It’s time for businesses to learn from those experiences and move on to the next generation of IT self-help — the kind that’s transforming workforce enablement for enterprises and reducing IT costs. But first, let’s talk about what’s fueling the need for companies to consider these platforms.
IT help desk support is expensive.
Think about most of the calls your help desk support team receives. Something isn’t plugged in properly or needs to be restarted. Employees have trouble logging in and accessing files or the printer, or they face wireless network access or other network issues. Many of these problems can be resolved with level one support, but it still takes time to complete these and other repetitive tasks. And time is money.
Based on metrics from PortalGuard, the average cost per help desk ticket in 2014 was $25 to $30, assuming a worker used the company’s IT ticket system or help desk phone line. The more manual the task, the more expensive it is to complete.
However, if a user steps outside the self-service portal and, say, emails the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or a senior IT member, the problem becomes even more expensive to resolve. One of Insight’s directors of IT, Matt Skaff, jokes about how commonplace this practice actually is. In doing this, “you turn a 10-minute, $10 problem expense resolution into some tens of thousands of dollars of labor.”
That estimate may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but think of the opportunities lost while the CIO is overseeing the completion of this task. This may be why more organizations are starting to realize the value of time-saving, self-service solutions.
Self-service IT reduces costs.
The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has enabled the accessibility of repetitive task automation and chatbots, among other things. Repetitive task automation is an example of self-service IT that quickly meets the needs of end users, at a lower cost to the company. Brian Gatke, director of technical services at Insight, illustrates how this could work.
“Fifty to 100 Microsoft accounts are going to change each day. In a month, there are a lot of changes that can happen. So we can write AI and scripting that will take care of this repetitive work for us,” he explains.
In a situation like this, it’s a win-win for the end user and the company. The company saves money because the CIO and salaried and hourly employees are freed from taking care of something that can easily be handled by a computer, and employees are happy because their problems are resolved quickly. Not to mention, the IT department has more budget and bandwidth for innovation rather than fulfilling endless help desk requests.
This brings us to the next reason why IT self-service is an asset to companies that invest in helpful technologies.
Employees are bringing consumer habits into the workplace.
On any given day, employees will touch more self-service portals in the consumer space than we would have the patience to identify. Companies are making things such as apps and web-based logged-in experiences increasingly available due to the cost-saving benefits and customer engagement opportunities they provide.
This is evidenced by the increase in digital touchpoints offered by major companies. For example, the Starbucks mobile app allows coffee lovers on the go to preorder drinks prior to pickup. Panera Bread Company enables patrons to skip the line and order their soup and salad from a kiosk. And most airlines provide online flight booking with complete price transparency and the option to choose a seat.