The Digital Workplace – You’ve got One. Now Fix it.
When I buy a new gadget, I dig into all its cool new features and imagine how I will use them. Rarely do I think about what will happen if it breaks. I only vaguely ponder how I will get support or how long I’ll be down waiting on a repair. I don’t ask myself how quickly security patches will be released or how well it will integrate with my other gadgets.
But I probably should.
I see a similar pattern when talking to vendors that supply technology for the “Digital Workplace”. The conversations typically focus on how the new technology will solve some business or IT problem, and just make life generally better. We obviously spend some time thinking about how to deploy the shiny new technology in a way that employees will actually use it (See my previous blog, “If you build it, will they come?”). In contrast, we spend only a fraction of the time discussing what types of failures can occur with the technology, how we’ll get support if it when it fails, or how updates to the technology will be distributed.
But we probably should.
By definition, Digital Workers are likely nowhere near a support center when things go wrong with their shiny new Digital Workplace. This means that we need to provide a variety of support channel and let the employee choose which makes the most sense based on where they are, when they are, and what device they are using at the time. We also need to make it easy for the employee to switch between channels without having to answer the same mind-numbing questions over and over again.
Support within the digital workplace is becoming increasingly automated, with artificial intelligence, backed by strong analytics and automated repairs solving many of the problems. Support can also be performed remotely via augmented reality. Employees can self-serve using IT Lockers with self-provisioning devices. Despite all of this automation and artificial intelligence in place, it may seem that there is no need for in-person support. Not true. Most enterprises find that employees are more productive and happier when they have access to a Tech Café service. There are certain problems where the best way to resolve them is face-to-face.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the new support model is the analytics that proactively detects the workers ‘suffering in silence’. We should be able to discover which workers are having problems and resolve those problems remotely without requiring the worker to contact the Service Desk.
To determine which of these support technologies to provide to your employees, it is helpful to think about these questions:
- When my employees need help, where will they be located and what device(s) will they be using when they need help?
- Do I have a strong knowledge base upon which I can build useful automation and artificially intelligent assistance?
- Do all of my employees need/expect to access support in the same way? If not, can I determine what ‘support model’ is best suited for each employee?
After analyzing these questions and building a modern, intelligently automated support system, how do I measure success? Are traditional SLAs still meaningful in the digital workplace?
That is what I’ll discuss in my next blog.