It’s called “shift left”, and recently emerged as a frontrunner for IT support. Here’s the idea: Imagine a graph with an axis for “time” and one for “cost”. As support tickets move right – from L1 responders to highly trained response staff, companies are spending more money and losing more time. Shifting these responses left and empowering users to solve their own problems can help lower total IT spending.

The ultimate goal? Reaching tech Nirvana: The support ticket that doesn’t exist because IT proactively solved the problem.

The Trouble With Tickets

Why break a system that’s working? That’s the argument against spending on shift left solutions – why put level two and level three IT support responders out of work? And is it really a good idea to trust remediation to automated processes? What happens if the machines make mistakes?

But here’s the thing: Tickets are a waste of time. Consider a recent Forbes article, which notes that 90 percent of support tickets are submitted for issues that have been previously resolved in the last month. In addition, 84 percent of tickets are for “simple troubleshooting, configuration or networking issues.” Perhaps the most telling, however, is the rise in SaaS complaints: More than 90 percent can be automated and solved remotely.

Sure, shift left solutions are the new kid on the block but when it comes to time and cost, there’s no comparison.

Use It or Lose It

Companies recognize the value of improving the end-user experience for consumers: If webpages load slowly or eCommerce shopping portals randomly crash, the backlash will be intense and immediate. But as noted by CMS Wire, staff tolerance for “out of date, clunky legacy systems is reaching an all time low.”

It makes sense – when staff aren’t at work they’re digital, mobile consumers, priming them to expect the same level of service from corporate networks and IT services. Here, costly support tickets are the best case scenario: If users feel that legacy services or new technology is too cumbersome they may simply seek out their own cloud-based solutions or choose not to disclose networking issues because they’ve found their own workarounds. No matter the outcome, it’s bad news for IT.

Zero-Sum Game

Shift left is a good start; a way to limit the impact of support tickets and help employees solve their own problems. The challenge? While this trend minimizes problems, it still doesn’t eliminate the root cause: IT issues which impact staff productivity. Even if employees are equipped to handle their own issues, they still need to stop what they’re doing, rectify the problem and then get back to work.

Emerging tools, however, offer the chance to eliminate tickets wherever possible by:

  • Assisting Experts — Let L1 staff do the work of L2 by quickly pin-pointing issues across all endpoints and suggesting solutions.
  • Providing Self-Help — Providing users with proactive notification of issues along with actionable resolutions.
  • Collecting Data — Collecting data in real-time so companies can gather personalized endpoint data and improve the end-user experience.
  • Auto-Healing — The brass ring; fully automating and resolving IT issues without user impact.

The ideal IT support ticket doesn’t exist. Get closer to this user-driven future by empowering IT services with expert assistance, self-help, data collection and self-healing.