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IT And The Ugly Ducklings

By Julian Ratcliffe, Sales Coordinator, Marval Software


March 1986. Maggie Thatcher was the first ever woman PM, my beloved Liverpool were the best team in the land, Cliff Richard and The Young Ones were number 1 with Living Doll and you could still smoke in pubs, on planes and in offices. My first proper office job: working for a marketing agency in Queens Park in north London.

First computer, an Apple Mac SE. A simple desktop machine, which was portable - though couldn’t be used on a train! You could use word, excel and a few other programmes. You could print. And that was it!

Other than a desktop machine and a fixed line telephone, there was no other IT stuff on your desk. Simple times for workers, simple times for IT departments. It meant only having to manage a small infrastructure with no worries about BYOD, Wi-Fi issues, mobile devices, internet problems, cloud applications, employee mobility, data management or cyber security. There was no such thing as IT alignment with business goals. It wasn’t spoken about. In those glorious days, getting some staff to use a machine was a big enough challenge.

April 2017. We have another woman PM, Liverpool are no longer the best team in the land, smoking is outlawed everywhere apart from some fields and as for who’s number 1, I have no idea.

Working for an IT company that is passionate about ITSM and the provision of service excellence is a real eye opener. Technology has changed our lives beyond all recognition. The power has gone from our desktop to initially a laptop, then to smartphones and tablets. Whether at work, at university, in a café, at the theatre or even on a plane, we want instant access to our world, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Sky Go, we demand and demand more and more from our technology – because technology has become an enabler for people to connect, interact, collaborate, exchange experiences and ideas, learn…. or just have fun.

IT departments have overgrown the part “geeks who could connect a simple desktop to a LAN and let you print without knowing why”. Now IT support teams understand the goals and aims of the business. The Service Desks define the way the business treats its customers. They are not “that department stuck in a dark corner” that we called once in a while to help us fix something. They are an indispensable, focal and valuable part of the business. Service Management and ITSM tools have transformed the way organisations work and manage their relationship with their customers; and that’s a two-way transformation. The Service Desk professionals have grown up from ugly ducklings to become beautiful swans, who are business people first and tech geeks last!

Today’s Service Desks have the maturity and ability to start the organisation’s transformation journey. They can take the business under their wings and initiate digital, operational and cultural changes. The Service Desks can really make a difference, should they be provided the right tools; those that will enable them to take off and fly high.

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