What went down at Refresh:IT San Francisco

At Freshservice, we believe in keeping internal customers happy through a refreshing take on service management. Building intuitive, user-friendly apps to boost productivity, and improving the quality of service with greater collaboration and context are our first steps to achieving this.

We’re also getting closer to this mission through Refresh:IT – a series of events for IT professionals to discover new trends, share best practices, and network with IT thought leaders and influencers on employee experience.

On April 6, Refresh:IT made its second stop in The Village, San Francisco. This time, for embracing the changing landscape of IT that’s redefining the employee and customer experience as we know now.

Here is a quick rundown of what happened.

As IT professionals, we are responsible for specifying, ordering, implementing, and managing the technology that runs our businesses. That’s a lot to handle in an increasingly complex world – from a technology perspective and, increasingly, from an employee experience perspective.

Technology has had a powerful impact on the transformation of the workplace, resulting in a fundamental change in the employee and customer experience. With quality service delivery and customer satisfaction being key priorities for organizations, the IT department has moved from a dark, quiet back-end department to potentially one of the most critical, visible, and impactful groups within an organization.

Optimizing the user experience for employees becomes as crucial as it is for customers. Below are some insights into how you can adapt and drive the change needed to lead your organization on the path to a digital business.  Or, if you prefer a short summary of the event, check out our social stream

Dilawar Syed, President, Freshdesk, opened the evening by talking about the recurring theme internal IT leaders are envisaging on – employee delight and employee love and the significance of enabling consumer-like experiences at the workplace. (By 2017, 40% of large enterprise IT organizations will exploit consumer UX for employee apps: Gartner 2016)

People coming into the workforce today are looking for proactive, context-rich experiences. – Dilawar Syed, President, Freshdesk

The opening keynote was by the HDI #ITSM and #custserv analyst, Roy Atkinson, who presented on change, disruption, technology and customer experience.

Roy set the stage for the challenges facing IT departments:

  • The pace of change in IT is faster than it’s ever been, and it’s accelerating.
  • There’s no bench — IT organizations run lean. Every person is more important now than they’ve ever been.
  • In organizations with satisfied or very satisfied employees, customer satisfaction was, on average, 5% higher.

“Before your customer calls you and screams at you, fix it – before it happens.” – Roy Atkinson, HDI analyst 

  • Silos are for corn, not companies.

Companies are being asked to do more with less which can result in fewer employees being asked to do more. You need to be sure you are hiring the right people and treating them like your most valued customers.

Our panel of customer and partner experts shared with us some ‘Wisdom from the Trenches’ about embracing the new IT landscape.  Here are some highlights:

On the challenges of implementing new technology, Kelli May, manager of technology services at MHM Services, had this to say:

One of my goals as an IT manager is to make our employees’ jobs easier – by balancing our growing technology and educating users about it. Click To Tweet

Emphasizing their IT team’s efforts on making their employees productive from the day the start, here’s what Ravindra Sunku, director of IT at Stitch Fix had to say:

Get the word out on how IT can be an enabler, not a disabler. #RefreshITSF Click To Tweet

Describing their IT team’s practices, Prasad Ramakrishnan, the CIO of Veeva Systems, added that moving from email and Google Docs to a service desk to manage requests led to better balancing as well as better tracking. And to empower their users, they display the performance metrics on a big screen within their department so they can see the impact of their job.

On setting standards for, rather than denying, cloud service, he had this to say:

IT is not here to slow you down. #RefreshITSF Click To Tweet

Speaking about how Box treats their internal customers, Dana Donaldson, the IT systems engineer at Box mentioned that they don’t like the term users. They take a consumer-like approach to their employees and call them Boxers.

“If people are finding solutions on their own, then we, as an IT department, aren’t doing our jobs . The technologies we’ve implemented at Box put Boxers front and center from a productivity and experience standpoint.” – Marc Schooley, manager of IT operations at Box

Overall, attendees left with a better understanding of how IT is impacting the way their employees and the need to optimize the internal user experience. The service and support mentality will permeate your organization, help break down silos, and increase your employee experience, which will improve your customer’s experience and your bottom line.

Interested in participating in these events? Refresh:IT is going to make more stops across the world pretty soon. Keep an eye out on this space to know when it’s coming to your city or head to refresh.freshservice.com.