IT Support and workforce productivity


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IT support incorporates some fundamental principles, but these need to be considered in today’s context of an increasingly flexible and more demanding workforce. In this presentation, we consider the challenges of modern day support, and how they can be met with a combination of best practices and tools.

· The modern workforce – what’s driving the state of play and what are the resulting needs

· Linking IT support challenges with continuity and productivity needs

· Applying the timeless principles of IT service delivery to an increasingly flexible workforce

· Getting ahead of the game when it comes to IT support – lessons from the front line

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  • IT Support and workforce productivity

    1. 1.<br />IT support and workforce productivity<br />An objective view<br />Jon Collins, Managing Director<br />Freeform Dynamics Ltd<br /><br />May 2010<br />
    2. 2. Agenda<br />The increasingly mobile workforce<br />The productivity myth<br />Why is remote support hard?<br />What’s going to make a difference?<br />
    3. 3. Business is changing – but support requirements stay the same<br /><ul><li>Every business recognises IT’s importance
    4. 4. Some businesses better than others at seeing value of IT however!
    5. 5. People don’t want computers, they want what computers do
    6. 6. When things are “broken” time to repair must be as short as possible
    7. 7. Users require IT systems to “just work”
    8. 8. When things are “broken” time to repair must be as short as possible
    9. 9. Screen and phone are seen as the IT infrastructure
    10. 10. No matter what technical gubbins lies behind the curtain</li></li></ul><li>Meanwhile, users are becoming more mobile<br /><ul><li>“Hot desking”
    11. 11. Workers in many industries are no longer tied to a single desk
    12. 12. Mobile working
    13. 13. Laptop usage now exceeds desktop presence in many companies
    14. 14. Devices are used in other office locations, at customer, partner and supplier premises
    15. 15. Hotels / Airports / “Hotspots” / Home
    16. 16. Home working
    17. 17. Now becoming the rule rather than the exceptionSocial changes / flexible working / saving office space</li></li></ul><li>How many users are tied to a central office location?<br />
    18. 18. Consumerisation is also a factor<br />Looking ahead 12-24 months, do you think you will use the following differently to today, on your mobile phone/s?<br />
    19. 19. Distribution places added pressure on resources<br />“How well do you think IT helps the business achieve its strategic and operational goals?”<br />
    20. 20. The productivity myth<br />That it’s about working faster, smarter, more effectively etc…<br />… whereas it’s as much about removing hurdles<br />
    21. 21. Support everyone / everywhere / with everything?<br /><ul><li>Removing the hurdles means:
    22. 22. Mobile workers need support wherever they are
    23. 23. “Local” support staff may not be available
    24. 24. Often at all hours of the day – computers don’t always crash at convenient times
    25. 25. Ability to “see” device and effect repairs / patches / upgrades wherever customer may be
    26. 26. Diagnose and resolve issues on an increasingly broad set of equipment</li></li></ul><li>Remote support is hard – why?<br />How does providing IT support to remote users compare to providing it to onsite workers?<br />
    27. 27. How much of an issue are the following when providing IT support to remote users?<br />
    28. 28. Other home users causing virus and other related problems<br />Agreeing to be available at a set time<br />Honesty about where they have visited online<br />Strange hours they work<br />Not knowing what else they have hooked up<br />Responses to “Other”<br />thick users<br />Not following instructions<br />Cluelessness<br />general idiocy<br />Getting Remote Users to follow instructions<br />dealing with idiots!<br />Complete lack of IT skills<br />Users not following instructions to the letter<br />The user's IT ability is low...<br />User unable to explain the issue<br />users cannot accurately explain problem, making diagnostics difficult!<br />Users unable to read word for word the error messages on screen!<br />
    29. 29. Taking the users’ perspective!<br />Availability<br />Help desk only working strange times, sometimes referred to as "normal office hours"<br />IT literacy<br />Help desk being barely capable of diagnosis beyond "have you rebooted it?"<br />Communications<br />Help desk being barely able to articulate their name<br />Attitudes<br />Reticence to fix problem, or do anything remotely useful<br />
    30. 30. What do users really want?<br />Overall analysis of almost 1,600 comments gives us the following top three items on the wish list:<br />Faster initial response times – getting to the right person more quickly<br />Faster resolution times, i.e. actually solving the problem more quickly<br />More empathy and clearer communication by IT support staff<br />
    31. 31. No organization has the luxury of a green field site…<br />
    32. 32. Stepping Stones to Best Practice<br /><ul><li>Communicate clearly with the customer
    33. 33. Be proactive during extended service cycles
    34. 34. Be able to remediate remotely
    35. 35. Good communications first!
    36. 36. Remote control / Remote deployment etc.
    37. 37. Know what systems “customers” have
    38. 38. Physical description etc.
    39. 39. Configuration Information
    40. 40. What should be there?
    41. 41. People – process – technology
    42. 42. Have escalation process documented and tested
    43. 43. Make best use of tools
    44. 44. Expect the unexpected!</li></li></ul><li><br />IT support and workforce productivity<br />Objective decision making<br />Jon Collins, Managing Director<br />Freeform Dynamics Ltd<br /><br />May 2010<br />