Jamf Blog
September 29, 2020 by Haddayr Copley-Woods

Scaling an enterprise IT organization with atSpoke

This JNUC 2020 session from atSpoke answered the question of how IT can scale to meet the needs of the ever-changing workforce and deliver the visibility that executives demand. It’s critical for IT and Operations teams to create “one front door” to the apps and help employees need to get work done.

It’s an increasingly complex yet constant struggle. How does IT scale to meet the needs of the ever changing workforce and deliver the visibility that executives demand? It all starts with the underlying problem: all the services, expertise, and knowledge needed for everyone to get work done are increasingly siloed and opaque as enterprises grow. Exacerbated by new tools being adopted every year and the remote-work economy, it’s critical for IT and Operations teams to create “one front door” to the apps and help employees need to get work done. Join Jay Srinivasan, co-founder and CEO of atSpoke, as he shares what IT teams need to create “one front door” for faster operations and a more productive workforce.

He started with describing how things stand.

Current state of enterprise: SaaS sprawl

The boom in easily-accessible, helpful apps has resulted in a singular problem: fragmented resources. Most organizations with a large enough employee base also have dispersed knowledge: support teams spread across the organization hold different bits of knowledge. Add in chaos from multiple channels such as chat, ticketing systems, and email and you can have one big mess on your hands.

As a matter of fact, says Srinivasan, according to a recent study, the average organization uses 123 seperate SaaS apps. 36% of employees don't know where to get what they need, and 50% of many workers' time is spent time searching and gathering information. This is a company-wide problem: IT, HR, marketing, support, facilities. Everyone.

With work from home and shelter in place, this problem is only exacerbated.

How do you create 'one front door' to services and support?

1. Do a diagnostic.

First, you need to understand your organization at a deeper level.

Do a diagnosic of your tickets, chats, and emails to understand what's going on across the organization. Don't just look at tickets! Are there any support requests that can be automated? Do the users have the knowledge to go resolve these on their own? Look for common service workflow patterns and unique ones.

There are four categories of requests that make their way through the atSpoke service:

  • 15% self-serviceable with knowledge
  • 20% self-serviceable by end-user actions that are mission critical:
    • password re-sets
    • adding yourself to an email group
    • enrolling a mobile device
    • joining or leaving Slack channels
  • 50% known repetitive workflow/service requests
  • 15% unclassifiable/unique

2. Make an operational blueprint

Providing users with a central place to find information easily can help to speed help to users as well as free up time for IT. Make your operational blueprint accessible, and will reduce 85% of these requests.

Think about how to consolidate knowledge-based entries per team: ten pieces should be more than sufficient to address these needs. Ensure there is an owner who is in charge of each article, and revisit it or review it every few months.

Service workflows: focus on the top 5-10 standard workflows per team that are repeated. Many of them are cross-functional, such as employee onboarding. Agree across teams what the workflow is and how to follow them.

The operational blueprint can continuously improved: get more fine-grained in how you service all of these blueprints.

3. Set up your service desk: All teams need a ticketing system

Problem: most ticketing systems are set up for IT, but can be daunting for other teams to use. Get a system that's usable beyond just IT. It needs to have the power and capabilities that IT needs, but be sure to incorporate the costs of training and support. There's going to be a tradeoff between usability and complexity, and a good chunk of workflows will involve multiple teams. What are the costs related to cross-team workflows?

Choose a service desk that has the power IT needs that is easy to use for others in the company. This will speed response and resolution times.

4. Integrate all of your other tools

The ticket is only where the work starts. What are the tools involved when you actually work on a ticket?

Going to another SaaS can create ineffeciencies. How can you integrate your third-party tools into your ticketing system? It is most powerful if you can just integrate your tasks using SaaS with your ticketing system. For example, a ticket comes up with laptop issue: tech should be able to click one button and get diagnostic information into the ticket.

5. Make your system accessible where your employees are

Chat is not optional anymore. Pre-covid, post-covid, this trend was there. You need to incorporate chat into your ticketing system.

When you choose your ticketing system, what has a seamless intersection with chat? How do you bring accountability into Slack, Teams, etc. Once you see that chat and ticketing systems working together, you get a higher number of tickets, but a higher number of resolutions.

Organizaitons that use Slack on atSpoke respond to colleagues twice as fast, and response times and resolution times dropped.

And remote working has only increased the volume of chat.

Follow these five steps, and you'll create a simple, effective way for employees to collaborate, connect, and get help across multiple modalities and teams.

View the full AtSpoke JNUC 2020 presentation video.

Photo of Haddayr Copley-Woods
Haddayr Copley-Woods
Haddayr Copley-Woods is a senior copywriter at Jamf. She writes about tech, specializing in Apple and Jamf with a focus on education, accessibility and security.
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