Companies need front ends; every business needs an upper-tier operational layer including sales, customer support and all the elements of working functionality that enable it to create a go-to-market proposition for its core products and services. Equally though, every firm needs a back end; the back end or back-office of any reasonable business provides all the supporting functions and ancillary services that the organisation needs to exist.
We could liken it to any good restaurant, while the front of house is important, the real quality is usually a factor of whether or not the establishment has a well-run kitchen.
It’s not hard to draw parallels here with IT teams, who often act in the same manner, ensuring their coworkers and customers get the service they need when they need it. But in our increasingly interconnected digital world, IT departments are getting bogged down servicing requests via traditional ticketing systems, leading some to question if there’s a better way.
According to Ritish Reddy in his capacity as co-founder of SaaS management platform company Zluri, in the old days, IT departments were small and usually run by just a few generalists who were trained to maintain specific equipment. But he reminds us, as our technology advanced and business operations became more complex, we started asking more from our IT teams, saddling them with additional responsibilities like sales and customer service that have stretched teams (and patience) thin.
What is Ticketless IT?
“Ticketless IT is a concept that grew in popularity during the pandemic, when companies everywhere added more technology to their software stack that required more upkeep from their IT teams,” explains Reddy. “Service tickets piled up, backlogs expanded and frustration grew. In an attempt to streamline workloads, CIOs began going ticketless. Instead of logging a traditional service ticket or calling a service desk, customers could now get answers and quick-fix instructions from an ever-expanding list of SaaS services. By automating the more common or repetitive requests, IT teams were able to reduce the frequent errors made during manual procedures and free up time to work on higher-priority issues.”
This redirection has had surprising mutual benefits. Speaking from experiences noted at Zluri, Reddy suggests that for customers, it’s meant access to quicker help, greater tech literacy and increased brand loyalty.
The wider suggestion here is that for employees and IT leaders, a reduced service backlog has improved morale, boosted innovation and led to bottom-line savings. But automating IT tasks (especially for larger, global companies) can take time and requires commitment. Reddy suggests that any CIO looking to embark on this journey should consider a few guiding principles and he provides us with three fundamental elements to consider:
#1 Pillars of Customer eXperience (CX)
“Consumer brands are obsessed with CX and with good reason,” proposes Reddy. “Every interaction with a customer is a chance to enhance or diminish a brand’s reputation. The same could be said about interactions with employees, especially in our current job market where workers are redefining work culture and looking for increased flexibility. There are certain attributes we’ve come to see as pillars of excellence in quality CX, and those benefits can also be realized by automating certain IT functions.”
Key here are factors such as convenience – and what that means in this context is configuring a company’s IT systems to work around (and on) its employees’ schedules. Zluri suggests that this can help counter the ‘whack-a-mole’ approach to addressing service requests. It’s also about connection so that employees to have more ‘agency’ (or influence) over their schedules, which can lead to better focus, fewer errors and increased connection to their work.
#2 Jettison IT debris
“Successful CIOs are not only good at finding the right solutions, they’re also focused on eliminating bloat,” said Reddy. “Once you have a clear picture of your entire SaaS stack, it’s time to find out what applications can work together and which you can jettison. Discarding unused, underused, or applications with overlapping functionality can save money and improve workflows. Also, by integrating applications, you’ll gain better insights on user behaviour, application usage and spend.”
#3 Outcomes first, incomes second
While ticketless IT and automation have clear IT team benefits, the increased efficiency also creates ripple effects that reach other employees, such as smoother onboarding. Reddy and the Zluri team talk of being able to give each new employee access to everything they need (Slack, email, Workday etc.) on their first day in a minimal-click SaaS-based approach
“Further here, by consolidating all applications and managing users in one place, IT teams are able to provision the right app for the right role, with exact permissions, objects and actions. They can also monitor suspicious activity, identify compliance risks, and suspend problematic accounts,” added Reddy.
The employee lifecycle
IT teams were never meant to be mechanics and their creative problem-solving skills have far greater value across an organisation. The suggestion stemming from Zluri and others in this space is that by automating the employee lifecycle with ticketless IT, companies can free IT teams from what are often never-ending service request loops and let them get back to work.
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