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IT Services: 4 Steps To Keep Your Team At The Front

IT Operations have a rounded role in your organisation. Here’s how you can keep things on track, while empowering your team to lead cultural change.  

By Paul Smith, Implementation Consultant at Marval Software

Within the past decade, the role of IT has changed - a lot. What used to be internal support operations is now a critical asset for business success. The IT Department is not about technology anymore. It is about facilitating the implementation and delivery of the business plan, the introduction of new work models (employees’ mobility, embracement of work/life balance, collaborative silos, etc.), the adoption of sustainable and ethical practices (managed print services, energy efficiency, travel management, etc.) and the nurturing of services that are more competitive, more customer-focused and more cost-effective.

In fact, for many organisations, IT is the first step towards cultural change; starting with the digital transformation from within.

This new, transformative role comes with extended responsibilities for the CIO, who is expected to lead the change and keep a steady transformation pace. Which is a huge challenge. Organisations are not as flexible nor as responsive as many of us think. Most people are reluctant to change and many functions and departments are apprehensive and skeptical when new processes are introduced. Of course, change starts from within; and the first step should be changing the culture in the IT department itself.

If you are the CIO of a big organisation, you know that your team works really hard, dealing with fire-fighting, performing preventive maintenance or responding to general user requests. You also know that much productive time is spent (or even wasted) managing minor issues that could easily be handled by the users themselves, while important tasks like knowledge article updates and reporting are left aside, due to work overload and lack of time. With the increasing demand for fast resolution of incidents, though, and your strategic initiatives put on hold, you need to reclaim your team’s time and keep things on track.

1.      It’s all in the process

Most IT departments deal with their day-to-day operations based on common sense. From the prioritisation of incidents to scheduling and performing maintenance tasks, they evaluate the situation and deal with it ad hoc.

Don’t get me wrong; there is absolutely nothing wrong with applying some common sense. But why not describe and record it? Documented common sense will form and establish a process, making it easier for your people to work around it, make decisions and record results. New processes will help your team perform better and you ‘ll have access to specific reports, which will help you manage the workflow better, releasing time for preventive practices.

2.      Develop an IT Service Catalogue (and use it)

Introduce your customers to a detailed catalogue of your services, and use it to explain what you can deliver (and when), what the process is and whom your customers should contact for each service. Don’t forget to include cost of service, where applicable. A service catalogue will help set expectations and educate your customers around the services that can (or cannot) be managed by your department; resulting in less disruptions for your team.

3.      A new glossary for your new services

Language is important. Not just because it usually is the most effective way of communication amongst people, but mainly because it helps cultivate the right context: The introduction of new terms for the way your team operates, helps plant the seed of change. The word “process”, for example, should be used to categorise most items of your services portfolio. “Users” are now “customers” and “centralised” is “integrated”. By replacing key words in the way you communicate internally, you help your team develop the right culture; and others to realise and accept your boundaries.

4.      Invest in your team, providing the right tools

Imagine a builder or a plumber; you wouldn’t expect them to do the job without their tools, would you?

You may have the most efficient team in the world. Unless you provide them with the right tools, they won’t be able to perform as well as they could. By investing in the right technology, you release your team’s efficiency and help them maximise their overall performance.

Offered either as SaaS or on premise, Marval MSM is an advanced tool for IT Service Management that integrates the industry’s most popular good practice framework and standards (ITIL, PinkVERIFY, ISO/IEC 20000) and provides the latest in architectural design, security, scalability and functionality. Most importantly, Marval MSM offers the right platform to support your processes and transform IT operations. It is a first, yet crucial step to enabling your team’s cultural change.

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