IT’s mission possible: More with less

Two opposing forces are placing additional pressure on the modern IT service desk; the continual need to stretch resources further is challenging the ability to meet growing end-user expectations, which now includes a wide range of devices and services.  Combine this with growing concerns over data security, and the role of the IT manager becomes an increasingly difficult balancing act.

This doesn’t need to be mission impossible though. With the right solutions and infrastructure in place, IT can – and should – do more with less.  I’ve detailed six tips that, in my experience, have increased productivity and lowered costs to stretch the almighty IT dollar in ways that even Tom Cruise could not.

Share knowledge – IT is the heartbeat of the company. If email goes down or access to the server is impacted, productivity stops. Sharing relevant information between IT team members is a key element to stop this from happening. With the right IT Service Management (ITSM) solution, knowledge libraries can be established so IT isn’t recreating the wheel every time there’s an issue.

Self-serve – As mentioned in my previous post, self-service IT can be an excellent way to meet the needs of users, and if done correctly, it can also save IT time and money. Take the time to learn about your users and the way they would like to receive support. Once self-service tools are implemented, IT can be relieved from solving simple cases (like requesting a password reset) to focus on larger projects. Overall this is a much more effective way to allocate resources.

Automated workflows – Time-intensive processes require IT’s touch throughout the workflow. Plus they can create unnecessary problems due to human error and resource consumption. When workflows are automated, the risk of human error is eliminated; and often the process is completed in a shorter period of time providing a better experience to the end user.

Work green – The cost of powering technology like laptops and monitors is growing every year as more devices are being used in organizations to carry out day-to-day tasks. Implementing a client management tool with power management capabilities can result in substantial savings, not just at the time of purchase but throughout the product lifecycle. Automating power management policies will ensure devices are turned off after hours or when not in use for significant energy savings. There are various energy rebate programs available across the United States, rewarding organizations that implement power management policies for reducing energy consumption. Handing over a rebate check to Finance is an impressive way to illustrate how IT can be more than just a cost center.

Single-screen device management – Switching from screen to screen to view different data may look cool in spy movies, but being able to access all relevant information about a deployment within one console is the real hero movie.  Being able to execute a full range of IT commands via a single screen including traditional security and management services saves time and money for the IT technician and the end-user.

A solution with room to grow – Finding a solution to manage services, processes and people will allow IT to reduce the demands they come across today. However, a strong ITSM solution must have the flexibility to grow with the organization and most importantly the expectations of end-users. This should include the ability to easily transition from cloud-based to self-hosted environments as well as preserve expensive customization work when updating to a newer version.

Saving money and resources can be challenging, so look for ways to streamline processes, save time and empower users. With the right solutions in place it can be mission possible.


Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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