A recent HDI report commissioned by TeamDynamix focused on three verticals, education, government, and healthcare. Though each vertical faces its own set of challenges, they share three common traits:
- Strong and specific compliance requirements
- Financial constraints over which they have limited control
- Mandates to modernize IT in response to the needs of their customers and users
In spite of their challenges, IT departments are tasked with continuing to modernize while operating on inflexible budgets. The majority (i.e., more than 50%) of support organizations in the three verticals under consideration have taken on additional work in the form of more IT services and more customers. A substantial percentage have taken on work previously escalated to a higher level—part of the shift-left strategy. Many have added non-IT services to their responsibilities as well.
There are opportunities presented by providing these expanded services as well, including the demonstration of value to the organization. Support does much more than break/fix work, but does the rest of the organization know that? As the various business areas receive other or new kinds of services, they will begin to see the value provided. Simultaneously, the support organization will learn more about the consumers of its services, opening new dialogues and increasing understanding in both directions.
In education, government, and healthcare, the support center offers a broader range of device support than does the industry as a whole. Even in the “standard” realm of desktops and laptops, a higher percentage of the support centers in education, government, and healthcare are supporting these devices. Overall, an expanded range of devices supported correlates with increased technical expertise, more robust documentation libraries, and better vendor relations as compared to their counterparts in other sectors.
Meanwhile, some of the key technologies used to enable support are not being added, upgraded, or replaced at the same rates as in the industry as a whole, though a slightly higher percentage of government organizations are investing in knowledge management technologies than the in industry as a whole.
The result is that greater demands are being put on the support organizations without commensurate investments in the tools of the trade. In fact, with few exceptions, education, healthcare, and government organizations are investing or planning to invest in major categories of technology (e.g., analytics/reporting, alerts and monitoring, collaboration tools, quality monitoring) at a lower rate than the industry overall.
All things considered, there appears to be a clear need for organizations to focus on developing more mature IT Service Management (ITSM) processes and technology. But there is more to ITSM maturity than processes alone. It is also key to look at advancing the use of technology such as ITSM software to facilitate more efficient support operations.
For more on ITSM maturity and how organizations can advance their own level of maturity, get a copy of the full HDI report here.