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The Hidden Cost of IT Support & How to Eliminate It

IT Support Austin

The Hidden Cost of IT Support & How to Eliminate It

July 2013

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IT Support Austin

The Hidden Cost of IT Support & How to Eliminate It

it support austin 1

Studies show that each person, on average, loses 28% of the workday, or 2.1 hours, due to interruptions and inefficiencies according to knowledge economy research and advisory firm Basex.

In separate research conducted by Aberdeen Group on identifying sources of IT service desk tickets, they found that 75% of all tickets are originated by the end user, meaning our Support Desks are primarily reactive in nature, handling the very source of lost productivity, unforeseen interruptions, all day long.

At a macro level, this research suggests that the charter service of most IT departments,  IT support,  is likely the most expensive IT services an IT department can provide in terms of real dollars and lost productivity because inefficiencies inherent in the traditional IT support model.

CIO’s have been right in identifying IT support costs as the budget vacuum that they are in their push to lower hard costs and improve IT support efficiencies.

Hidden in this research is what we believe to be the very answer to the IT services cost problem, and frankly it is one of the things we hang our hat on (no pun intended).

If being reactive and facing constant interruptions compounds the costs of an IT support operation, then it is at least plausible that building a proactive IT support model that reduces the frequency of interruptions might compound the savings.

If you are still in doubt, look at one more metric from the same Basex research in relation to time spent by your IT support organization.

•          It takes five minutes to get back on track after a 30-second interruption.

Estimates vary, but it is regularly estimated that most organizations spend approximately 70% of their IT services budget on maintenance with 30%+/- going to innovation.  The US Government Accountability Office report lines up with this metric citing 26 agencies that spent 70 percent of their collective IT services budget on existing systems, with the remaining 30 percent spent developing new systems as of 2011.

We believe the key to getting meaningful traction in reducing IT support costs comes directly from focusing on changing the originating source of IT support tickets.  The metric to target is moving ticket origination from 75% end user driven to 60% IT support driven and research from Aberdeen Group bears this out.

The way to move the needle and get more proactive on IT support comes with smart tools with embedded correlation engines that provide level one IT support staff with not only the ability to see how all of your IT systems interact with one another, but also empower them with the tools necessary to resolve more tickets before escalating them to more expensive internal or external resources.

Finally, one last metric from Basex that points to the hidden cost of ticket escalation beyond the direct impact of delays felt by the end user:

•          For every 100 people who are unnecessarily copied on an email, eight hours are lost.

Removing distractions and solving IT support issues at first engagement where possible not only improves the End Users experience, but can measurably reduce the IT support costs of an organization without being forced to make hard staff or resource cuts.

Putting meaningful resources into improving problem identification by the lowest possible support level in your IT organization can make a significant difference in the cost directly tied to IT support from our experience.

Interruptions can come in many forms: phone calls, instant messages, text messages,it support austin 2

tweets, social network messages, etc.  There may be additional savings in creating processes and systems to eliminate distraction and “pilot error.”  There may be additional savings to be had in systematically removing interruptions from other members of your IT support staff.  As put by Dave Crenshaw, author of The Myth of Multitasking, How Doing it All gets Nothing Done, the greater the responsibility, “the greater the number of distractions.”     

To do two things at once is to do neither.

-          Publilus Syrus, Roman philosopher

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