Digital transformation is the process of embedding modern technology in your business – leveraging deep interactions between humans, data and technology to enable agility and insights to evolve your organization into a modern digital enterprise. Digital transformation is different than the “business process automation” initiatives of the 90s and early 2000s. If successful, then digital transformation should yield an organization where:
- Technology is embedded in business process (instead of technology just enabling processes). Human, technology and data elements are equally important and must be thoroughly integrated to define how a process operates and what is produced.
- Real-time business insights are harvested through analysis of integrated data. The key words here are “real-time” and “integrated.” In the modern digital enterprise, decision making informed by operational data enables agility (instead of past trends and management intuition).
- Technology enables rich and frictionless interactions with customers and suppliers. The boundaries of the enterprise are extended to include the ecosystem of suppliers, partners and customers – leading to both transparency and greater efficiencies in the value chains for goods and services.
As companies embark on the digital transformation journey, IT service desks can perform critical enabling functions:
- Replacing spreadsheet and email-based processes with scalable operations: As most companies grow, they develop operational processes that rudimentary tooling (email and spreadsheets) support. As companies embark on digital transformation (and leverage modern cloud-based solutions), they have an opportunity to upgrade their first-generation processes with service-desk operations that leverage automation, data management and modern tooling to deliver consistent and measurable results.
- Monitoring process and system performance: Digital business processes (with their integration of humans, technology and data) have many moving pieces that must interact in harmony to deliver results effectively. Service desks are an excellent place to monitor the performance of your processes and systems for (early) indications that something is awry.
- Provisioning resources to users: For employees (and external parties) to leverage the technology resources of the company and to ensure proper security controls are maintained, structured processes must be put in place for provisioning access to technology and data resources. Although automation and orchestration capabilities usually manage most provisioning requests, there will always be errors, exceptions and provisioning tasks that have not yet been automated, and must be addressed manually. Leveraging a service desk to manage these tasks ensures timeliness and consistency.
- Facilitating resolution when errors occur that impact processes: When an error (or a change) occurs in a digital enterprise, it often has wide-reaching impacts across the organization. The service desk can perform essential functions of triage, impact assessment, facilitation of troubleshooting activities and coordination of communications during a business-impacting incident.
- Resolving data issues to allow insight harvesting: Decision-making in digital enterprises is dependent on leaders being confident in the informational insights that the IT systems provide. The majority of “errors” that occur within digital business processes are related to data quality issues. Although it is tempting to just “fix the data,” leveraging service desk processes for incident and problem management can ensure that the root cause of these errors is identified, so they can be avoided during the future.
In a digital enterprise, the service desk isn’t just “the place employees call when their computer is broken.” Service desks enable both the transformation of your business processes and ensure efficient, continuous operations of your digital enterprise. They help keep systems up and running, enable employees to use the technology effectively and resolve issues when they occur. In many ways, the service desk is the glue of a digital enterprise – keeping the people, processes, technology and data connected, so they can operate effectively as a unit.