An IT support system is a number of things. It not only manages the IT infrastructure within a company, but it also provides the first point of contact for immediate needs and technical advice. The average global cost of server downtime has now reached $400,000, so it comes as little surprise that businesses now spend almost $164.2 billion on IT support.
In every company, whether big or small, IT support will eventually reach a point when the number of service requests becomes too large. Budget constraints and lack of resources are just two of a number of reasons that IT departments seem to struggle. As the long list of requests grows and grows, it’s only natural that efficiency and productivity become severely affected.
Efficiency is not something we’d like to have, it is absolutely vital for a company to operate smoothly. Once this becomes compromised, it can cause a domino effect with almost every part of the business. With this in mind, the IT team needs to adopt a system to speed up the resolution of issues. The goal is to not have end users waiting too long, or unattended.
Prioritise your service tickets
In most cases, IT support is not aware of how urgent a ticket might be. Naturally, they try to deal with them on a first-come, first-serve basis. This type of approach can certainly be useful with compliance with the Service Level Agreement (SLA) but can lead to backlogs, where some vital issues can be lost in the scrum
IT support teams should decide on the order that tickets are addressed. Each should be evaluated on their urgency, and their impact on business continuity. This way their attention can focus on those issues that require the most attention.
They can do this by considering the following factors.
1. The nature and seriousness of the problem
2. The number of users affected by the problem
3. The possible reason that caused the problem
4. How quickly it needs to be attended
5. The number of business processes and services affected by the problem
These factors can help IT support to establish a prioritisation model that can help them categorise tickets based on their importance.
Be realistic about service time estimation
It’s important that your technical support team can accurately estimate the ticket resolution time period. This is of course directly linked with the end-user expectation. If there is an issue and support has estimated that it will take two hours to be resolved, anything over that is likely to lead to complaints about the poor quality of service and punctuality.
It’s important to consider unforeseen factors when estimating ticket resolution. A ticket that should take just 30 minutes to resolve can have a little buffer in case anything else comes up. This will help to deal with the unexpected but will help your IT staff to work more efficiently.
Find out the common IT problems & ways to avoid those
Many seemingly unconnected issues may, in fact, come from a root problem, and if IT support can address the root, it will make their lives, and the company’s much easier going forward.
A Root Cause Analysis (RCA) can help the support team to analyse why certain repetitive problems keep coming up. This is a systematic approach that can help identify the main source of technical issues, and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Provide users with self-service portals
One of the best ways to reduce IT tickets is to provide employees with plans that they can work through quickly to solve small issues that might not need additional assistance. There has been a huge increase in tech-savvy users, and by introducing self-service portals you can significantly reduce the load placed upon your outsourced IT partner.
An IT-support team can improve self-support practices by taking action with the following approaches.
- End-users should be provided with well-curated information to solve the most common IT problems. This can allow IT professionals to allot more time to the more complex jobs
- Instructional videos and how-to-guides can play a vital role in teaching general staff about day-to-day IT issues.
- By using smart-chat agents with artificial intelligence you can further help end-users to quickly address their issues, receive follow-ups on the questions and resolve low-level incidents quickly, and without having to bother the IT team
Be proactive with restorative remediation measures
System problems are often diverse and can span a wide range of factors, including, inappropriate/negligent usage or targeted attacks. IT teams often need to spend considerable time on recovery work after systems malfunction or are the target of malware or viruses.
The IT staff needs to have a system reset mechanism in place in times of crisis. By having a baseline installed that support can fall back on, your IT support can quickly revert any malfunctioning equipment to a preset point, and remove any user-induced changes. This way the system can easily be cleaned with a series of reboots.
It’s difficult to set out the ‘best’ way to deal with IT issues, as each company is different and the nature of IT problems is changing at such a rapid pace. But it’s generally considered that the better streamlined the IT system, and how tickets reach them is, the better it will be for your company. We need to look at a more proactive way of processing and managing tickets, rather than our traditional reactive approaches.
About EC-MSP, your IT support partner
EC-MSP are one of the most trusted IT support providers in London. If you would like more help advice and support with technology for your business, contact us today to see how we can help.