IT Support: The Next Step Forward

September 01, 2015 by Alex Collins, IT Services Consultant

IT blogWe're changing how people talk - and think - about IT support.

The idea of IT support has certainly evolved in recent years. The IT Help Desk used to be nothing bigger than a call center or a small staff of computer specialists.

Now, IT support generally comes from a highly trained and skilled team that not just solves business problems (reactive), but also supports and drives business operations (proactive).

Of course, there are two sides to every conversation. So as the Help Desk has expanded its skills and abilities, businesses too have broadened their view of IT’s capabilities and potential contributions to the overall approach to operations.

Solving Problems, Supporting Business

A business’s willingness to integrate IT into "big-picture" planning doesn’t manifest overnight, however.

Most of our present clients have worked with us for several years; in that time we've built their trust with our track record in evaluating the existing systems, making observations, and implementing technologies that improve efficiency and productivity.

Taking that next step into business strategy was simple enough from there. Working within a thriving partnership, we (the IT provider) have the leeway to do more than just solve problems as they arise. We also identify issues and propose solutions for our clients, and we look ahead and recommend changes and install applications that will greatly improve their operations going forward.

Over time, we assume the role of a trusted IT adviser for our customers.

It's the unavoidable leveling-up of IT support services - with the appropriate systems installed, with best practices observed, we’re able to track and analyze a customer’s help tickets and identify major tech issues and pain points. Those help tickets truly reveal an organization’s inefficiencies.

Through this ongoing review process, we can respond with sensible observations and cost-effective solutions. The quick fix is out, and we’re using data to drive decision-making for the long term.

Leadership Embracing IT Value

These changes in IT support have pushed more business leaders to think ahead and embrace technology.

According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers 2015 CEO Survey, 68 percent of CEOs emphasized the importance of a well thought-out technology plan, including defined metrics. Furthermore, 64 percent said that having a clear vision of how technology can help achieve a competitive advantage is “very important.” And 61 percent placed value in the CEO acting as the organization’s “digital and tech champion.”

Those numbers are encouraging, yet room exists for additional growth, as far as leadership buy-in on the benefit of business-IT integration is concerned.

The survey went a step further and asked CEOs about specific IT investment priorities:

  • 75% reported cyber security was strategically “very important” to their organization;

  • 61 percent were concerned about data security;

  • 62% said data and data analytics was of strategic importance; and

  • 55% emphasized the importance of mobile technology for customer engagement.

We’ve prepared for this shift, staying on top of emerging technologies and trending applications down to industry-specific tech trends; adhering to and preaching security standards; and remaining flexible and amenable to change.

Smart Questions, Smart Answers

The IT provider-business customer conversation hasn’t just changed, it has evolved, and it continues to do so. Through metrics and analysis, we can identify IT issues—for example, connectivity gaps, faulty hardware, or outdated applications—at the front end.

While IT support has primarily been concerned with solving problems as they come, we’re now doing the work that prompts us to ask the question to customers, “Are you using the right technology to get the right result for the business?”

We’re better equipped to ask that question, and increasingly, business partners are committed to finding the right answer, relying on our recommendations, and implementing long-term solutions.

There’s a vested interest on both sides—it’s a win-win for IT and business going forward.