Predictions of the Impact of Service Management on 2016

February 24th, 2016ITSM

In May 2015, Pew Research published an article on population trends that was largely overlooked by most businesses.  In Richard Fry’s article, he points out that his data is showing for the first time that Millennials are now the largest percentage in the workforce in US and that the aging baby boomers are now the smallest group.  This seemingly innocuous observation had more implications that many realize, as there has been a large amount of research on the characteristics of the different generation with almost all of it concluding that there are significantly different traits between each one.

George Bradt wrote for Forbes Leadership in 2014 that the Millennials are the most challenging generation to manage and that the best way to lead is to allow them to willingly blur their work and life experience in a way that is completely foreign to a baby boomer. A quick search of the internet reveals that Mr. Bradt is not alone in his observations.

The point when the Millennials became the largest portion of the workforce is a watershed moment as it marks the moment in time when all businesses should begin to rethink and develop plans to manage the next wave of workers, effectively planning their own disruption of their workforce practices.  The Millennial Workforce Disruption will impact all aspect of business, but perhaps none more than Service Management, which is core to the end user experience in the workplace.

This year will be another one of change and the following are my predictions for Service Management in 2016:

Telephones:  The traditional Service Desk telephone support is a business model that is ripe for disruption and I predict that 2016 will be the year that the Service Desk telephones begin to be turned off.  During 2016 progressive businesses will be actively engaged in pilot programs to turn off the Service Desk telephone.  Millennials don’t like to use them and the new support channels are not only more appealing to a Millennial but they also cost less and are more efficient.

Email:  Email is a truly wonderful invention but at some stage in the past 40 years people forgot that it is a simple store and forward application and somehow we collectively deemed it to be a real time collaborative tool.   Email is anything but a real time collaborative tool and one that is not often used by Millennials.   In fact in Service Management, email is the root cause of many backlogs, confusion and miscommunications.  I predict that in 2016 companies will want to disrupt their operations for Millennials and move away from email to embrace the new collaborative technologies to realize the efficiencies and improve workflow.

Chat/Text:   In Mr. Bradt’s article he advises letting Millennials leverage electronic tools they are familiar with and more specifically, that Chat and Text are their preferred methods of communication.  I predict that this year there will be more requirements in RFPs for Chat and Text support in Service management proposals than ever before as the Millennial Workforce Disruption forces businesses to reconsider their support models.

Social Solving:  Millennials have a known bias towards working in groups.  Companies should embrace this by introducing technologies that enable this to happen (and to be clear, email is not such a technology).  I see 2016 as the year that Millennial Workforce Disruption will drive general acceptance of social and collaborative technologies in Service Management.

Mobile Applications:   A few years ago there was a lot of debate regarding the merits of allowing workers to bring their own devices into the workplace.   Given the ubiquity of mobile devices and the propensity of Millennials to download and utilize applications on them day and night, this debate feels a little antiquated now. I predict that in 2016 progressive companies will develop and deploy applications and app stores that provide a real time support experience on mobile phones.

2016 will be a year of change, transition and transformation. It will bring a set of new challenges to the way we work, think and plan. But change is good and, after all, it is a major component of service management.

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