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When All Things IT (Don’t) Work Like Magic

By Richard West, Service Desk Manager, Marval Software

 

According to a study run by Jobsite, IT professionals in the UK feel that their work is not appreciated by their co-workers in non-IT functions. Actually, 67% of IT professionals feel that their colleagues do not understand the complexity of their work – and they are right: the same report shows that more than one in two of non-IT staff think that IT professionals work more slowly than they do, and 87% get frustrated with them!

Being a manager of an active and efficient Global Service Desk myself, I know that IT professionals in most organisations work as hard as everyone else. Just as every other worker, they have both personal and team targets to reach, tasks to complete, training to attend, customers and managers to report to, and a lot of bits and pieces that may emerge at any given time to upset their well-structured daily routine.

You see, IT does not “just happen” miraculously for the rest of us; there’s a team that actually takes good care of the company’s infrastructure, data centre, networks and connections, security systems, business applications, workstations and any other device; so we can go to the office each morning and have safe access to corporate data, send and receive emails, join conference calls, create, save, retrieve and print files… and perform our jobs.

It takes regular maintenance, updates, administration tasks and a good change management process in place, to ensure this fully operative and highly available environment will be provided to each one of us every day. That’s a lot of work with a high level of responsibility and IT departments in most organisations do a brilliant job. If you went to work today and had instant access to your emails, applications and printers, then you can assume that your IT professionals did their job.

Service Desks Analysts do much more than that, though. On top of their daily tasks, they have to deal with incidents that may occur during the day. They interact with co-workers from non-IT functions to help them do their job more efficiently – either by providing access to a new tool, or retrieving a forgotten password, or by fixing a device malfunction or responding to more serious problems. When a request comes in, Service Desk Analysts are there to assist; and they will do it as fast as they can, taking into consideration the urgency, priority, volume of all incoming requests and the organisation’s needs overall.

All this great work may indeed go unnoticed, if it’s not measured, evaluated and documented properly. The good news is that sophisticated ITSM tools, like Marval MSM, provide excellent features for managing your team’s workflow, prioritising and reassigning tasks and, very importantly, keeping track of the team and individuals’ performance: how much time was spent on each request (and in total), whether the SLAs were kept, what the customers’ feedback is, etc. They also provide access to analytic reports that highlight the work volume, responsiveness and efficiency of the team, helping Service Desk Managers bring the value of their team into light when attending management and cross-department meetings.

IT professionals in most organisations do a fantastic job which often is not measured and valued properly. It is only fair that Service Desks are provided with the tools that will help them not only do their job effectively, but be able to document and demonstrate how well they are doing; enhancing their recognition across the organisation and increasing their job satisfaction.

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