bird's eye view of a traffic intersection
The digital workplace will be fueled by enterprise service desks — single points of contact across technology silos that can log and route incidents and requests. PHOTO: Denys Nevozhai

“Got Technology?”

“Why yes, yes we do,” said every function in every department in every organization.

And not just desktops and laptops and mobile phones, but scanners, scales, beacons, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), security systems, smart lighting and building control systems.

Ubiquitous Technology

You name it, there’s some sort of hardware, software or networking component to it, and that technology has formed a loose “mesh” across functional silos, blurring organization charts while the service lines become clearer.

“Onboarding” is no longer a process partly managed by human resources, IT, facilities and finance – it’s a single service, an automated flow across multiple functions, making the complex transparent across the service value chain.

Similarly, executive briefing centers contain a high tech blend of automated climate controls, LED lighting and state of the art AV — all working together to provide a singular experience for your top clients.

What happens when those services stop functioning properly?

Let’s say the conference room temp rises to 90 degrees or the sprinklers won’t turn off or the new VP you just hired can’t get into the building? Who gets that call? Facilities? HR? IT?

Enter the Enterprise Service Desk

The answer is “none of the above.” It will fall to the enterprise service desk, a single point of contact across technology silos that can log and route both incidents and requests effectively and efficiently to restore service to the business.

These enterprise services are what enable a company to function — or not function — at peak performance. Companies that get it have moved away from the idea of “Information Technology” and into “Service Provisioning and Management”.

To get ready for this reality, IT organizations must:

Extend Mobility: IDC found people are at their desk less than 50 percent of the time. They are, by definition, mobile. The services they need to succeed must be initiated, tracked and completed even when they are away from their desks. Mobile is more than a device. It’s a different way of thinking about business and the services required to keep it humming.

Embrace Apps: Apps must be more than a self-service portal crammed into an iPhone. Have you ever tried to pinch, zoom and select your way through a 15-question form on your phone? Most people will bail by the time they get to the second screen. Apps are purposeful. This was also the conclusion of a Gartner Portals, Content and Collaboration Summit roundtable. They should do one thing and do it well. If I’m locked out of a building, I want a button that says “Building Security.” It might ask me one or two questions, but it knows who I am and can get me in the door.

Integrate Across Systems: This is a must. It’s what forms the “mesh” that enables services to seamlessly flow through the organization while being tracked and fulfilled. Enterprise services are a layer above the core systems, which create half the bureaucracy we must deal with every day.

Enable Self Service: This one sometimes makes me cringe because it makes me think of “IVR’s” and the geniuses that believe spending 15 minutes working through touch tone phone scripts is “self service.” More often than not it’s about putting the right information in the right spot, in the context we expect to see it in, to address our issues. For instance, I want to buy a new phone, give me a “Corporate IT Store” on my phone that works like Amazon. Or if the wireless scale on my warehouse floor isn’t working, give me a tablet that is mounted nearby with one button to press for help.

Design to Delight: If any service is going to get used, it needs to look/feel like it does with the consumer centric companies we deal with at home. I know how to Uber for a ride or for food. The process to get a new badge should be that easy, not archaic and foreign.

Navigating Roadways

Think about a complex highway system in and around a major city with on ramps, off ramps, signs, etc. That’s a good metaphor for enterprise services.

There are literally hundreds of them taking place on any given day, across all parts of your corporate “city.” When traffic stops, slows or seems to be getting off at the wrong exit — drivers will want to know who to call — or better yet — they will want to know that someone is already addressing the issue, regardless of what kind of issue it is. (Accident? Traffic stop? Construction? Presidential Motorcade?).

The travel app “Waze” solves that — a purposeful app cutting through the noise by simply saying, “Mr. Coppins, take this route, delays elsewhere along the way.”

Great services cut through corporate noise, transforming forward thinking CIOs to CSPs — Chief Service Providers — and they are taking the modern enterprise service desk with them.