Service management is becoming an important issue for many companies. With this in mind Henry Tucker MBCS spoke to David Cape-Brown from TOPdesk to find out what the issues are.

What are the biggest issues in service management?

The service management industry is constantly evolving and numerous innovations such as BYOD or cloud computing for example, throw exciting challenges at every service desk manager.

The feedback I hear when demonstrating to potential customers is that the majority of companies are still looking for a tool that is easier to use, quicker to implement and doesn’t cost them an arm and a leg if additional integrations or functionalities are required.

Therefore solutions should create offerings that are scalable, optimise user experience and utilise resources effectively to deliver as much value and process efficiency as possible. TOPdesk’s vision of this being put into practice is the shared service management model.

The most important challenge that we have observed currently affecting the industry is that differing departments still do not share processes. We can talk about a silo mentality, as people from different business areas work in separate management environments. Re-assigning or escalating tasks to another operator or group might be time and effort consuming as processes are not shared.

Gaps in knowledge and lack of transparency in workflow lead to disruptions in service delivery that costs time / money and most importantly can cause end user dissatisfaction.

What sort of benefits will companies see from implementing a dedicated shared service centre?

Multiple tools utilised ensure that a workload is ever expanding. Maintaining them all separately and inputting data can be very time-consuming. An upgrade to one single tool will result in a lot less work for the service desk.

Shared service management exceeds the collaboration between traditional service providers, such as the IT, HR and facilities departments. Additionally finance, communication, administration and the project management teams are also able to integrate within one system.

Through our research we observed that the majority of our customers (63 per cent) now incorporate the shared service approach. Furthermore, 21 per cent share services in more than two departments. They have adopted the shared service approach to unify service desks and increase collaboration between them.

An out-of-the-box solution proved to be the way forward, rather than building up processes from the ground level. Customers find it more flexible, as the modular structure enables them to build up their own shared service centre step by step. Transparency and extensive knowledge sharing are the key benefits of shared service management.

Sharing processes means that business units are able to use the same management procedures. We incorporate procedures and tools with roles and process monitoring. Multiple departments are able to work in the same system whilst keeping their own secure working environment, without interfering with each other. As a result of the implemented automations, their tasks will be streamlined and their workload will be reduced.

A single tool grants better insights not only for operators, but also for customers and end users. With comprehensive reports, extracting information from the same tool, you are able to compare apples with apples and see where you need to do more.

Being more transparent with your customers allows them to choose from a shared service catalogue and informs them as to how you are meeting your service level agreements.

We truly believe in a system that helps you grow in the future and that can adapt to an ever changing industry. Implementing a tactical tool might be an easy option in the short run, however, you need to think strategically and determine how you want your departments to work together and how you can serve your customers more efficiently.