CFIOs and other company leaders often measure IT efficiency in terms of the response time needed to resolve issues. The thinking behind this is that the more rapidly an IT department can respond to and resolve an IT snafu, the faster employees can get back to work. Or, if IT issues are impacting other aspects of business performance, shorter response times lead to improved customer service and engagement. However, just how to decrease response time is often a conundrum. One excellent solution is to hire an IT consulting service to bring a fresh new perspective on what could be causing drawn-out response times.
IT consulting services are, by necessity, in the habit of making IT efficient and profitable. They must create logical service catalogues to understand what it is their customers need. An IT consultant must also keep an eye on business value, another side effect of winning customer loyalty in a competitive marketplace. Finally, an IT consultant who works with multiple clients is exposed to a wide variety of IT solutions – a definite educational advantage. All of these traits make IT consulting services uniquely able to improve company efficiency.
Below, we look at the outcomes companies often see after hiring an IT consultant. These are the reasons why collaboration with IT consulting services can help accelerate IT response times.
1. Improved Accountability
Most IT consulting services commence a new business relationship by constructing a service catalogue. A service catalogue is an inventory of every IT task in a certain firm. This is often a time-consuming process. However, once the service catalogue is complete, company leaders are much better equipped to understand where IT processes are getting off track.
Think of a service catalogue as a record of who does what and how in the IT department. A written, organized description of every IT service goes a long way toward establishing accountability. In turn, this empowers CFIOs and other company leaders to establish clear pathways for improvement. Bottom line: You can’t hope to improve response times without a clear understanding of what each of your IT employees does.
2. Enhanced Efficiency
After establishing a service catalogue, an IT consulting service typically evaluates the efficiency of each IT procedure. Would different software improve performance? Or is a server upgrade required to increase overall processing speed? Questions like this will arise for each item in the service catalogue. By systematically evaluating each IT task, the IT consultant can fix what’s not working. This almost invariably leads to higher overall company efficiency, as wasteful procedures are abandoned and replaced with high-speed solutions.
One example of how this might work with your IT consulting service: Consider lost passwords. When an employee loses a password, what is the procedure for regaining entry? In many companies, the employee must go through an IT employee to get a new password. However, on seeing this outdated process, an IT consultant would likely recommend setting up a self-service password portal. Such fresh thinking can free up IT workers to focus on other tasks – thus decreasing average response time.
3. Increased Incident Monitoring
Once a service catalogue has been established and protracted IT schemes have been tweaked, IT consulting services usually turn to ongoing maintenance. ITIL standards, which dictate best practices for IT service management, favor 24-hour monitoring so any system incidents can be caught early and solved quickly. IT consulting services can reduce response time by creating continual monitoring systems to track both technological problems and service response times.
4. Tailored Technology
An IT consultant has the education and experience to recommend systems and procedures that will work best for your company and your employees. This reduces response time by reducing the number of IT issues that arise in the first place.
5. Change Management Oversight
With a service catalogue in hand, managers are better equipped to evaluate and improve IT employees’ performance. An IT consultant can deliver tools that empower managers to better track response times.
Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Your IT response time probably won’t decrease without new, outside expertise. Collaborate with an IT consultant for expert, unbiased, cutting-edge thinking.
[ Photo by: bibendum84, on Flickr, via CC License ]