By 2019, more than 60% of software will be held outside the business in the cloud according to 451 Research.  Eric Wright of Richmond Systems considers where this trend leaves service desks. 

Whether it be private cloud on-premise, hosted private cloud or software as a service, cloud software has utterly changed the way that business technology is deployed. When more than half of the software used by the business is located elsewhere, the complexion of IT delivery and its associated support will have changed beyond recognition.

Whereas once, IT teams were able to physically install, support and therefore control all the software used by the business, cloud means they have lost control over what is often business-critical software.

Eric Wright, Richmond Systems

It’s not just software that’s ‘left the building’. There’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) expanding the range of technologies used by the business. And there’s Managed Service Providers (MSP) ripping whole chunks out of the IT estate and managing it elsewhere. It’s not hard to imagine a future where the only IT in the building is the network connection and the devices.

Evolution of  trend
However, while this is a dramatic change for IT support, it merely represents the continuation of a trend to evolve IT service.  We’ve already watched as the hardcore technology helpdesk gradually morphed into the multi-service, triage-style service desk. Now advances in self-service and automation mean that service desks today are less about delivering information and more akin to technology consultants.   

This transformation will become more pronounced. Service desk staff are increasingly employed for their empathy, communication skills and ability to build relationships. Technology knowledge today is becoming less important than the ability to fit into this growing IT eco-system.   

It’s no surprise that SIAM (Service Integration & Management) and Business Relationship Management (BRM) have become such important topics within our industry.  Both are less concerned with the technology itself, focused instead on creating a harmonious connection between these multiple suppliers and parties to deliver the IT the business needs to work effectively.

IT as a commodity offering may be leaving the building. But the need for IT people IN the building who contribute to creating the cohesive technology needed to drive the business forward is greater than ever.

Eric Wright is managing director of service desk software supplier, Richmond Systems.  

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James West

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