The need to improve the focus on people, including employee well-being, should be an area of CIO focus from 2021 and beyond. Typically IT leadership is focused on trends or priorities related to process and technology. IT skills and performance metrics provide a guiding light to the success of your agents. Most recently, better ‘talent management’ has been recognized in ITIL 4, where a Workforce and Talent Management practice was added. IT skills and performance metrics of your agents are beginning to shift in IT service delivery and support operations, not only in how they need to work but also in terms of the required knowledge and experiences.
IT Skills for 2021 and Beyond
Whether this is process-based change, the addition of new technology, or the need for new tasks, personal resilience and an employee’s ability to transition to the new ways of working successfully is critical to the success of your service desk. After a year of remote work, IT leaders have seen just how important it is to have an employee-centric view of their roles. Elevating IT skills above just the technology and focusing on how they support employees has been a game changer, and shown IT agents as essential to business operations. The IT skill of seeing the human impact of what you do and achieve will be important as teams transition back to office. IT teams will need to continue to build upon the skills of empathy and understanding of the effects of IT-related issues on employee productivity.
Applications of Artificial Intelligence in ITSM
The biggest driver in performance metrics is customer satisfaction and first contact resolution (FCR). Agent training pays off in terms of improved FCR, and that, in turn, yields improvements in customer satisfaction. Cost per contact and customer satisfaction are often referred to as the foundation metrics in support because everything boils down to these two metrics. Viewed through the lenses of “will it reduce cost?” and “will it improve customer satisfaction?”
SLA targets have shifted over the past year to support remote workers and reflect the different priorities needed for home workers. Additional automation capabilities have sped up resolution time, so it’s important for IT leaders to reset some targets within their IT team’s performance metrics. The renewed focus on employee experience will require metrics that allow for useful measurement and improvement, such as employee lost productivity.
Transforming IT Skills and Metrics
Skills and metrics are not a set it and forget it strategy when it comes to IT support teams. Intelligent automation will begin to change traditional IT service desk metrics. New technology-enabled capabilities may radically alter the workload mix for some service desk analysts. The perk of this is that intelligent automation has the ability to handle the simplest of service desk tasks – the high-volume, low-value activities. This gives analysts time to focus on more complicated tickets (whether incidents or service requests). Because these tasks will take longer to handle and are less likely to be resolved at Level 1, the average ticket-handling time and costs could go up. That is why now is the time to do a reset of metrics and targets for your IT team. And the all-important FCR metric might not be as relevant given that repetitive, lower-level issues can now be resolved immediately.
Agent Training Should Never Stop
Information Technology is an industry that is everchanging. Every organization acknowledges the importance of training, but few take the responsibility seriously. Agent training hours can easily be correlated with agent turnover and absenteeism.
Agent training is one of the few metrics that an IT support organization has complete control over. With so many IT certifications out there, IT training should always be included in a budget to improve service and invest in employees.
Clearly, one of the benefits of providing agents with an abundance of training opportunities is that it can help boost and sustain high levels of agent job satisfaction. Agents who grow their IT skills are happier with their roles, are more likely to provide better customer service. If given the opportunity, agent training can help drive great customer satisfaction metrics.