With more companies turning to social computing for collaboration and to encourage innovation, IT Service Management (ITSM) teams may find themselves the topic of discussion in the activity stream. As social users continue to have the same expectations for speed and immediacy that they’re accustomed to from popular social sites including Twitter, Facebook and others, ITSM can’t afford to ignore a sizable opportunity.
Perhaps the biggest misconception about social media is that “if I ignore it, it will go away.” The fact is, your choice to ignore social media doesn’t mean you’re excluded from conversations taking place in the social sphere. Add to that the growing number of Millennials (born between 1979 and 1994) joining the workforce, who are quite comfortable with and expect to engage in social formats, and you have the potential to lose control or at least visibility to service issues. Ignoring social media down the road could impact an ITSM team’s service levels.
ITSM . . . IT Social Media?
Social media is becoming a reality in the enterprise. In fact, Gartner predicted in 2010 that post-2012 will be a period of accelerated growth in social software—”that a calculated approach to social media solution delivery must be an IT competency.” (Gartner press release, February 2, 2010, “Gartner Reveals Five Social Software Predictions for 2010 and Beyond“).
The reality is that enterprise social media applications—both stand alone and integrated with SharePoint — continue to be deployed. Some large companies are looking toward social media as an opportunity to lower IT support costs. The transparency of social media, and its community-based format, are making a social approach to ITSM attractive from a service level and cost perspective.
Imagine your service desk queue following an upgrade. It’s likely that a majority of the calls are about the same or similar issues. Now imagine if you could group those calls together and have one help desk technician resolve them all in one incident? And if more of those callers were aware of other users with the same issue, they could communicate collectively via social media—a “social service ticket.” While it sounds like an ITSM pipe dream, it’s not entirely impossible with social computing tools.
ITSM . . . the immediacy in social media
Consider the rise in cloud computing and how it’s changed the way ITSM teams monitor the network. Our monitoring experts predict a similar impact to monitoring from an incident management and monitoring perspective. By monitoring the enterprise social sphere such as communities or activity streams, IT colleagues can resolve issues quickly and identify a more widespread issue before it proliferates.
This is already happening in large companies that have a social activity stream in place. It’s not uncommon to find colleagues posting ITSM issues in the hopes that they’ll receive a faster response. And for the most part they do receive a faster response because IT teams are monitoring and participating in the conversations.
Just as the social web or web 2.0 has transformed the way we communicate from one-to-many to many-to-many, so too will it change IT Service Management. Imagine logging in a service desk ticket using your Facebook or LinkedIn log in . . . just kidding!
Learn more about the social side of ITSM. Follow Nimsoft ITSM expert advice and opinions on the Nimsoft Modern IT Blog.