How to make IT self-service a roaring success for your business

Implementation problems and best practices

Konig says the bottom line is that implementation needs to go beyond plain old FAQs. IT self-service has the potential to be a major relief for first level support. "Yet there is no gain without pain."

As an operator of IT self-service, you will need to be focused on collecting data about your IT self-service's performance, says Konig, so that you're able to see the full picture as to how it is being used, and where its strengths and weaknesses are.

Additionally, it is important to safeguard your investment by implementing a toolset that will allow your team to pick up and escalate support cases quickly. This can include ticket systems, incident management solutions, and remote support software.

"Yet – and this cannot be stressed enough – you need to put yourself in the shoes of those who are seeking help," says Konig.

Another problem for IT self-service is when organisations try to implement it by using different platforms from different vendors. "However great each solution may be, what happens as a result is a lack of integration and synergy between the systems. It becomes more time-consuming and complex to provision, manage and monitor services – thus defeating the purpose of having an IT self-service approach in the first place," says Mark Furness, CEO and founder of Essensys.

The quality of the user experience is a critical factor in the success of an IT self-service project. The more positive the user experience, the faster the adoption rate.

In the example of an enterprise app store, it must offer users a choice of applications, says Vincent Smyth, senior vice president at Flexera Software.

"You must confirm that any apps available through the store are well-suited with the overall IT and business strategy, and with the IT computing environment. Successful stores offer rapid fulfillment leveraging the software deployment system (i.e. System Center, AirWatch, Casper)," he says.

Flexible working

Flexible working is a growing trend

IT self-service and flexible working

The workforce is increasingly requiring flexible working environments and solutions, and consumer tech in the workplace is becoming the norm. "Enabling an on-demand, frictionless experience for employees is more than ever becoming a necessity for the IT function," says Furness.

In the next 12 to 18 months, Furness says that we will see a number of exciting IoT services appearing in the workplace and offering many benefits for all stakeholders, from boosting productivity and staff retention to driving facilities management efficiencies.

"Adding this extra layer of services to the IT workload means that we can expect to see more than ever the rise of a single integrated IT self-service platform orchestrating the complete ecosystem," says Furness.

Add cloud and BYOD to IoT and flexible working and you can quickly see the need for organisations to have IT self-service implemented as a means to cope with the extra demand placed upon them. To fail to do so will mean that the IT department is pushed to the limit.