The advancement of business technology during the last few years has been very disruptive for the IT field. The forces driving the future of business technology (cloud, mobile, big data, and social technology) coalesce to create unprecedented complexity, particularly at the enterprise level. The demand on enterprise service desks today would astonish IT experts of years past. Aside from being able to take advantage of various tools designed to manage the onslaught, IT professionals need a high level of adaptability more than anything to survive and thrive through this decade.
A number of things seem to constantly threaten tech job security, primarily outsourcing, automation, and a rate of change that pushes older skill sets into obsolescence. The problem is, these things are going to happen whether tech professionals like it or not. There are a number of formidable foreign contenders in the tech arena who are well equipped to offer lower-cost resources. Automating processes can improve the efficiency of a business and cut costs. Technology also builds on itself, advancing on an increasingly sharp curve, so the necessity of quick adaptation comes with the territory.
The best approach to these issues is proactivity. Expect them, embrace them as much as possible, and assert your value by directing their implementation. Though IT departments cannot decide what a business will attempt to use to its advantage, IT is still needed to influence how resources are utilized and navigate the options within those ventures.
Fighting the Battles You Can Win
In many ways, outright control is a luxury of the past for IT. BYOD has been a tidal wave, sweeping through businesses at every level of employee and management. Along with that came access to a slew of app options to better handle business matters. This mingling of external hardware and software into the existing infrastructure has become inevitable despite the bevy of concerns it may generate.
For the service desk, saying “no” to uses of technology perceived to be driving profits is probably not an option. However, becoming disempowered by IT trends is also not an option. It is one thing to look at the oncoming changes in a business’ technology environment as a problem and quite another to be ignorant of what can be leveraged to keep the ship on an even keel. If you cannot control what technology is used, all that is left is to find the best way to manage it.
Taking Advantage of New Tools of the Trade
The recent flux in business technology has created a need for automation. Just as the complexity of business’ computing environment has led to use of application management software and cloud management software, enterprise service desks need software to manage requests. The trick is finding software that automates as much as possible while adhering to best practices. Good service desk management software fosters quick collaboration between service desk professionals and minimizes downtime. It also empowers end users as much as possible and integrates the BYOD factor by offering mobile device access for submitting incident reports.
The sheer variety of technology brought on by BYOD also means that resolving issues by phone is no longer a very viable option. Resolving an issue on technology you have never really seen or used can be next to impossible without being able to see the screen. This has led to the necessity of remote access. At the same time, remote access that sends information through an external party is probably not a good idea and likely would violate a company’s policies. It is beneficial, therefore, to have a standard method for remote access that is secure, possibly even on premise.
The value of communication probably cannot be overstressed for the future of IT. Social technology can be a salve for IT woes because changing with the times means being as informed as possible and making sure the departments you interact with are as well informed as possible too, even down to the end user. The importance of communication goes up the chain too, as the role of influencing big decisions vice controlling them becomes paramount for IT.
The Enterprise Service Desk is not something that will disappear in the near future. Though technological advancements are expected to cut costs in the long run, IT spending is on the rise globally. The increased complexity of enterprise computing environments cannot be mitigated without skilled IT professionals. Though one cannot stop a crashing wave, they may still channel the flow. It all comes down to arming yourself with the right tools and being ready for change on all fronts.