Mar292017

With a rising number of software products, social platforms and stakeholders involved in IT procedures, it is no surprise that up to 80% of downtime is caused by either human error or a failure to follow set processes. How can IT service desk managers improve efficiencies, reduce risk and manage communication in a crisis? Nick Hawkins of Everbridge explains a new approach to service desk communications.

Cyber-attacks cost UK businesses a total of £34.1 billion between Summer 2015 and 2016, with each attack costing an average of £4.1 million and taking 31 days to resolve. It is the responsibility of the IT service desk to reduce mistakes and maximise IT system uptime. When IT systems go down an organisation needs to be able to communicate with its employees and co-ordinate an effective response. The longer this process takes, the bigger impact the crisis will have.

A cloud-based critical communication platform such as Everbridge can transform daily IT processes and reduce costly downtime during an IT outage. As cloud-based critical communications are not reliant on one network, organisations that use the platform to send out emergency notifications are assured that the message will get to the right people. Most organisations rely on internal email to communicate in the event of a crisis, despite the fact that a cyber-attack might have compromised the internal network. In doing so, organisations are exacerbating the issue and potentially providing hackers with critical company information.

Rethink communications
IT service desk managers should seek a critical communications platform that offers multi-modality and two-way communication. No communications channel can ever be 100% reliable 100% of the time, so multi-modality transforms the speed at which people receive the message.  By facilitating communication via multiple communication devices and contact paths including email, SMS, VoIP calls, social media alerts and mobile app notifications, the platform ensures that it is easier to receive a message.

Two-way communication makes it simpler to confirm a response. In a critical emergency every second counts, so organisations can use communications platforms to create and deliver bespoke templates that require a simple push of a button to respond to. In doing so, the level of response to critical notifications can increase significantly.

Nick Hawkins, Everbridge

For instance, if a cyber-attack compromises an e-retailers website, every second costs the business money. An IT engineer must be located and available to help as fast as possible. Two-way communications enables the business to send an alert to the IT team giving them the option to reply with “available and onsite”, “available and offsite” or “not available”. Organisations can build a clear picture of the incident and prepare for downtime if necessary.

For IT service desks to succeed in the digital age, critical communications plans should be developed to embrace automation. Traditionally a manual paper process, revenues and reputation hinge on transformative critical communications technology.  Mastering service desk communications has become a crucial consideration, make sure you’re ready to respond.

Nick Hawkins is managing director EMEA, Everbridge.

To find out more about Everbridge, visit stand 217 at SITS17.

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