How to organize a
successful IT support
It is said that the best IT support is the invisible one. Sounds strange? It actually means the same as not having to care about its operation, not having to call the support about any issues and not receiving any notifications about outages. All systems run in the background without disturbing you and are fully at your disposal when you need them.
So how to transform the “normal“ IT into the “invisible“ one?
You will need finely chopped onion and .…. Or actually you will need:
- Something, that will take care of the complicated world full of wires, servers and apps. Something that doesn’t fall asleep – let’s call it MONITORING,
- Just like NASA, even a good support needs to have its control center, its Houston. This central unit is called the SERVICE DESK,
- cars are almost autonomous and robots are great stuff, but good support still needs people to work well. PROFESSIONALS, who are always available and have the right knowledge are those who make successful and quality support possible.
- amateur enthusiasm and an effort to push things by force is not always beneficial, which means that quality support cannot be accomplished without certain order and rules, which are delivered by correctly defined PROCESSES,
- in the end, numbers determine success, so it’s obvious that we need a robust on-line and off-line REPORTING.
Tip 1: Monitoring
There is a monitoring capable of telling you whether a system is dysfunctional. There is a monitoring capable of telling you that a certain piece of hardware or database is dysfunctional. But there are also tools capable of notifying you in advance about getting close to a limit state of some service, so that you have enough room for response and correction before the system “goes down“ and its users experience an outage. Value of the support is also increased by a solution capable of tracking the duration and quality of not only “hard“ technical parameters, but also whole business processes such as duration of dealing with one customer at the cash register.
Tip 2: Service Desk
Service Desk is a kind of hotel reception and control center combined. It is a place gathering all important information necessary for IT support. A dispatcher sitting in front of all the monitors is able to react to all state changes and detected issues as well as notify all other required professionals and coordinate them when solving more complex tasks. Such a person uses a number of support tools like ticketing system.
Tip 3: Professionals
Time never flows faster than during a system outage, which influences your customers as well. During such a moment there is no room for trying, experimenting and searching for the cause. You need experienced pros, who exactly know “where and how“, who understand their job and are able to cooperate with others and don’t get overwhelmed by panic caused by external pressure.
Tip 4: Processes
You can’t have good support control without tweaked and correctly set processes. For their settings and everyday application you need both enough managerial experience and a team of senior specialists who understand the sense and value of defined processes. Within the support it is necessary to solve the way of requests recording, work distribution, SLA compliance tracking, reporting to the customer about the progress of solving issues and also defining the way of escalations. „Developing “ work procedures is „expensive“ and during outage fixing it can mean dramatic prolonging of the time needed for the repair and therefore negatively influence perception of the service itself.
Tip 5: Reporting
As a person responsible for smooth support operation and ensuring availability off critical apps business you definitely need online overview of all systems and the whole infrastructure. For continuous evaluating and improving your own support service there are regular, monthly reports and statistics showing SLA compliance or possible sources and causes of emerging problems.
Just like when mastering cooking you will need certain experience and a little bit of talent when creating proper and flawless IT support.
Bon appetite and calm sleep!
To learn about properly functional support visit our IT Support service page.
Karel Pecl CEO in the company Blue Dynamic.