Mechdyne IT Services have provided service desk support to businesses for over 20 years. Over that time, a multitude of ITSM tools have been developed with countless features. We currently work with over a dozen different tools, but over our history we have worked within more than 30.
What Do You Need?
A good ticketing system needs to include the “complete package.” What do we mean by a “complete package?”
The tool needs to address all your requirements to consider it a one-stop-shop, much like a shopping center which has clothing, entertainment, food, and other supplies. We find that most, if not all, of the IT service management (ITSM) ticketing systems out there include what you need:
ITSM is a set of policies, processes and procedures for managing the implementation, improvement and support of customer-oriented IT services. Unlike other IT management practices that focus on hardware, network or systems, ITSM aims to consistently improve IT customer service in alignment with business goals. Consistently improving IT customer service is done by having the right tools. – CIO.com
How well the ITSM addresses multiple requirements is the question. There are aspects you should not compromise on and those that require further consideration.
When it comes to a ticketing system, our experience tells us the following are the must-haves:
Ticketing systems should include easy reporting that allow you to easily see trend reports on
- specific types of tickets currently active in the ticketing system
- active tickets by group or by IT support person
- aging ticket reports for tickets that have been open for long periods of time
- high priority tickets like an outage ticket.
This will allow IT to tactfully handle each matter appropriately in a timely manner. Report formatting,. The reports will also allow you to reflect on your environment and capture areas you want to perform route cause analysis on to prevent the issues from happening in the future. Being able to export reports is a huge advantage. Whether you review the reports in Excel, PDF, or within the ticketing system, is up to your team.
Being able to easily track down particular tickets brought to your attention will help in any escalated situation. Searching and tracking capabilities are critical to root cause analysis and continuous improvement. The ability to highlight specific ticket trends allows the IT team to better understand the environment and the current issues users are facing.
Most, if not all, ticketing systems can be accessed from your desktop computer. But you aren’t always sitting at their desk. The best ITSMs allow for information portability such as accessing using a mobile app, access to very detailed notifications, and the ability to send communications to mobile devices like a text. This allows for a mobile IT team to succeed.
Ticketing systems that include easy reporting, easy tracking, and easy portability can open up new avenues of using the tool to serve other departments like HR, Marketing, or others. Maybe you need a Service Request for Job Postings that your HR department will handle. Perhaps you need a request for Facilities to handle specific equipment moves. The or workflows can be endless and your organization doesn’t have to rely on multiple ticketing systems or ways to track work.
Additional Goodies to Look For
Being able to customize the form that’s used to enter in a support request allows flexibility for change within your organization. As processes or procedures change, being able to make the appropriate changes in the ticketing system should go hand and hand. Customizing the details that are included on a ticket notification to a user or an IT support person can help satisfy both sides. For a user, they would be satisfied seeing all of the details gathered when they spoke with IT or entered in a ticket. For an IT support person, they would be satisfied seeing all of the details included in a notification, especially if they are away from their computer and mobile in the office supporting other issues. They can easily adjust their focus if something critical has been assigned to their queue or created in their ticketing system.
Workflow development is another goody to be able to have in your back pocket. The ability to design and modify a ticket workflow will allow you to streamline ticket handling. As an example, a new workflow could direct a Service Request to bypasses the Service Desk and go directly to a Level 2 or Level 3 team. Another workflow could better manage tickets include multiple layers of approvals. We recommend you have these features at your disposal. They will help make your ticketing system efficient, and the support too, by reducing tickets that have multiple IT support people touching the ticket. This allows for clear reporting on the types of tickets being submitted, worked, and completed. Development tools will also be handy if you do start new workflows for other departments as mentioned earlier.
Finally, there are some next-level features that can evolve your IT environment. ITSM ticketing systems are implementing bots, predictive analysis, and other features that allow your solution to explore new ways to be engaged with your customers or users. Q&A bots vet a series of questions to provide a document or preliminary steps to resolve an issue. Other bots analyze what is being filled into a ticket and predict user intent. They then automatically populate the rest of the fields within the ticket to save users time.
A ticketing system with the newest REST API abilities allows two software programs to communicate with each other. Some examples of software programs that are great to communicate with your ticketing system are analytic software like Microsoft’s Power BI, Tableau, Sisense, IBM Analytics, or Google Analytics. Connecting programs with this type of integration increases the value of each program. For example, connecting Tableau to an ITSM tool provides for more dashboards and visual reporting capabilities that are otherwise much more difficult to create. Connecting Google Analytics provides real-time statistics on service portals and can provide data on self-service resources.
What is right for your organization should be based on your specific requirements. Determining those needs comes from in-depth discovery, knowledge of existing tools, and what will enable your organization to get to the next level.