4 Stats about business IT you need to see

Given the popularity of services such as Uber, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, we’re getting more and more accustomed to an on-demand culture. Some of that instant gratification from our personal lives is filtering down into the workplace, too.

Employees want easy access to their company’s information and systems. Technology has grown to make that more possible, but the help requests IT departments receive haven’t changed much. Password resets and email frustrations are still frequent, says Mike Holandez, director of ThinkSys.Inc and author of “Service Desk Superhero.” Fifty-seven percent of companies plan to use some kind of IT automation by 2020 with exactly those kinds of tasks in mind.

Here are four more IT business stats you should know, based on 12 months of request data from atSpoke users:

1. 14.5 percent of IT requests are repetitive

“Any repetitive task should be considered for automation,” Holandez says. The time-saving potential is huge. Bots and software can field common IT user requests like unlocking an account after too many attempts at entering the wrong password. It’s great for repetitive processes like onboarding a new employee, too. Holandez suggests building automated scripts for new hires that gives them access to the right systems and resources from day one.

2. When given the option, people will submit 70 percent of their requests through Slack

Sure, some people still get cranky when they can’t talk to a live person, but many of us are more than happy to talk to a machine if our question or problem can be resolved easily and quickly. Slack is a good example of software that can be optimized to drive people to the information they need, whether it’s a channel dedicated to common HR forms or a bot that can tell people the Wi-Fi password or how many vacation hours they have left.

3. IT teams get twice as many requests about hardware as they do about software

Anyone who has watched “Office Space,” can relate to the scene where three co-workers take a bat to a much despised, error-prone office printer. These days, we do a lot less printing, but asking IT staff for hardware-related help is still big. Printer setup, for example, is a frequent request, Holandez says. Which means it makes sense to focus on equipment orientation — whether it’s how to connect an external monitor or how to set up a VPN. Employees also should know where to find that information on their own before they turn to IT staff for help.

4. The Top 10 IT keywords: access, email, password, Wi-fi, laptop, phone, printer, monitor, Slack, Google

Companies who use IT ticketing systems have ready access to records of their employees’ tech struggles. They should tap into that data, Holandez says.

“Make sure a support ticket is written up for every incident or response, no matter how small,” he says.

He then suggests addressing the root issue of the most common requests. For example, if a company gets a lot of access requests to shared drives, they could create a system that automatically routes those requests to an employee’s manager for approval.

“Investing the time to address these problems will pay off when the number of new incidents starts to drop and user satisfaction numbers go up,” he says.

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