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HP Software's community for IT leaders // September 2014
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Ticketless IT: Satisfy your end user faster

The IT help desk is buried in requests. But the right approach can use Big Data to change that.

The bottom line

What: Better analytics tools will get you closer to a ticketless help desk.

Why: Big Data tools offer a quicker route to understanding problems—and resolving them without having to create another ticket.

More: Read the white paper, “Turn data into knowledge” and learn to extract social knowledge for the help desk (reg. req’d).

As IT becomes more complex generally, so does the task of providing support. Your users are bringing outside cloud services and an array of personal devices into the enterprise and expecting IT to support it all. When they have problems with unsupported services and devices, they probably won’t find answers in your self-help portal—and then they’ll make things worse by trying to solve the problems on their own.

Your users are describing the same problem 50 different ways, maybe providing photos, reaching out via email, phone, social channels, and however they can get hold of you. That’s a lot of data and a lot of channels, but the tools designed to tackle the challenges of Big Data are bringing relief to the help desk. Here’s how a smart approach to Big Data can take you a big step closer to a ticketless help desk—while making sure IT stays relevant in the enterprise.

 

Combine structured and unstructured data

When your users search for help, you need an intelligent way to give them the results they need—knowing that some of the answers might not reside in neat database fields. The right tool can examine the structured data in your databases, and unstructured data, like the deluge of tweets and photos and blog posts that pop up every day. It should then sift through that information and return the best results based on ratings, the user’s role, and other business contexts, so the right answers get to the right people quickly. This kind of self-service gets the job done faster than IT can, and reduces the number of tickets that land on the help desk in the first place.

Use analytics to get insight

Once you’re able to capture structured and unstructured data, you need to figure out how to understand it. Whether it comes from an email or an audio recording of a call to a live representative, you need the ability to understand context and meaning—and derive insight that will solve the problem. (Check out our latest Enterprise 20/20 article for more on where the help desk is headed in the years ahead.)

Tools that understand unstructured information and employ advanced analytics to identify solutions will help 50 users with their differently phrased problem. Then, when the 51st user comes along with the same problem, the tool will automatically suggest the solution that best satisfied the previous 50 people.

At the same time, IT can spot the trend, figure out the cause of the problem, and fix it before more users encounter it. You move from dramatically increasing the responsiveness of your help desk to proactively handling potential problems before they occur—and before users ever have a need to create a help ticket at all.

Analytics tools also have uses far beyond day-to-day problem solving. For example, agents can monitor search trends to gain insight into different issues that have strategic value. What app versions are having problems most often? What unsupported devices do users want to be officially supported by IT?

Let social IT solve users’ problems

All the content generated in emails, chats, and blog posts constitutes a treasure trove of knowledge, and the right tools can capture that content and leverage it across the organization. They can make IT knowledge just as easy to use and as shareable as the content on Facebook that employees consume and share every day. Then users can solve their own problems, share content that helps colleagues solve their problems, and—best of all—get it done much more quickly than they could by submitting a ticket to the help desk.

Get ahead of users’ problems

In an age of cloud, BYOD, and constant connectivity, the IT landscape probably won’t get any less complicated in the near future, and users won’t stop throwing problems at IT. But IT can stay relevant by using Big Data tools to push toward the ticketless environment their users really want.

Learn about extracting social knowledge for the help desk in the white paper , “Turn data into knowledge” (reg. req’d), for more on how Big Data will drive the evolution of the ticketless help desk.


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