Technological Improvement Needs More Than Technology

Technological Improvement Needs More Than Technology

There’s nothing more certain than change, and – mostly thanks to IT these days – the speed of change is accelerating rapidly. So, it’s no surprise that IT itself is changing, not just the technology but also how we use that technology – and the expectations of those who use it. The days of technology as a separate mechanism to support our business processes is over. Recent generations – and certainly future ones – now consider technology, and support for that technology, to be a routine and unremarkable part of their everyday lives. And this concept of the ordinary and familiar isn’t kept only for their everyday lives – because how they use IT for their social and personal matters is inevitably also how they expect to use it in their workplace. It’s the wider effect of what IT had called “the consumerization of IT” – with greater expectations of not only the IT services but also support and customer service based on consumer-world experiences.

The webinar referenced in this blog post has now taken place. You can watch this on demand here

Technology to help with technology

As you would logically expect, in order to deliver this new level of service and support, IT departments turn to technology to help. This is particularly true in terms of IT support, and how IT captures and responds to issues arising from the services they deliver.

If you can please pardon my embedded cheeky plug – I’m going to be talking about this subject in a webinar on 13th July called “5 Ways Technology is Changing IT Support Forever.” And it won’t spoil things if I tell you now what those five ways are:

  • Self-service
  • Chat
  • Knowledge management
  • Machine learning
  • Chatbots.

And back to this technology blog content…

All together now… and don’t forget the people

Of course, these aren’t really five separate independent technology innovations. Like most things in IT they’re related and overlapping, for example, knowledge management impacts upon everything else. And you can see them all as means to capture, maintain, improve and, above all, deliver relevant knowledge. Then chatbots can be seen as an example of machine-learning, chat can be a follow up – or expansion – on self-service… and so on. They’re all linked in various ways.

Let me save some things for the webinar (because I do want you to come along and listen). But one thing worth emphasizing is how the usual mantra of IT service management (ITSM) applies to delivering IT support improvements – just as it does most everything. Thus, while I’m triggering thoughts in terms of what new technology can deliver (to IT support), realizing the full potential of that technology rests on a combination of “people, process, and technology.”

For me, the order seems right – technology triggers new possibilities but unless we also see the people aspects, and the process for delivering reliably and repeatedly, then we’ll not get the results – or the return on investment – we need.

Yesterday’s amazing is today’s ordinary… and don’t forget the people

As technology pervades, people’s expectations evolve dramatically. What was innovative yesterday becomes today’s “taken for granted.”

In term of IT support, our consumers may well enjoy a pleasant, human, conversational experience when they need support. And thus, they’ll not embrace new ways of getting support using technology unless it offers benefits to them.

They won’t mind if it also offers benefits to the service provider, like reduced cost or better data capture, but they’ll only choose (to use) it if it makes their lives easier – or better in some way that matters to them.

Ultimately, for most ordinary business users, saving the company money using technology won’t attract them to a new way of working if it’s harder for them to get the help they need than the one they used before.

People – and how they behave – are still the key to technology success

So… in the webinar I’ll look at the available technology of course. But I’ll also talk about how we get our business users or customers to use these technologies. For instance, the people-oriented techniques that we need to master to facilitate the adoption and ongoing use of the new technologies.

And here, for the most part, we need to realize that while some of the technology opportunities are brand new and changing at light-speed, the human aspects have been around for centuries and don’t change so much.

That the tenets behind organizational change are based on human psychology, and our innate resistance to change, and the degree of effort required to establish a different basis for “business as usual.” And make no mistake, that’s what we must do if we’re to make the most of the available technology innovations – we need to get our customers to love them and to choose them over the status quo.

And then, when we do get them to change their working methods, we need to keep working, and maintaining, to ensure the improved customer experience keeps getting better and retains the customer enthusiasm.

The webinar referenced in this blog post has now taken place. You can watch this on demand here.

Image Credit

Ivor Macfarlane
ITSM Consultant at MacfPartners

In 23 years working for the UK government, Ivor Macfarlane moved from forestry to ITSM via prisons, warehousing, and training. In 1999 he became an ITSM consultant and trainer, as a freelancer and directly for companies. He was an author for ITIL (versions 1, 2 & 3), ISO20000 and ITSM library and an ITIL examiner since 1991. An active contributor to social media and blogs, he is well known at ITSM events and has presented around the world (40 countries so far and on every continent except Antarctica). In addition to his work as an independent consultant, he also works alongside ITSM.Tools as an Associate Consultant.

Want ITSM best practice and advice delivered directly to your inbox? Why not sign up for our newsletter? This way you won't miss any of the latest ITSM tips and tricks.

nl subscribe strip imgage

More Topics to Explore

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *