular, on cost-cutting. This is a two-fold priority for the IT service desk. First, there are operational costs associated with IT assistance – maybe even down to the average cost per ticket (and the need to exploit self-service opportunities). Second, the influence of IT support efficiency and effectiveness on the people and business activities it supports, with a clear focus on increasing employee productivity in 2022…
In 2022, IT service desks must prioritize employee experience.
Over the last few years, much has been written about IT support and employee experience. The global pandemic, on the other hand, brought the need to maximize employee productivity into sharp focus, with IT performance playing a crucial part in how distant workers were able to work, and maybe still are (not to mention return-to-office strategies).
Expect the value of employee experience, and by extension, staff productivity, to continue to climb in 2022. This, in turn, raises intriguing concerns about the capacity to cut IT-support running expenses without sacrificing staff productivity. Furthermore, whether increasing IT assistance costs more than it saves in terms of employee productivity, making it a sustainable business investment. This brings us to the importance of an IT service desk…
IT service desks must be able to communicate their worth.
IT service desks have long been regarded as a cost center – perhaps even as a required cost of quality owing to IT difficulties and failures. Despite the fact that an IT service desk does so much more than resolve IT issues, businesses – and not just their IT departments – have shifted their focus from cost to value (which, of course, of still partly dependent on cost). Importantly, the value of a service desk must be defined in terms of business value, not IT value.
In 2022, service desks will have greater “room” to think about and use the benefits of ITIL 4.
In some ways, rather than any sort of ITIL promotion, the necessity for IT service desks to communicate their value will help to drive adoption (given that ITIL 4 is built around the concept of value co-creation). The comprehensive ITIL 4 service desk guidance was originally published in February 2020, but due to the timeframe, IT departments with limited resources had little time to review and implement it. More service desks will finally be able to focus on ITIL-4-driven improvements in 2022.
Intelligent automation options for IT assistance will become more prevalent.
Intelligent automation, including machine learning-based automation, will begin to play a larger role in IT service desk operations in 2022. Whether it’s automating time-consuming manual tasks so that service desk analysts can focus on higher-value duties, or giving more data for decision-making, automation can help. There are already a plethora of IT support use cases that could benefit from intelligent automation, and the breadth and depth of these will continue to expand in response to the need for operational efficiency as well as employee and customer needs.
For IT service desks, employee well-being will continue to be a ticking timebomb.
Regardless of the survey, IT worker well-being remains an unaddressed concern for IT firms. In other respects, the global pandemic aided – despite the added strains on IT (particularly during the early move of employees to homeworking), IT service desk staff in particular were praised for their efforts in ensuring business continuity. However, the IT industry still has an issue with employee well-being, with the inherent pressures of IT support making the IT service desk a top priority for improving employee well-being.
Metrics and targets for IT service desks will have to adapt.
The aforementioned “perfect storm” of changes will not only impact IT service desk capabilities, but it will also necessitate a re-evaluation of IT service desk metrics to ensure that they are measuring the right things, driving the right behaviors, and assisting in the delivery and improvement of required outcomes. Most of the preceding trends will have an impact on the KPIs of your IT service desk in some way.
Whether it’s there is a need to focus on what matters most to business stakeholders, the delivered experience (including the impact on employee productivity), the operational efficiencies that come with intelligent automation, or the well-being of IT staff, IT service desks must ensure that they’re measuring what means a lot most and setting appropriate performance targets.