IT teams are overwhelmed, the great resignation has not helped, and the increased demand for technology is compounding the resource drain organizations have been struggling with for the last few years. For IT service desk teams, this often means that they are struggling with high ticket volume and are unable to get to the tickets in the required time slots.
And it’s not just a matter of resources available, many organizations are stuck with technology debt and trying to use older legacy systems or homegrown IT ticketing tools to manage service delivery. Instead, organizations should be looking to migrate to IT service management (ITSM) software that can enhance the resource available and provide automation to make up for the resources they lack.
Leveling Up Ticket Triage & Automation
A pain point we hear often from IT is that the help desk can’t triage tickets appropriately in these older systems – often all IT tickets are going into one queue, and sometimes this is happening via email which means that things like ticket categories are not in use. Ultimately teams need to sift through the tickets and decide where to put them – this activity alone is draining valuable resource time and causing massive delays for end-users.
Many of these older IT service management software systems don’t offer automation, or maybe they do but it was never implemented correctly, so now the IT service desk is left spinning their wheels with a daily review of tickets and assignments being made manually.
So why are so many teams still moving tickets manually?
There are really two reasons. One is that their current ITSM platform simply doesn’t have automation or workflow; and the other is that while it does, it may be complicated to implement, maybe even requiring technical resources or programming to build the automation. And with resources already hard to come by, it’s likely not going to be utilized.
In TeamDynamix automation and workflows are created using drag and drop action so there is no programming or coding required to set these up. Anyone with access to the tool can start building them out.
When building out automation, there are many different methods that can be used:
- Approval Step - The Approval Step allows a workflow to notify one or more approvers and wait for them to decide how the workflow should proceed.
- Branch Step - The Branch step allows administrators to manage branches more easily in workflows with multiple paths.
- Choice Step - The Choice step allows a workflow to present a user or group with multiple choices in order to progress through a workflow.
- Collector Step - The Collector Step joins several paths of a workflow and waits for ALL of the paths preceding it to complete.
- Condition Step - The Condition Step allows a workflow to automatically route one way or another based on the values on the ticket.
- Notification Step - The Notification step allows a workflow to automatically notify one or more recipients.
- Task Step - The Task Step adds a Ticket Task to the ticket, with settings defined in the workflow.
- Timer Step - The Timer Step causes the workflow to wait until a specified time passes.
- Web Service Step - The Web Service Step allows organizations to automate processes by calling an external RESTful web service.
Reducing Complexity and Overhead at SUNY Brockport
With SUNY Brockport’s old IT service management system, changes to the service catalog and to workflows and permissions had to be programmed. Integration with third-party software tools required the university to hire an outside consultant. Even the end-user interface was complicated, making it hard for users to check on the status of service requests.
“When we looked at our costs over time, we realized we were spending the equivalent of an entire full-time employee just managing our old system and making changes as needed,” Cook says.
In searching for alternatives, SUNY Brockport discovered that TeamDynamix would cost less to license and operate over time.
“We realized our ‘super’ users could actually make changes quickly for themselves because it’s more agile, with a graphical user interface,” he says. “That would allow us to make changes on the fly.”
As a testament to the system’s ease of use, implementation began in April 2019 with a team of four people. By July 1 of 2019, SUNY Brockport had completed Phase 1 of the implementation process, which included launching the ticketing system, service portal, and knowledge base.
“We had a service catalog and knowledge base already, but we had to recreate these within TeamDynamix,” Cook says. “We did all of that in less than three months.”
Improving Response Time at the City of Avondale
The City of Avondale, Arizona wanted to respond to citizens’ needs faster and more effectively. By leveraging a single portal with automated request routing and workflows, the team can be more responsive and transparent with citizens.
The government for the City of Avondale consists of 14 departments serving nearly 100,000 residents. Its use of TeamDynamix (TDX) began within the IT department, which was looking for a better way to support employees’ use of technology through ITSM.
“Before, people would have to call or email our help desk with their service requests,” says CIO Jeff Scheetz. “However, now with the portal, IT has been able to create workflows and automation, rather than managing the many email and ticket requests. The workflow ensures that the requests are handled efficiently and provides additional reporting capabilities. Before, it was hard to prioritize tasks without a full view of what was going on.”
In just a little over a year, Scheetz and his staff transformed the delivery of IT service for the city using the TeamDynamix platform.