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Blog Post|5 minutes

Proactive IT 101: Learn How to Build a Proactive Service Desk

Proactive IT 101: Learn How to Build a Proactive Service Desk
July 2, 2021

What’s the service desk ticket that finally broke the camel’s back? 

Andrew Cohen (Sr. Manager, Digital Workplace Services at Cox) never had to find out – because he transitioned to a proactive service desk. In other words: a service desk that isn’t weighed down by growing ticket counts, reoccurring issues, and non-responsive employees. 

In a recent BrightTALK-hosted webinar, Andrew shared some of his firsthand experiences with building a proactive IT team. Alongside Jon Cairns (VP Technical Services, Nexthink), Andrew offered insights on how to proactively identify issues and solve them at scale.

Want to hear Andrew and Jon discuss the steps organizations can take to address issues proactively, before the service desk buckles under the pressure? Watch the full webinar here: Proactive Service Desk 101: Learn How to Build a Proactive Service Desk.

Or read on, as below we offer a few key highlights from the webinar that all DEX changemakers will find helpful.

What does proactive IT really mean?  

Solving issues before employees realize they have them is the true art of proactive IT. Reducing MTTR, faster ticket response times, and fewer overall tickets are added benefits, but not the primary goal. The ultimate result of proactive IT is that employees remain productive and experience as close to zero IT interruptions as possible.

“It is really about solving problems, solving issues hopefully before a customer or employee even realizes they’re having an issue…. Solving problems before they become an impact to productivity is how I define proactive IT.” -Andrew Cohen, Sr. Manager, Digital Workplace Services at Cox 

Proactive IT teams are able to identify the causes of the common issues employees face all the time, including:

  • Low disk space 
  • High CPU and memory usage 
  • Too many days since the last reboot 
  • Repeated blue screens and hard reset 

The list goes on! As employees work their way through these common issues, the issues keep rearing their ugly heads and clogging up the help desk. Once those are resolved, employees will stop submitting tickets, which frees up more time and resources that your service desk can invest into further proactive strategies.

When the service desk becomes proactive, they solve issues faster, more efficiently and for less cost. So what does it take for a service desk to evolve from reactive to proactive? 

How do you start?

“You can have a proactive service desk with just one person, and that’s how many companies start.”

All you need is one person. With the right data and analysis capabilities, a very small proactive team can make a huge difference in identifying and solving the reoccurring issues that slow down employee productivity.

1. Build Executive Support 

To ensure proactive IT can start making an impact now and not nine months from now, you will need executive support. The scope of proactive IT is far-reaching, and executives can help clear the path and build organizational trust. To earn that executive support, Andrew Cohen used small pilots to test new initiatives and prove their value.  

“We didn’t really ask permission. We asked for forgiveness.”

The small pilots generated excitement and uncovered new insights to explore in future tests. When Andrew’s team rolled out campaigns and alerts for bigger service initiatives, they were successful and received a lot of praise and compliments. No forgiveness needed.   

A key to receiving executive support is getting their buy-in on the value of employee productivity and experience. If they don’t place value on productivity and experience, it will be hard to get them to support proactive IT. A big reason this is so important is that they will have to relearn how to measure the success of IT. Remember, proactive IT is an art, not a science.  

2. Measure Proactive IT 

When you focus on proactive IT, you realize the most important measure is employee productivity. If employees can’t do their jobs, there is a cost to your business. And that is the ultimate metric IT teams should care about.

To calculate the value of proactive IT, consider the following:  

  • Place a dollar value on lost productivity 
  • Identify one catastrophic or critical event that you resolved, and calculate the speed and scale with which your proactive IT team resolved it.
  • Track employee sentiment and retention 

“When I was doing my initial cost justifications, the numbers were unbelievable to the point that I had to tamp it down. I had to change some of the percentages to make it more believable, that we could actually recover that much.” 

Learn More About How to Build a Proactive Service Desk

The future is tickets avoided, not solved. With data that is accurate and complete about users’ devices, applications, network, and the experiences of the end-users themselves, a proactive IT approach can lead to a future in which employees never have to suffer IT issue or submit a ticket again.  

We’ve provided you with a high-level overview of our proactive IT webinar. To get even more insight, click here. In 40 minutes, you’ll learn how to shift to a proactive service desk, the business benefits of proactivity, and how proactive IT supports employee self-service, self-help, and automated incident remediation. 

Related posts:

  1. 3 Steps to a Data-Informed, More Proactive IT Department
  2. 3 Strategies to Build an Intelligence Driven Workplace