Technical support doesn’t come cheap. In an economy where executives are constantly looking for ways to cut costs and extend the life and value of limited company resources, IT departments are faced with too much to do and not enough time to do it. The result: lost productivity, unnecessary downtime, and vulnerability to a myriad of security risks.
The real problem is that all too often IT specialists find themselves using valuable company time responding to individual, one-off user requests for hardware upgrades, software patches, and application installations—all of which are important to productivity but take away from the time they could be addressing larger companywide technical issues.
The solution to many of these problems doesn’t lie in hiring more IT staff, as that is both expensive and unnecessary. The solution is to enable end users to help themselves.
With the proliferation of e-commerce sites and app stores (think Amazon.com or iTunes), end users are increasingly more comfortable using online portals to order software, hardware, and services they need. By implementing "service catalogs" and "service stores," an organization can bring the same level of self-service and automation to the business that has proved successful in the consumer world. The result: Users are able to browse, order, and track their own software and hardware requests, allowing IT staff to focus on larger, more important issues.
Director of Technical Services
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