Digital Transformation: A Look at The Future, Examining the Past

Digital Transformation

In the world of enterprise service management, there’s no shortage of happenings ahead. During the global pandemic’s disruption, choices were faced, decisions made, and conversations engaged about business and personal survival. At TOPdesk, our clients have repeatedly told us that before the pandemic’s global chaos, they never thought it possible that their organizations could fully transition to a remote-only environment. But most did so against all the odds. In some cases, businesses have leapt forward at least five years technologically. Therefore, it’s no exaggeration that 2020 was the year of digital transformation.   

Looking ahead: We’ll continue to march vigorously toward digital transformation

Companies, no matter their age, transformed their businesses – whether they called it digital transformation or something else – because they had to. They’ll continue to evolve, but there were barriers to the transformation that had to, and continue to, be overcome. These obstacles included a lack of adequate technology, poor employee technology knowledge and skills, and a lack of investment in new technology. These are all heady obstacles to overcome, especially for those that thought they couldn’t adapt before the pandemic.

Some organizations refocused their efforts or their budgets to support their employees and their technology needs. Some reallocated resources where they were most needed.

Because of this, a wholesale transformation occurred. Businesses evolved by leaps and bounds despite previous limitations. Will we see an overhaul in the way companies work in the future? Without question. The make-shift home office, ironing board desk, and virtual office socials are now the norm for a considerable proportion of the world’s workforce. Some sectors found it easier to change than others.

In addition to where work gets done, we’ll continue to see changes in how work gets done. The adoption of collaboration tools, like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack, skyrocketed in 2020. Expect more of the same in 2021, especially for the service desk. These new ways of working help teams stay connected while apart, but this new collaboration model will change our work cultures in the same way email once changed our communication, or the internet changed business, models.

Looking ahead: Digital transformation, remote work, and digital workspaces

As we’ve seen throughout 2020, work-from-home models work for most employees and organizations. When we’re beyond the pandemic, most workers will only return to their office workspaces on a part-time basis while also working remotely. Global Workplace Analytics projects that we’ll see 25 % to 30% of the workforce working from home on a multiple-days-a-week basis by the end of 2021.

Service organizations must learn to accommodate or build a remote service team for those service team members who desire more flexibility – Ruben Franzen, @TopDesk #digitaltransformation #ITSM Click To Tweet

In conjunction with digital transformation, service organizations must cater to a remote workforce for at least a significant chunk of their workweek. They must also learn to accommodate or build a remote service team for those service team members who desire more flexibility (some professionals see working from home as a perk). Keeping top talent may require providing bonuses at or above the industry standard.

Many service desks still require one or more team members to work or physically monitor the service desk from a central location.

Looking ahead: Customer engagement comes of age and becomes more than a trend

Our internal end users “buy” our products and drive the need for our services – they’re the benefactors of our provided services. Too often, organizations use guesswork when making big decisions rather than asking users what they need for long-term success. While engagement is critical, most organizations say they know what their users and customers want, but few measure these sentiments. Some say their users want self-service capabilities, others not so much. Some leaders say their users strongly desire to serve themselves and fix their own issues or that they’d like the ability to identify solutions to any issues that they face.

Looking ahead: Customer engagement will come of age and become more than a trend says Ruben Franzen of @TOPdesk #ITSM #digitaltransformation Click To Tweet

Engaging our user bases requires removing the barriers they face and providing them with the information they need to be successful. For example, making site navigation or knowledge bases easy through logical content and subcategories. Creating eminently searchable information in a knowledge base helps users self-serve and receive the guidance they need to move forward with any potential issues – with this what they desire.

If they want assistance with their issues through the service desk, we need to be able to provide these services too. Where leaders can’t be disengaged is when measuring what their users need to be successful in their role. For some (or most), that may mean manual response to issues that arise. For other users, the speed of self-service may be critical to their success.

We can expect more of such development or responses in the year ahead. Employees (our users) have spent the last year taking care of themselves while trying to meet the goals and objectives of their organizations. User survival, comfort, and necessity are all drivers of this. Thus, as users become more comfortable with self-service or other services, more such services will be required to sustain that user group’s evolution.

Meeting user expectations will remain critically important to leaders who make these efforts important. Those who are not engaged in such practices or are not interested in moving these efforts forward will struggle to provide the service their users need or want (whether as part of digital transformation or otherwise).

User experience gets the service management makeover

As users cross-coordinate to accomplish their tasks or reach their goals, their organizations must provide appropriate service resources to accommodate their user needs. Service desks must provide their users – no matter where they are – with pain-free, effective, and predictive services to meet their needs. This is more important now with workforces spread across every conceivable space, largely because of COVID protocols.

Accommodating collaboration means silos must be removed as part of digital transformation. Reducing obstacles leads to more uptake in the use of uniform and synergized enterprise service management solutions. Collaboration between service departments – including IT, facilities, and HR and other departments – will take new forms, processing user requests and setting up shared service desks that become the first and last point-of-contact for the entire organization.

In conclusion

The road behind us has led us here. Still, there’s much to be encouraged about in the months ahead, explicitly regarding user experience and improving our organizations’ culture, and our ability to serve internal and external customers. Ultimately, most of our organizations and our processes are leaping forward. Despite any limitations we still face, perhaps we can continue forward the trends of digital transformation that we’re seeing.

Ruben Franzen
President at TOPdesk

Ruben is the president of TOPdesk USA a leading global provider of innovative enterprise service management solutions.

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