Coming Soon – Reporting & Analytics Group Test

Ta dah! Preview of coming attractions – our sparkly new reporting & analytics group test! Our next group test will explore how reporting & analytics can support your IT organisation and will look at the following areas:

  • Format & view options
  • Reactive metrics
  • Proactive metrics
  • Integration
  • CSI

The research will highlight competitive differentiators; feature key strengths and showcase innovation within each product. Once reviewed, we will crown one Vendor “Best in Class” in Reporting & Analytics.

Tool Criteria & Scope:

Our remit is to explore how dedicated toolsets can use reporting & analytics to deliver value to the client organisation.

The group test will focus on specific reporting challenges, rather than duplicating the test criteria typically associated with the procurement of a Service Management tool. The tool review will focus upon the following areas:

  • Ability to support metrics for core ITSM processes
  • Ability to support the integration of the tool with other tools for exchange of master data, ticket data and CMDB / Asset data (including relationships between CIs)
  • Ability to manage master data (priorities, locations, users, etc), including maintenance, bulk upload, and reconciliation
  • Data dictionary management) aspects.
  • Ability to support common use of data to eliminate duplication and make it easy to update individual data elements
  • Appropriate, role based security so that only authorised personnel can access information
  • Formatting & dashboard options
  • Ease of customisation
  • Proactive analytics
  • Reactive analytics
  • Financial metrics
  • Customer metrics
  • Big Data & CSI

The research will highlight competitive differentiators; feature key strengths and showcase innovation within each product. Once reviewed, we will crown one Vendor “Best in Class” in Reporting & Analytics.

 

For more information or if you’d like to take part in the assessment please contact us!

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How to Transition from a Reactive to Proactive Support Center

 This article has been contributed by Sid Suri, Vice President of Marketing for Atlassians’s JIRA Service Desk. 

Sid Suri, Vice President of Marketing for Atlassian's JIRA Service Desk
Sid Suri, Vice President of Marketing for Atlassian’s JIRA Service Desk

For years, support centers have focused on reacting to problems. According to research from SDI (Service Desk Institute), 67% of of a service desk’s time is spent firefighting. This reactive approach often leads to burnout and a lack of processes that can scale. On top of that, support centers are faced with the ever present challenge of scaling their services, decreasing costs and showing value to their business constituents.

We’d all prefer a situation where IT teams didn’t have to wait for their queue to fill up with angry tickets before they looked into a problem. What if a failing machine knew it was failing and sent out an SOS? Imagine seeing several of those SOSs as things got worse, so that all the right experts could spring into action, saving the poor server before it collapses completely. Sounds like science fiction? It’s not. It’s a new wave of IT and DevOps that aims to take a proactive approach to IT.

Here are four ways you can get started:

1) Set up server alerts

Often, support teams find out about problems after customers do. When it comes to servers, problems like high load, outages, or full disk space can be fixed before they snowball. Smart IT teams set up CPU or memory alerts to notify the team when things are heading towards a bad place, either by watching the server or running smoketests at regular intervals. This lets them correct an issue before it actually becomes a problem.

2) Monitoring automation

Along with setting up alerts, you might want the machine to do “something” according to every response. Proactive support means automating monitoring with the right combination of tools (application monitoring, service desk, chat and more). Here’s how you might automate the escalation process for a server issue:

  • Whenever servers hit a low threshold, send a chat message to the service desk room to notify all team members.
  • If it hits a second threshold, then open a service desk ticket and add a history log to the ticket.
  • If it hits a third threshold, then automatically contact the on-call engineer directly by phone or SMS.

3) Get smart with ChatOps

When urgent issues come in, they need fast answers. Often, managers aren’t notified right away, resulting in lost time. Other times, domain experts need to get involved and aren’t quickly reachable. Many chat applications help overcome these challenges with real-time messaging. This means you can collaborate and solve problems in real-time, involving all the right experts instantly.

More than just chatting, what the DevOps community is now calling ChatOps, is about integrating bots and plugins to a standard chat application to automate tasks. With a chat bot, you can get notified of any critical tickets that need to be assigned right away. Mentioned previously, you can also set up server monitoring bots that send out notifications if there’s ever a problem, so you stay ahead of issues. More advanced chat bots let you type commands that fetch information, execute deployments and more.

4) Deflect repetitive issues with self-service

Taking a break from bots and automation, an IT team can also be proactive when it comes to repetitive incidents (and there is no shortage of those).

Here are the costs of support, according to industry standard:

  • Level 3 support is around $100 per contact.
  • Level 2 costs are $45-$75 per contact
  • Level 1 is $12-27.50 per contact.
  • Self-service, or Level 0, is 10 cents or less.

As organizations grow, self-service reduces cost per incident whereas manned incidents will rise in costs with company growth. If growth and costs are concerns for your support team, implementing self-service is a great way to proactively solve repetitive issues. This means developing a knowledge base for customers to access and self-serve answers to their problems.

The transition from reactive to proactive IT support is happening now, and it’s more than just getting the right tools – it’s a cultural transformation. It’s about taking traditionally separate functions and encouraging cross-team collaboration – like passing information between IT and development teams. These two sides combined, tools and culture, help break down silos across the organization.