Skip to main content

Report Shows Retail Industry Struggles with ITSM Maturity

The retail space is highly competitive. Whether you are part of an IT team running a complex e-commerce business or a vast collection of brick-and-mortar stores – dependable technology is key to providing excellent customer experiences, building brand loyalty and staying competitive. Today, even the smallest of retailers must rely on a complex set of applications and technologies to deliver a seamless omnichannel experience to customers.

If you lack rock-solid IT infrastructure and support desk performance it can cost your business big time, as consumers are notorious for seeking immediate gratification and flawless customer service.

If your business’s systems are down, preventing store or web sales, it’s not uncommon for customers to take out their phone and search for the nearest store or online merchant to buy from instead. A bad experience can lead to customers walking away in frustration, dealing a blow to your brand in this highly competitive retail landscape.

So, it’s rather surprising to see just how immature the retail space reports to be when it comes to IT Service Management (ITSM). In fact, 57 percent of retailers surveyed by InformationWeek say they have low to moderately low ITSM maturity and lack automation and ITSM best practices. This means more than half of retailers say that, at the most, they have some ITSM processes and automation in place, but not much. At worst, they have next to no planned processes in place, relying on ad hoc IT service delivery.

While there are certainly best-in-class outliers, the stark reality for IT service delivery in retail is that most organizations are struggling to implement the basic functions and best practices of ITSM, let alone engage in more sophisticated best practices like automation. Survey results show that retailers have some of the lowest rates of maturity compared to other verticals like hospitality, finance, manufacturing, or accounting and legal services.

Despite the lack of maturity, retail IT teams are handling a large number of monthly tickets (36 percent said they handle 500 or more per month) with relatively lean IT teams. According to the survey, 72 percent of retail organizations say they run small IT teams with 25 or fewer technicians on hand. So, it should come as no surprise that the number one challenge when it comes to ITSM is a lack of resources and high ticket volumes (44 percent) followed closely by excessing manual processing and a lack of automation (42 percent) and a heavy reliance on IT to administer the system (39 percent).

Low-Code/No-Code ITSM Can Help Improve ITSM Maturity and More

While ITSM in retail is woefully under-automated and lacking many common ITSM best practices, there’s hope – it’s likely, based on these findings, that many retailers can easily make the case to modernize their ITSM tools and start to see improvements. According to the survey, 57 percent of retailers have ITSM platforms that are 5 years or older so asking for a tech refresh makes sense. Now is the perfect time to upgrade to a modern ITSM tool that includes self-service and automation.

With a modern ITSM tool in place, retailers can take advantage of easy-to-configure self-service portals and drag-and-drop automations to free up resources, reduce the strain on lean IT teams and start to mature IT practices.

MarketLab Levels Up ITSM Maturity with TeamDynamix

With the help of TeamDynamix, the IT department for MarketLab—a Michigan-based medical supply company—is changing how it operates, improving the maturity of its ITSM.

“We have realized improved end-user satisfaction, reduced administrative strain, optimized processes and gained better visibility with deep analytics,” explained Enterprise Systems Engineer Brendan Lesinski.

The simplicity and automation built into the TeamDynamix IT Service Management (ITSM) platform is saving time for MarketLab IT staff, and the easy visibility into key service data is helping IT leaders glean important insights into the root cause of incidents. As a result, MarketLab IT employees are working smarter and more efficiently, and they’re able to provide better service for the company’s employees.

MarketLab switched to TeamDynamix ITSM about a year ago, and Lesinski said the new system is “universally loved.”

“We wanted a tool that could be used as a service portal for potentially anything, as well as project management,” he said. “We found a lot of the other tools we were looking at were very hyper-focused on just ticketing or just project management, which is fine, but we wanted a tool that could do it all and be easily managed by people in facilities or our HR department while still giving us complete control of how married together those experiences are. We liked that the flexibility was there [in TeamDynamix] and we could manage the tool in a way that works best for us.” 

Immediately, IT staff saved a great deal of time with the new system. The platform’s low-code, no-code design makes it very easy to make changes, such as adding new fields to forms. “What used to be a 45-minute effort now takes two minutes in TeamDynamix,” Lesinski said.

In addition, the system’s built-in automation has transformed MarketLab’s delivery of IT services. For instance, service tickets can be generated from email requests automatically. Lesinski calls this auto-creation feature “brilliant,” adding: “It has resulted in significantly less lost work.”

TeamDynamix has been very easy to use and manage, Lesinski notes, and the platform has made a huge difference for MarketLab’s IT team.

“I almost never think about the administrative aspect of the platform,” Lesinski said. “That, to me, is proof of its effectiveness. It just does what it’s supposed to do. I don’t have to babysit it like I do with other systems.”

Curious to learn more about the recent study from InformationWeek and TeamDynamix? Check out the report: State of ITSM in Retail.