Based on a survey of 205 North American technical service and support professionals conducted by HDI, the report reveals that, as managed services and cloud-based solutions become increasingly viable alternatives, businesses are putting more pressure on support centers to justify their existence in clear, concise and measurable business terms.
If they can’t do this, the report suggests, they may be considered an irrelevant and unnecessary burden.
“In today’s world of support, there is real competition, and this may be the first time many internal teams have had to come to grips with it,” says Roy Atkinson, senior writer/analyst for HDI.
Titled “Show Me The Value: Support’s Mandate,” the report indicates that support centers are adjusting roles in reaction to new service delivery models, increasing their customer focus and trying to improve their metrics. However, it also reveals that support centers are not aligned with corporate goals. In fact, the vast majority (86 percent) are feeling pressure to show their value to the businesses they serve.
The report says support centers need to demonstrate how their phone, email and chat communications are helping the business achieve its strategic goals—including increased productivity and innovation—rather than just fixing random problems as they occur. For many organizations, the success and even survival of the support center depends on the ability to demonstrate business value in three key areas—people, process and technology—in terms of the metrics that quantify them.
Other key findings include:
- Three-quarters of support centers say the pressure to show value has increased in the past two years, but only half of the respondents say the perceived value of the support center has increased in the past two years.
- Only 29 percent of respondents believe their support center’s strategic priorities are aligned with those of non-IT executives.
- Forty percent of support centers have added new job roles to address changes in their relationship with the business—including director of customer relations and service desk director—based on established ITSM frameworks, especially ITIL.
- More than two-thirds of respondents have purchased fully featured ITSM tools and other solutions in areas such as social collaboration and analytics and reporting to address their changing relationship with the business, or plan to do so within the next year.
- Fifty-four percent of respondents have not changed their metrics to better measure business value. Forty percent have added metrics, while 12 percent have subtracted metrics that did not show business value.
The report also revealed that when support centers are viewed positively by the larger organization and are able to expand and improve the services they offer, their business value increases.
“It is imperative that today’s support centers transition to being reactive to becoming disciplined and trusted advisors that drive business growth,” said Robert Stroud, vice president, IT Business Management, CA Technologies. “This report underscores why support centers need to adopt proven best practices – and the ITSM frameworks that enable those best practices – to ensure that they are rigorously focused on well-defined business imperatives.”