Trend number three in our series of blog posts on the top seven ITSM trends for 2014 is Omnichannel IT Support.
When consumers are looking to buy products or services, they want to engage through the channel of their choice – the one that suits them best at that time, not what suits the retailer. It’s all about what works in their current context. There only used to be one context for consumers – going to the store. They had to be physically there to buy. Along came mail order catalogs, the telephone and TV shopping channels. The home was the new consumer context. Then the web came along, driving a massive explosion in home shopping. Next, smartphone technology made it all available on the move. Today, retailers need to consider a much wider range of consumer behaviours and contexts.
Likewise, business people now expect the same from IT – to get support when, where and how they need it. Omnichannel (all channels) support is about improving the end user’s experience by giving them choice – Which channel works best for them right now? It’s about understanding the variety of end user contexts – the situations they are working in. They might be in the office now, on a train in ten minutes and at the airport in an hour, but that doesn’t mean they’re not working and don’t require access to services and support.
Support demands are situational. What they need depends on where they are and what they’re doing. At a desk, an employee might need internet service, applications and communications. In a meeting room they might use video-conferencing services and Wi-Fi. These days, end users expect continuity of services and support wherever they are, and via whatever device is to hand – desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone. The challenge for IT is to provide a seamless service and support experience across all channels – hence, Omnichannel.
In a nutshell, it’s about adding web, mobile and social channels to supplement tradition service desk channels (phone, email and walkup), and support a modern always-connected, mobile, social workforce. However, to make it seamless, data must be available across all channels. If a user logs an incident via a web interface, they will want to view, track and update that incident via a mobile device.
A large proportion of enterprise organizations have web self-service and service catalog portals, which covers desktops and laptops, so the next step is to extend the reach of the service desk by catering for mobile devices via native support apps or a device-agnostic HTML5 interface. IT organizations will need to ensure the systems that support communication across different channels are integrated to provide a seamless experience for end users and seamless management for IT.
You can read more about the top 7 ITSM trends in our latest whitepaper.