Are You Ready for the Enterprise Genius Bar? Part II

In a previous post, I discussed how, as employees’ work profiles change within organizations, so does their use of devices and applications, creating the need for service providers to address the increasing demand for IT self-service.

In Part II, I’ll examine a pattern I see in both IT strategy and sourcing strategy: companies scrambling to identify, document and re-use capabilities they already have.

Outsourcing arrangements are characterized by clients eager to roll out strategies for collaborative work to pull together diverse technology platforms, multiple service providers and their service level commitments, OEMs, internal and external clients and the ever-increasing expectation of business units from IT.

For these initiatives to succeed, companies need to support their self-managing employees with a base of existing knowledge and experience. But both clients and service providers consistently fail to use their in-house body of knowledge.

For example, few enterprises rigorously follow the Knowledge Centered Support (KCS) methodology that the Consortium™ of Service Innovation introduced in the early 90s, which described the ideas of collaborative working, swarming, self-service and building and presenting support-knowledge. The KCS methodology strengthens the knowledge management process – collecting, categorizing, organizing and publishing information so it can be updated and re-used by the support processes within an organization – and helps bridge certain gaps in Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) processes, including implementation of knowledge management. Implementing and following KCS principles result in solving cases and incidents faster by reducing first contact resolution by 30 percent to 50 percent, a significant client satisfaction measure. Incident management details, such as resolution and work-arounds, technical data and others can be transferred into the knowledge system governed by KCS principles. Organizations that build a knowledge repository from their live tech support mechanisms can, in effect, use it as standard operating procedure for the entire help desk and use KCS as a tool for problem resolution.

Social media facilitates the collection of valuable knowledge assets. When employees (and others) use products like Yammer to send out inquiries to their colleagues, these “birds of a feather” often respond with more enthusiasm, creativity and timeliness than a typical service desk. To capitalize on and leverage social media for future use, the service provider needs to monitor, capture, develop and validate the issue and place the response in the approved knowledge asset database.

Most of today’s IT support challenges can be mitigated by existing knowledge within an organization. The challenge is to design a structure for the categorization and classification of the knowledge and then train the relevant user base. Deploying social media as a dissemination tool for the knowledge can make the entire process highly effective.

About the author

Amit Tripathi is a knowledgeable ITO BPO industry analyst who brings considerable insight on sourcing and market dynamics to ISG clients on both sides - outsourcing firms on the buy-side and service providers on the sell-side. Amit led the firm's offshore Momentum Research practice for 1.5 years, during which he was responsible for the design, generation and delivery of Momentum Research products and services. Among the most accomplished analysts at ISG, he has undertaken and supported top IT service providers in their operational excellence pursuits involving account mining, growth and prioritization initiatives. Amit holds a Masters in Computer Management (MCM) and a Master of Arts (MA) in Sociology, both from Pune University, India.