Empower your users and save millions


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Automated self service can help you dramatically reduce help desk costs while adding value.

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Empower your users and save millions

  1. 1. PUTTING YOUR USERS IN CHARGE COULD SAVE YOU MILLIONS HOW USER SELF SERVICE CAN HELP YOU DRAMATICALLY REDUCE HELP DESK COSTS WHILE ADDING VALUE RICHARD CUDD MARTIN ANDERSON 1E AUGUST 2010ABSTRACT: This whitepaper sets out the 1E view of how organizations could dramatically reduce help desk costs and increase the value that the IT help desk delivers to the business by empowering end users to search for, find and download the applications they need, when they need themAll rights reserved. No part of this document shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic,mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without permission from 1E. No patent liability is assumed with respect to the use of theinformation contained herein. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this document, 1E and the authors assume noresponsibility for errors or omissions. Neither is liability assumed for damages resulting from the information contained her ein. The 1E name is aregistered trademark of 1E in the UK, US and EC. The 1E logo is a registered trademark of 1E in the UK, EC and under the Madrid protocol.NightWatchman is a registered trademark in the US and EU.
  2. 2. ContentsEfficiency, effectiveness and value for money………………………………………………………………………………………………..3Cost versus value………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……….…4Reduced costs AND added value…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5You could start saving money next week..…….………………………………………………………………………………………….…….7References………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………8© 1E 2010 2
  3. 3. Efficiency, effectiveness and value for moneyThe cost of delivering IT service and support to end users continues to be play a significant role in the overall ITbudget of most organizations - according to Gartners recent IT Key Metrics: IT Spending and Staffing Report 2010, ITorganizations spent 7% of their operating budgets on IT service desks in 20091 .In most cases, improved applications, more reliable hardware and more flexible working practices, contrary to manyexpectations, have actually resulted in an increase, not a decrease, in user demands for contact with your help deskteam in the form of calls, e-mails, IMs and service requests.This is especially true as the consumerization of IT takes hold in many organizations, and as the number of devicesand applications that your end users need to utilize, the locations from which they need to work, and the sheercomplexity of doing business all increase at a steady pace.Additionally, a large part of the value that any IT team brings to the organization is based on the interaction of that IThelp desk team with end users. So even though hardware and software reliability has increased, users have becomemore tech savvy and IT has become much better at preventing issues from occurring in the first place, your end usersstill make about the same number of requests of your help desk as they did last year, the year before and the yearbefore that. The perceived ‘value’ of the help desk or of IT in general is as a business enabler – helping the user baseto get on with its job with the minimum of disruption.These factors, when combined, create an ever increasing demand for IT management to improve the efficiency andeffectiveness of the IT help desk, in order to improve the value it delivers to the business, while maintaining a stateof almost constant cost reduction.Rather than simply cut heads (and therefore reduce that perceived value to the business by making themselves evenharder to reach and interact with) many organizations are looking to reduce the number of calls taken by their helpdesk each month by embarking upon improved end-user training schemes, hardware and software updates, andenhanced problem, change and release processes.All those things help, but any expectation of cost reduction must always be tempered by the rate of technologychange and usage within their organization and by the realization that users will continue to make calls, and continueto make requests, unless you find them a better, faster and ultimately easier way to fulfill their needs.© 1E 2010 3
  4. 4. Cost versus value? “An IT organization that takes 30,000 contacts per year and can drive a 20% of issues to self-service can save between $300,000 and $450,000 annually.” Driving the Adoption of IT Self-Service, Gartner, February 4 2010So how much does a call to your help desk actually cost? 2According to Gartner, end users contacts with the IT service desk cost the IT organization, on average, $20.01 . Butcontacts handled by experienced staff, for example for business application installs and hardware upgrades, can costas much as much as $503 each, based on 1E’s own customer data. Given these figures and Gartner benchmarkinganalytics that show that the average number of contacts handled per IT service desk analyst per month is 471 (withina range of between 306 and 6524) for an average organization with 1,000 employees, supporting end users in thisway can get expensive. 2If an average of 25% of calls are for low-level requests (costing $20 ), 25% are for application upgrades and installs 3(costing $50 ), and the remaining 50% are for hardware faults or other miscellaneous issues (say costing a middle-ground figure of $35 per call), we can see that even in a 1000-employee business, help desk support could be costingsignificantly more than some organizations realize.With the IT department, and the IT service desk in particular, under constant pressure to reduce costs, savings of asmuch as $186,5005 per year achieved by handling all these requests via self-service would be a welcome boon to that1000-employee business. And even if only 40% of these calls can be self-served, that company could still save nearly 6$80,000 every year.But direct cost comparisons are not the only measurements that need to be taken into consideration. We also needto consider that notion of business value, and how improved interaction between the IT help desk team and the enduser can also lead to real business benefits.For example, if the business views the IT help desk simply as a cost center, it will only want to drive cost reductions -which usual mean headcount reductions. But, if it views IT service and support as a business enabler, thenperformance metrics will focus on time-to-fix values as well as cost reduction. Questions around how quickly userrequests are serviced or how much down time users experience (and the business costs associated with thatdowntime) waiting for new software to be installed will also need to be addressed.In the end, operational metrics (like cost reduction) must be wrapped up with business metrics (like the time takento service a user request) to closely align the IT help desk to business requirements. The value the help desk bringswill be measured by cost and by these new, more-business-oriented metrics, creating service-level goals thatdemonstrate true business value and meet the expectation of the business users.For example, imagine a world where you could cut help desk costs AND improve levels of service and support tousers. Imagine a world where help desk costs drop significantly, saving you perhaps several hundred thousanddollars (or several millions of dollars depending on the size of your operation) every year, while the business value ITdelivers also increases, because user requests are handled faster and IT service and support is seen as being moreresponsive and more in tune with business needs. Costs fall, but user productivity increases. IT service and supportis a business enabler, not just a cost center.© 1E 2010 4
  5. 5. Reduced costs AND added value?But can you really do both? Can you cut costs AND improve the value that the IT service and support operationbrings to the business?Here at 1E, we believe you can.Gartner research suggests that the average end user will contact the IT service desk to report an issue or place aservice request on average between 1.1 and 1.6 times per month4. As we have seen, during the last decade, ITservice desks across the world have been unable to significantly reduce this figure.So if that figure is unlikely to fall, how do we cut costs and improve value?Well consider how those requests are handled. If a user needs access to a new desktop application for example, theywill call the help desk or lodge a ‘ticket’ online. That request will be managed by an administrator, who may need torequest sign off from the user’s line manager (especially when there is a license cost involved) before he or she canthen either remotely or directly (by visiting the user’s desk) install the requested application. And that assumes theuser is office based, and in the same location as the IT administrator. They may need to support a mobile user, whois sitting in a coffee shop or a hotel room half way around the world, or they may need to send a request to a localadministrator to install the software in a remote regional office. So, with all those factors in mind, how much didthat process actually cost and how long did it take?Taking an average of $50 cost per call or request, by the time we also factor in sign-off processes, involvement byother administrators, user downtime and lost productivity, that request might actually have cost the business doubleor even triple the ‘real’ cost to the help desk.And we also have to take into consideration the loss in perceived value, as the user waits for IT team to install thenew application. What about this ‘cost’? Is IT seen as a business enabler or a business preventer? If the IT serviceand support experience is burdensome from an end user perspective, then it tends to dissuade use and reduces thevalue of IT support.IT self-service solutions like Shopping™ empower both desk-based and mobile workers to download applications on-demand from an online enterprise software store that is more akin to Amazon than it is to a corporate intranet, butcrucially without any help desk involvement.Shopping delivers rapid and significant cost reductions, but, critically, also improvements in the perceived value ofthe IT help desk, by empowering your users to search for, find, request and download applications on-demand. Bysupporting your users to get the applications they need, when they need them, Shopping maximizes productivitywhile removing help desk involvement, driving up efficiency and value, while also driving down costs.So let’s consider our example above and our user request for a new software application. This time, the user logsonto our enterprise software store. They find, perhaps using a search function or by going to specific area within thesite, the application they need, clicking on it and ordering it, as if ordering on eBay.When that request is made, checks are made dynamically to ensure sufficient licenses exist for the software and thenany approval requests required are automatically sent to relevant managers via email. Once requests are approved,the application is then delivered to the user, again without help desk intervention, installing ‘silently’ in thebackground. If no approvals are needed, for example if the application has been written internally, or is consideredfreeware, the download can begin almost immediately. The user can, literally, receive their software in a matter ofminutes, rather than waiting hours or even days.© 1E 2010 5
  6. 6. And Shopping can also be extended to handle requests for other resources just as easily as software, for example toallow users to request desk top power policies, new hardware or even replacement printer cartridges.IT self-service solutions like Shopping do not reduce the number of requests that end user make, but they do pushthose requests away from IT help desk staff, greatly reducing the number of calls and requests that the team dealswith, dramatically cutting costs while also ensuring they add real value to the organization.And rather than just taking our word for it, consider the very real case of Syngenta, a 25,000 user business withoperations around the world, who first deployed Shopping five years ago. With each support call costing between$30 and $50, Syngenta needed to make real cost savings but without compromising on the quality of help desksupport. Shopping now handles around 3,700 user requests per month and has cut help desk support costs by 3$148,000 a month ($1.7m a year), saving over 50,000 hours of help desk support time .© 1E 2010 6
  7. 7. You could start saving money next weekIn many cases of course, the downside of IT self-service platforms is the length of time, and indeed the costs,involvement in actually deploying them.In some instances, it may take a year or more to roll-out these solutions out across a large multi-national business; somany organizations find themselves in the position of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and many monthson installing a platform before they see any kind of return on investment.The beauty of a product like Shopping is that you won’t wait months or years for it to be installed. Out-of-the-boxpre-integration with SCCM means that Shopping can be deployed across even the largest organizations in days,cutting costs and driving up business value almost from day one. And it even integrates with existing tools like BMCRemedy or HP Service Manager if you already have them deployed.The dramatic financial benefits of deploying this type of solution - imagine reducing your help desk costs by $148,000a month like Syngenta did3 - when considered in conjunction with the increase in business value and productivitythat comes from giving users the flexibility to get what they need when they need it without help desk involvement,are reason enough to consider an IT self-service solution.But when those very real benefits are coupled with rapid time to deployment, meaning that savings can be achievedin weeks, not years, then the questions becomes not whether organizations should deploy, but rather when.© 1E 2010 7
  8. 8. References1 IT Metrics: IT Spending and Staffing Report, 2010, 22 January 2010 | Gartner ID Number: G001738772 Driving the Adoption of IT Self-Service, 4 February 2010 | Gartner ID: G001737903 “Shopping from 1E helps Syngenta save over $4.4m by implementing on-demand user self-service” 1E Case Study, July 20104 “Do You Have the Right IT Service Desk Staffing Ratio?”, August 2009 | Gartner ID Number: G001701745 (471 x 25% x $20) + ( 471 x 25% x $50) + (471 x 50% x $35) = $15,543 per month6 (117.75 x40% x $20) + (117.75 x 40% x $50) + (235 x 40% x $35) = $6,594 per month© 1E 2010 8