Top 3 themes to nailing remote IT support

The sudden transition of an entire organization to remote work is a rare event. Even though most of us have worked remotely, there are still questions about the best way for IT teams to support colleagues in this new virtual workplace. 

Our in-house IT expert Erin Merchant hosted a webinar panel alongside IT pros Brian Chui (Mapbox), Michael Lynch (Doximity), and Will Carrington (Capsule) to discuss everything from the indisputable needs to the nuances of user empowerment to provide robust and remote IT support. You can watch the live interview here.

1. Start with table stakes

IT teams are familiar with 3 important components of the business: its tools, processes, and people and have undergone an evolution from being a siloed project-based team to a crucial representative of the operations and tech team. They are expected to meet the incumbent maintenance requests of yesterday while discovering new methods of efficiency for all teams across the organization. 

Cloud-based solutions allow for higher overall accessibility and increase the ability to make changes quickly (especially when paired with and IDP and SSO). It also allows you to measure the importance of that service in your catalog. When thinking about accessibility, questioning usage and importance will help pare down to essentials and elevate their visibility to increase use. If you’d like to go more in-depth or review your tools, review our remote work webinar notes

2. Processes for the people

Creating a standardized approach for your company is not easy to lock down and tailor. Start by keeping it simple! If you don’t have a consistent process right now, that’s OK. Start documenting what steps you take for one process and then iterate. Don’t focus on edge cases. Instead, focus on replicable routine and move towards refinement. 

Iteration allows you to find partners to back you up! “You can prep all the tools you want, but it won’t matter if you’re people aren’t going to be there to follow it”, says Brian Chui. Tools complement processes in place and processes are only successful if you have people’s support. Whenever possible, get buy-in from the leadership or finance team to make a business case about the time savings and labor reduction through tool implementation. By understanding what they need to get out of the process, and with some compromise, you’ll find that creating a process is a collaborative effort that can grow with the business.  

Where you don’t have champions, you can find them. Talk to your peers about the technology they use and how they use it so you can offer fitting solutions. You will benefit from previous engagement when you roll out a new policy or procedure because it won’t feel like a demand, it’ll be a mutually beneficial decision that was led by your team.

3. The “remote” versus “distributed” mindset

Inclusion is vital to a successful remote IT support program. IT teams can practice user inclusion by adopting a new mindset in how they see their national or global workforce. Michael Lynch says “We like to think of ourselves not as a remote team because it becomes a very ‘us’ and them thing. The biggest takeaway to offer up is that we’re all in the same boat, but we’re just doing it in different ways. This mindset is crucial.” 

Addressing individual groups leads to exclusion or prioritization – it creates a polarizing environment of “us” versus “them”. All choices start to encompass everyone as a whole when the company is viewed as one distributed team. As an IT leader, you have the power to unify by exemplifying unified communication and collaboration through support. Inclusivity and support of distributed workers do not take additional effort – it’s a standard.

The real deal: IT leads the charge for great user experience

IT is the central team that keeps everyone moving because they are the gatekeepers between all the available tech in the world and their company. You are the showrunners!

The best IT folks challenge themselves by automating as much of the mundane as possible, in order to explore and innovate on current solutions in place. Brian Chui said, “AskSpoke was a great addition to our toolset because folks can find what they need without us.” Companies like Mapbox, Capsule, and Doximity who choose to automate accessibility to support are able to shift their resources to larger initiatives. It showcases their commitment to the business, innovative solutions, and great experiences. What more can you ask for from your IT team?

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