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Traditional IT service desks all work in much the same way and share the same working mantra – no call – no issue. By their very nature, service desks are reactive rather than proactive; a user logs an issue complaining of a faulty service or component, the service desk investigates the issue, and if the process works as it should, the issues is remediated. This has been the nature of ITSM since its inception.

There is a significantly inherent flaw in this model – it relies on the end-user to actually pick up the phone and log a call.

Various studies, including a Nexthink commissioned Technology Adoption Profile (TAP) survey published by the respected industry analyst firm Forrester, have reported that only 35% of end-user issues actually result in the end-user logging a ticket. Does the end-user call the service desk when he/she encounters the dreaded blue screen of death? Does he/she report every application crash or session time out? Probably not and this is a problem! It means that 65% of issues go unreported. It also means that IT probably only sees the issues that are persistent or major enough that the end-user is forced to call the service desk.

End-users have conditioned themselves to ignore BSOD’s or simple application crashes, but those events form part of a much bigger picture and may help to identify trends and recurring issues within service delivery. If only a percentage of that information is being presented to the service desk then we are only seeing part of the story – in other words, the tip of the iceberg…

Traditionally, IT monitors services from the “inside-out” – that is to say, if the servers are up and the lights in the NOC are “green,” everything must be ok. If your goal is to truly transform IT services from being reactive to proactive, relying on this method alone will be somewhat flawed. IT needs data from the end-user point of view to more fully measure quality and consistency of IT service delivery.

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Instead of monitoring services from the datacentre only or just monitoring specific applications, a growing number of companies are employing end-user IT analytics to give them an “outside-in” point of view. End-user IT analytics provides a much more reliable indicator of the true end-user experience, since data is collected from the endpoint – outside-in. Only when we take an outside-in view of IT and focus on consumption rather than provision do we truly understand the end-user experience and in turn where our issues lie.

An “over the shoulder” view then, allows us to feel the same pain and experience the same problems as the end-user; ensuring that we can see all issues, not just those experienced by the user most inclined to log a call with service desk.

It also allows us to be a great deal more proactive in our approach to service delivery. In traditional environments a threshold is applied to types of tickets or issues and proactive remediation only comes into play once that threshold is reached. That means that in order for IT to begin its investigative process a number of users need to have already suffered poor or faulty service. If we have the tools to allow us an outside-in view of IT service consumption, then the point at which we become proactive is far earlier. A ticket need not even be raised for IT to understand not only that an issue exists but also who it is affecting. That allows us to proactively and even pre-emptively address the issue, perhaps even before the user is aware of it. It also allows us a measure of end-user management. When a major issue is reported we can quickly identify which users are being affected and communicate to those users that the problem is being addressed – thus saving the service desk the inevitable barrage of angry callers.

Thankfully – such a product does exist! Nexthink is the leading IT Operational Analytics (ITOA) solution in the marketplace today. Borne out of an artificial intelligence project at the University of Lausanne, Nexthink is rapidly proving itself an invaluable asset to IT organisations across the world in terms of ITSM and service delivery. Nexthink empowers the IT organisation to become inexplicably more proactive in its approach and to have a more complete perception of the real problems affecting end-users. Named as a Gartner ‘Cool Vendor’ in 2014 Nexthink is a product that deserves attention and investigation across the public and private sectors, for organisations with as few as 500 end-users to those with 50,000 or more.

Guest Post by Peter Orsi of Datrix. Datrix is one of the UK’s leading providers of Critical Network Services and Enterprise Cloud solutions, working across the private and public sectors including some of the UK’s most critical NHS and central government environments. Peter specialises in healthcare account management and currently works with a number of Datrix’s key NHS customers, leveraging tools such as Nexthink to drive efficiencies and cost savings within customer environments.