Can your Service Desk predict the future?

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If we were in the mood for cliches, we’d open this with something like “prevention is better than cure” or “a stitch in time saves nine.”

But we’re not. So we won’t.

Nonetheless, the value of preemptive problem solving can never be overstated. Especially, in ITSM, where you’ve got to field a million issues every day, as you simultaneously navigate a minefield of potential slip-ups. In such dire conditions, even a small heads-up can be super helpful. Moreover, with the number of issues you have to clean up, it certainly would help if some of them cleaned themselves up. You start wishing for psychic powers and time travel so you could predict the really nasty issues and fix them even before they crop up.

But before you start taking out ads on Craigslist for crystal balls and used DeLoreans, you should know that with a few preemptive ITSM practices, you’ll get results that are just as good.

Know exactly what’s coming – Understand your assets

Your assets make up a large chunk of your organization. When something unexpectedly goes wrong with even one of the assets, there’s bound to be serious repercussions. Which is why you need to be several steps ahead when you’re keeping track of them.

The only way to do so involves a lot of periodic checkups that monitor everything from new assets and depreciation cost to expired licenses and other possible expenses.

While such regular, comprehensive checkups can definitely help you diagnose problems in advance, manually identifying every new asset and setting reminders for every checkup can leave room for a lot of error. A good service desk software can help you automate these tasks, so you have the time and energy to actually observe your data and act on it.

Fix issues before they begin – Build a database of solutions

Over the years you’ve amassed so much experience in fixing issues that you could practically write an encyclopedia.

Well, you should do just that. For example, whenever you fix an issue or resolve a ticket, write up a concise article about how you did it and upload it onto a common database. This database, when made accessible to both your agents and customers, can fix a whole lot of issues by promoting self-service. The database preempts solutions the minute a user starts searching for a particular issue before he even raises a ticket. This empowers users to help themselves without having to wait around. And for your part, whenever a known issue seems to be cropping up, you can send out links to existing solutions from the database and fix things before they even go wrong.

Know exactly where to look – Get the bigger picture

Each of your assets is dependant on a number of other assets and affects a number of other people. There may be multiple tickets/issues that are connected with a singular asset. There may also be multiple assets connected with a singular vendor. The existence of such complicated and dependent relationships mean that an issue could be caused by anything and could affect everything. Which is why patching all these connections together and seeing the bigger picture could give you a considerable head start in the ITSM race. Doing so, you gain knowledge of everything from the general health of your assets and possible expenditure to potential problem areas. This sort of comprehensive patchworking doesn’t just help you predict solutions to issues, but also makes it really easy to isolate the source of the issues.

When you’re trying to run your service desk smoothly, every little piece of information helps. Investing in these sort of preemptive measures doesn’t just help you proactively solve potential issues, but also helps you easily isolate the source of existing issues.  So stay several steps ahead at all times and say goodbye to all those nightmares about service desk issues. Because this time, you’ll know exactly what’s coming. And this time, you’ll be more than ready to take it on.

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