New working patterns call for new solutions
There are many situations where an employee needs to be connected to the office network – when they are travelling, on vacation, or simply working from home. In response, companies around the world are becoming more and more interested in the home office, mobile services, and collaboration platforms. The modern employee experience should be easy: take your laptop home, connect it to the network, and … enjoy the same experience as you would have working from the office. The question IT directors now need to answer honestly is whether their IT organization is ready to support staff working away from the office most of the time?
IT follows business needs and dreams
IT users learned in their private lives how to use mobile applications and streaming platforms (Netflix, Spotify) and now they expect the same level of IT experience they have as digital consumers. The challenge for IT organizations is that users unconsciously expect the excellent “look and feel” but transforming it into a development functionality can be difficult. The key aspects that define the success of the “experience” result from simple design: a user-friendly interface supported by intuitive navigation and “natural language.” In real life, however, finding the link on the webpage is often a treasure hunt and leads to users’ frustration. That’s why it is so important to ensure that modern digital IT service management meets users’ needs.
Solution: Connected employee, now
ServiceNow is the market leader for IT service management applications. The platform offers flexibility in functionalities, letting IT users choose how they interact with IT personnel and receive support. Several options are particularly interesting and definitely should be on the ITSM development roadmap.
At the top of the list is a user portal with a set of catalog requests – find the service you need (new software/hardware) and click “order.” This is convenient, easy, and quick – home office workers can use the portal 24/7 and don’t need to wait on the phone for their turn. Apart from a well-designed service catalog, users can also browse the Knowledge Base, check FAQs, or consult the community. The Now Portal is the starting point for all IT users looking for advice, knowledge, and support.
The second interesting possibility is chat (Connect Support). This platform functionality allows for real-time interaction with an IT service desk agent. Users can use chat and request incidents, log new requests, and send files (e.g., screenshots). This is a convenient alternative to contact the service desk instead of making a phone call. The ‘Connect’ plugin makes it possible for one agent to handle multiple conversations at once – which can really make a difference in reducing incoming call volume.
Thirdly, another option is a virtual agent. In the chat window it provides a pre-populated conversation topic choice list. It is capable of checking or updating users’ tickets or raising new incidents in an easy-to-follow manner. Finally, in predefined cases, or upon request, the virtual agent can redirect the current conversation to the IT service desk agent. The platform administrator can create new topics and train virtual agent as new services are introduced.
The mobile application (Now mobile app) is the crème de la crème of digital support. Why not have all of the above at your fingertips? The service catalog, agent chat, virtual agent are now available from your mobile – just click to be connected.
Are you ready to work from home?
Working from home requires a reliable network, well configured mobile devices, and a digital experience that gives you fast, easy, and intuitive access to your IT services. Try the experience when you are on your own – without any colleagues around to help you connect to your VPN. This is the time for a big test: convert all your next week onsite meetings to conference calls. Get comfortable in a quiet corner of your home with good natural light. Now, having everything set up, this is the moment to test the experience your IT gives you. How easy is to consult some small queries with your peers? How quickly can you get in touch with the service desk agent to follow up on your request? Is your user experience comparable to the one you have on streaming platforms you LOVE?
Principal Service Management Consultant