Businesses wrestling with GDPR compliance highlight a problem all too familiar to service desks – lack of visibility. Eric Wright of Richmond Systems says now is a good time to get a better view.

It happens to everyone learning about GDPR. It occurs when you realise the enormity of what the new directive governing customer data privacy is demanding. It’s that moment when you think: “hang on, we’ve got customer data EVERYWHERE.”

Of course, once you’ve recovered your poise and started to think logically about the storage and processes related to customer data, you realise GDPR is not the end of the world. It just requires diligence and a logical mind to dissect and rebuild in the model as demanded by the new directive. 

This lack of visibility is like a General being tasked with defending a territory without being given a map of said territory.

GDPR does, however, force service desks to address a problem which it may have so far side-stepped: their own blindness.  By design, service desks sit at a critical business fulcrum. Service desks span systems and departments in a way that few other business functions do. This means the service desk is connected to many systems, with dozens of integrations and connectors needed for it to perform the job it was tasked with. 

GDPR diligence
GDPR requires businesses clearly defined, map and prove how they collect customer data, where that data is stored and what it is used for. The patchwork of systems used by service desks, and indeed the entire business, makes this a more laborious and tricky task.

In some respects, the fact that GDPR offers a clear and pressing example of the challenge faced by service desks is a gift. Because to address GDPR correctly, service desks need to gain improved visibility of the systems it uses and interacts with. And the act of doing this will help service desk enormously – the benefits continuing way past the point when we stop worrying about GDPR.

Service desks preside over an enormous, ever-expanding sprawl of technology, software applications and data. But despite having responsibility for this mass of IT, the service desk doesn’t always know what it is managing, where it is located and even how it is used. 

This lack of visibility is like a General being tasked with defending a territory without being given a map of said territory.

Gaining insight
So how can service desk unravel this and gain the insight needed? The most obvious starting point is software asset management. You can’t manage what you can’t see, and you also can’t accurately map or prove how customer data is used without knowing the software which collects and stores it.  So it’s important that service desk managers use the asset management tools available to them.  If there’s no such function built into your current service desk software, or the cost to add it is prohibitive, speak to us – our asset management tools are built into our core service desk tool.

Of course, once the service desk has accurate software asset data, it can be more effective at supporting them. Our software lets you assign software to departments or individuals, speeding up the support process and improving the accuracy of tickets.

Beyond software, service desk should run an audit to see what tools they use and support, and what systems they integrate with. Again, unless you know this, it’s impossible to comply with GDPR. Decent reporting will establish what is used and what is redundant and again, your service management tool should offer this. If it’s clear that systems are being used which impact the operations of the service desk, it is worth investigating whether you can improve integration or at least gain access to reports to see the state of play more readily. And again, beyond GDPR this effort will pay dividends as it will give service desks much greater understanding of the IT infrastructure it oversees.

GDPR may be causing a headache. But it’s also a great opportunity for service desks to review the sprawl of IT they oversee and improve the visibility of what it manages.

Guest post by:
Eric Wright, Richmond Systems

Eric Wright

Managing director, Richmond Systems

Eric is managing director of Richmond Systems. He is highly experienced dealing with service desk customers who want to improve the efficiency and quality of their customer support, using smart technology including remote support and self-service.

Articles mentioning Eric Wright

More like this

, , , ,

No comments yet.

Have your say

%d bloggers like this: