Service desks should take leading role in process automation to improve business efficiency, but must change tact for departments to accept intervention.
Neil Keating, managing director of BrightHorse says that attempts by IT teams to deliver Enterprise Service Management (ESM) often fail because they are positioned in a way that makes IT look arrogant. “Don’t come in and tell people: ‘we understand exactly what you do and we can automate it.’ Instead, start by asking them about their processes and how they are currently managed. Ask them about the language they use. For example, we say ‘incident’ whereas HR says ‘case’. Understand the challenges they have then suggest how all of some of their processes can be automated.”
According to Neil, larger businesses are probably well advanced in respect to process automation and ESM. But this leaves a massive gap for the small to mid-sized businesses which are typically still using spreadsheets and piecemeal processes for managing things such as HR and marketing. These are the people technology professionals should be engaged with to help improve IT business value.
“Service desks understand process and they understand technology. There are clearly areas in the business which can benefit from this kind of expertise, but any solution needs to be intelligently and sensitively positioned.”
What results are possible from using automation in this way? “Aside from the obvious reduction in human error, I can say with some confidence that most business functions can enjoy productivity gains of 30% and cost savings 20-25%,” concludes Neil.