Imagine a world where IT is seen as the company hero; where employees are as productive as possible because they have hardly any computer issues; and help desk tickets are a rarity. In this world, where IT isn’t constantly putting out large fires, it can focus proactively on strategic initiatives that enable greater productivity and business growth. While this scenario would have been a pipe dream even a year ago, this world is now becoming real.

As new tools and processes enable IT to become more proactive in addressing computer incidents in real-time, help desk tickets are declining, and end-user issues are being detected and fixed sometimes even before the end user realizes they have a problem.

This new level of endpoint monitoring combined with instant issue resolution and performance improvement is drastically changing the scope of digital experience management capabilities, as well as the relationship between employees and the IT department.

The View from the End User (Until Today): There’s Trouble in IT Town

End users rely on applications, networks and working computers to communicate with customers, partners and business colleagues; to become informed; and to perform many, if not most, functions of their jobs. They see technology as the means to the end – getting the job done – whether they’re in sales, marketing, accounts payable, etc. It goes beyond the support of private business growth; airports, hospitals, energy supplies, emergency services can’t function without reliable and fast IT systems. So, when computer issues flare up, end users expect them to be fixed quickly so they can get back to the task at hand. Being put in a help desk phone loop for hours, only to find out there is no easy fix, or to realize it was a well known issue already experienced by other colleagues, or to get the same issue again and again after resolution can create many disgruntled end users who lose respect for IT, and often seek their own work-arounds when problems arise. Or even worse, employees simply live with it and the related productivity loss (without IT to even knowing about it). Today 50% of people do not create a ticket when impacted by an IT issue!

In fact, a recent Forrester Research study underscores the growing divide between IT and the business, and the need for IT to have greater awareness of how to improve the end-user experience. It found that only 36% of business users think IT is aligned with the needs of the company’s business and their individual productivity requirements as workers; that it delivers projects on time; reduces frequency of issues; and offers updates to improve productivity.

The Reality of IT: Challenges in the End-User Environment

IT departments also feel the frustration of trying to meet the needs of end users in a challenging end-user environment. Ensuring that end users have the applications they need to do their jobs and contribute to the company is no easy task when some apps are in the cloud and others are onsite; when employees work remotely; or download information from many sites that can bring malware into the organization. Visibility into what is actually occurring at endpoints can be difficult, and even when application monitoring tools are deployed and IT is able to see what is happening, they are often helpless when it comes to quickly resolving issues. There is a visibility and automation gap at the endpoints.

The View from the C-Suite: CIOs Are Welcome

From the CEO, CFO and corporate board’s point of view, resolving end-user incidents is not about only empowering end users or IT; it’s also about saving costs and increasing productivity. For this reason, more CIOs are entering the boardroom. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, only about 30% of Fortune 100 companies had CIOs serving on their boards at the end of 2016, but that share jumped by 78% over the past two years.

C-level executives recognize that computer downtime means loss of productivity, disgruntled workers and costly help desk support, which only gets elevated to higher levels of support as issues become difficult to resolve. They see that it’s not enough to know what’s going on at endpoint devices, but these problems must be fixed fast.

The New Generation in End-User Monitoring and Remediation

The new generation of endpoint monitoring tools is all about addressing the challenges and concerns of IT, line of business and corporate management. It’s about improving the digital experience without just waiting for incidents to happen, but rather in cutting them off at the pass before they occur.

With the new approach of integrated IT monitoring, automated remediation and employee engagement, the following capabilities are becoming standard practice for a continuous resolution and improvement (AKA proactive IT):

  • A Proactive Help Desk: Instant remediation means less service desk tickets. Imagine service desk staff working on proactive tasks and new innovation projects in silence without phones ringing continuously and email tickets loading the inbox. And for those tickets that do get placed, it often means much quicker resolution without needing to escalate the issue through increasingly costlier levels of intervention. Imagine resolving these issues before they are reported, or in some cases, even experienced by the end user. This is possible by simply providing IT with enterprise-wide visibility of what’s going on straight from their desktop and giving them the ability to act on the issues in a much faster, more automated manner. Improved experience without even involving the end user!
  • More Informed Assistance: Service desk and IT operations staff can remediate problems quicker than it takes users to realize the issue and contact support, with alerts and recommended actions about endpoint and user experience issues coupled with the ability to automatically resolve them in one click.
  • Self-Help and Healing Automation: IT staff wins the support of end users when they empower them with the ability to quickly resolve their own issues or even fully automate the remediation process so neither the employees nor IT resources are impacted to get back to their desired state.

The integrated approach to digital experience management, which combines real-time endpoint monitoring and analytics with both end-user engagement and automatic remediation of incidents, even before they occur, is truly revolutionizing the role of IT managers, who are quickly becoming the new heroes in town and strategic enablers to the business who are fully engaged in the process as well.