SELF-SERVICE TO THE RESCUE
of calls to the service desk and automating just this one thing can lead
to a signiﬁcant increase in productivity for both users and the service
desk. An initial implementation of self-service might include just this
capability, with more functionality being added over time.
Automated fulﬁlment of service requests. Self-service delivers the
maximum value when the entire end-to-end value chain is automated.
For example, a user might request a software package and this could
be automatically delivered to their PC or tablet; the process could
include updating license information, charging the users business unit,
and creation of audit trails to support software asset management. If
management approval is needed for ﬁnancial purposes, then this could
also be automated, with managers using the self-service portal to
approve (or disapprove) requests from their staﬀ.
Access to FAQs and IT knowledge articles. This should be in a range
of formats, not just written documents. For example, there could be a
video showing how to conﬁgure Wi-Fi on a smartphone. These FAQs
and articles should help to answer the most common queries that the
service desk has to deal with, and should be in a style and format that
the users ﬁnd helpful.
Access to business information and knowledge articles. This
could include guidance on how to complete a business process, such
as submitting an expense claim or processing a common business
transaction. It might include maps and travel directions for company
locations or any other useful information. This could also include links to
external articles and sites that are relevant to the users.
Status updates on outstanding incidents and service requests.
Self-service should enable users to check on the status of their incidents
and requests. For this to be eﬀective the underlying data needs to be
present, which means that IT needs to regularly update records to show
what progress has been made. Updates can be automatic or manual
depending on the speciﬁc workﬂow.
Service status updates, and broadcast alerts. When users connect
to self-service they should be presented with information about the
status of IT services, so that they can rapidly see if their current issue is
related to an existing problem. The self-service portal can also be used
to broadcast important information to users. For example, the portal
can be one channel for communicating planned downtime for a service
to users (but it may be important to use other channels to supplement
this). It may also be useful to provide a service calendar, showing future
releases, and any planned downtime. This could be integrated with a
calendar that shows signiﬁcant business events.