How Sightsavers enhances IT visibility with service manager
The IT function is at the heart of any organisation, a failure to get this right can have untold repercussions across the entirety of the business, and ultimately undermine an organisation’s ability to operate cohesively and effectively.
This is no different for the charity sector, where organisations are often hamstrung by legacy systems, tighter budgets and multiple conflicting pressures. To further complicate matters, many charities operating on a global humanitarian scale are often expected to respond to rapidly changing circumstances across multiple locations. IT systems which allow rapid response whilst unifying departments is paramount to effective operations.
A great example of an international charity which has overhauled its IT Service Management (ITSM) systems in order to streamline operations is Sightsavers. Sightsavers is a global organisation represented in 40 countries working to prevent avoidable blindness and tropical diseases in some of the world’s poorest developing nations. Headquartered in Haywards Heath, UK, Chris Porter is the charity’s Service Desk Team Lead and describes how this life affirming charity has come to rely on cloud-hosted Ivanti Service Desk as the core component for unified process management across the organisation.
“Ours is a journey of maturity as the functionality of our new IT Service Desk has steadily grown across teams to now serve 600 users,” Porter reflects. “Within 2 years, Service Desk has become the go-to to deliver all aspects of service, from logging IT faults, to helping staff on-board, to safely booking travel across some of the most hazardous, war-torn countries in the world.”
One of the core tenets of Sightsavers is transparency and efficiency across all functions. However, before its digital transformation its service infrastructure was siloed from other departments outside of IT.
Whilst the charity’s legacy service desk was cloud-accessible, it lacked the necessary customisation to expand out of IT. Other departments, such as finance and web design, were keen to incorporate the benefits from streamlined IT processes and workflows, however, the previous IT setup meant that they were immobilised by default forms and restricted dropdowns that weren’t built for their functions. The inability to customise IT meant that platform usage fell as employees resorted to using paper forms, randomly accessible over shared drives and intranets.
To become more efficient, the IT function was split into two, with a newly created IT Services function that would deliver improved service management. Now part of Corporate Services, the team decided that Ivanti Service Desk and Ivanti partner, CTMS, would help them deliver ITIL based process management that would unify all departments within the charity. Now, every department that makes up Sightsavers from Corporate to Compliance uses Ivanti Service Desk.
Implementing a dedicated Service Desk hasn’t just helped the organisation to streamline processes, it’s also been critical in helping the Travel Team to mitigate risk during the worldwide deployment of staff. In the past, travel requests involved submitting multiple lengthy forms, which were located in different country-specific SharePoints. This process was not only impractical, but also slowed down the charity’s essential operations, jeopardising staff’s ability to travel quickly and safely.
The newly implemented system now offers a dynamic, end-to-end booking process that also pinpoints current travel risks and flags these with other appropriate departments. Within a tailored Risk Register created in the Ivanti system, employees can now quickly view all countries, their associated risks and highlight problem areas that may require extra caution or action ahead of departure.
Porter said, “Mitigating risk and safe deployment of our staff, eye-care specialists and doctors has been the single biggest advantage in unifying our processes. Today we feel able to mobilise and deploy our staff with greater confidence and speed. That in turn helps us to save and positively impact more lives, especially in zones prone to conditions changing.”
The HR department has also seen major improvements underpinned by IT, particularly when on and offboarding staff. Previously, new employees would generate multiple request forms which were mostly unsearchable. Ivanti’s interwoven processes between HR and IT have significantly reduced the number of forms by 80%. This ensures that new employees are on and offboarded quickly and correctly.
Porter feels that the charity is still maturing, but by getting the IT function under control, there is an undeniable increase in service levels. He explained, “Overall we wanted to increase efficiencies across departmental processes, and in doing so we now have better empathy with all teams’ needs.”