Role of shift left strategy & Automation in Service Management

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Organizations that deliver technology services to consumers forge strategic partnerships to diversify their service offerings and increase market penetration and profitability. Service quality and delivery need to be able to scale rapidly to meet customer requirements while remaining agile and innovative.

I am sharing my point of view for enabling organizations to apply shift-left strategy collaborated with automation of certain services. The shift-left strategy focuses on moving issue resolution to the lowest cost-level, both in the service and support organizations.

This can be achieved by ensuring majority of the issues are resolved by L0 or L1, referred most commonly as ‘Service Desk’. Usually, organizations want the front line to resolve incidents as much as possible at the front line,however with a discipline to speed resolution through escalation in order to minimize business and productivity impact on the customer.

At all times, we need to review the incidents we escalate and see that the ‘Service desk‘ need to simply continue recurring issues and deflect low value, high volume requests to self-service. The overall value proposition is to increase customer satisfaction, lower costs, and free-up expensive technical and business resources to work on critical projects.

The guiding principle behind the shift-left strategy is to shift the resolution of the incident or fulfillment on request to the most cost-effective level of support. The shift-left strategy is vital in helping to free-up more expensive project resources so that they can continue to focus on implementing projects on a timely, qualitative manner and minimize business service disruptions associated with roll outs, non-tested applications and infrastructure failures.

I suggest each support level team has the ultimate responsibility to investigate the repetitive issues escalated to them and make the decision as to whether it can be resolved by ‘service desk’. It should become a routine process to look at the resolution dynamics in a cooperative, cost-reducing way.

Creating value through automation :

Increasingly, IT organizations recognize the potential to use automation to improve alignment with the business,generate savings in both, service provisioning and service operations to move closer to the ultimate goal of IT service excellence.

In many organizations, IT is the least automated department. IT personnel often spend their scarce time on mundane,repetitive tasks rather than on planning and resolving business critical issues. We should eliminate labor-intensive manual interactions and automate key processes such as system, network and application tasks, allowing us to maintain control over these automated tasks, which will free up our time to focus on key issues that improve service levels and improve operational excellence.

How it works :

Execute a set of checks and recovery procedures for any web application server. (Stop, Start, Restart, Recycle Application Pool). To check if a website is down, simply ping the web server. If the server is up and the system telnet port 80 is working, then you can check the status of the ‘IIS service’. At each stage, the monitoring tool sends an alert to the relevant IT staff. When application server stops working, you can perform a remote restart operation via email, remotely and even define the timeout field for a user response.

The ‘Right-to-Left’ strategic approach to IT end-user support aims to reduce resolution time, which results in higher client productivity, greatly diminished incident volumes and IT support costs. It looks across the entire end-to-end IT support spectrum to avoid under utilizing the silos of support, which can sometimes lead to inadvertent cost escalation.

The measurable benefits of implementing this approach results in :

  • Improved employee productivity through the reduction of incidents, duration of incidents and the need for desk-side visits.
  • Lower labour costs through a reduced number of calls to the service desk’s first level and, the subsequent escalation of the number to the second or third levels of support.
  • Driving down incident and outage-related costs by adopting a prevention-based approach that leads to eliminating incidents completely.

Happiest Minds leverages shift left strategy in its Managed Service Deals & offerings, where it employs this through service intake activities by enabling self-service, enabling service catalogs and increasing upfront business/IT involvement in prioritizing application-specific service requests. Happiest Minds by leveraging this strategy increases its business transparency of service delivery, thereby improving customer satisfaction for its clientele.

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