If you’re off to HDI 2019 Conference & Expo, then hopefully you’ll have your learning head on. IT service management (ITSM) events, such as the annual HDI conference, are great for learning new things, whether it be from the formal educational sessions, networking with your peers, or having productive conversations with the ITSM tool vendors and service providers in the expo hall.
That said, it always seems a shame that some of the great advice you get at conferences like HDI, often stays at the conference. I really wanted to say that what you hear in Vegas stays in Vegas, but it turns out this conference is in Orlando rather than the West Coast…
In the interest of sharing insights beyond the conference, I wanted to post some practical tips related to the two topics that my colleagues and I will be covering in our sessions: automation and reporting.
5 Tips for Automation
Here are five quick automation tips to get us started:
Remember that automation is about better business outcomes not just adding technology. It’s no different to implementing any other technology—what are we trying to achieve and how does it help the organization?
Appreciate that your organization is probably only “scratching the surface” with automation. Especially with the current advances in artificial intelligence (AI).
When investing in AI capabilities, it’s important to understand the difference between it and automation. A simple view on this is that automation does what it’s told to do (by following a set of specific instructions), while AI is experience based and will learn new outcomes to improve its performance and outcomes.
Don’t simply replace the current manual process with technology, do more. The introduction of automation, including AI, is an opportunity to think about new ways of delivering outcomes and for new ways of working and outcomes that were previously unthought of. For instance, using voice recognition (and understanding) technology to listen in to service desk calls to provide service desk agents with real-time knowledge and suggestions.
Automating things doesn’t mean that there’s no longer a need for measurement and improvement. As with many things in life, it’s unlikely that perfection is achieved at the first attempt with nothing in the surrounding ecosystem ever changing after that (e.g., operational changes will undoubtedly necessitate automation changes).
Doron Youngerwood and Roy Atkinson will look at automation in more depth in their session, The Automated Service Desk in 2019, at HDI 2019 Conference & Expo.
5 Tips for Reporting and Analytics
Here’s another five tips, this time for reporting and analytics:
Don’t just measure what you do, measure what you achieve. Think “outcomes”—and business outcomes not just IT outcomes—over processes and outputs.
Align your metrics and reporting to what matters most to business stakeholders. Of course, you’ll still need some metrics that relate to your operational performance. But also identify and use metrics that will both engage key stakeholders and better demonstrate your team’s value.
Employ a metrics and reporting hierarchy. This should look something like goals, critical success factor (CSFs), key performance indicators (KPIs), and metrics. And, importantly, understand the difference between each of these (including when reporting performance).
Report differently to different stakeholders. While it might seem like more work, think about it. Would you rather stand on a hill and shout while no one listens, or is it better to speak individually with a handful of people to actually get your point across? The manner of these differences can range from the metrics reported to how the messages are conveyed (e.g. charts versus tables or text versus numbers).
Don’t take performance metrics as gospel. Your metrics portfolio and reporting show “a sea of green,” but your customers might still be unhappy with the quality of service delivery and support. So, regularly gauge customer perceptions of performance to better understand if there are improvement opportunities that are hidden by the current set of metrics, plus, if these need to be changed to better reflect the employee or customer experience.
Matthew Meghory will present more tips for measuring success at HDI 2019 Conference & Expo.
Doron Youngerwood has 15 years' experience in managing global marketing for unified communications, enterprise mobility, and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. As
's Director of Product Marketing, his responsibilities include developing the go-to-market strategies for SysAid's products, with a strong focus on automation, analytics, and AI. A regular speaker at AI events, Doron’s expertise in this domain means he is frequently asked to brief analysts, journalists, and customers on new developments in this industry. Doron was also on the AI Advisory Board for TM Forum. Follow him on Twitter