Success in the digital era requires the right blend of business, IT and soft skills. COVID-19 has escalated digital initiatives into digital imperatives, creating urgent pressure on HR leaders to work with their CEO, CFO and CIO to rethink skill needs as business models change. The biggest problem is finding people with the right skills. Every business is looking for people with skills to accelerate digital transformation but there is a shortage of these skills in the marketplace. Given these shortages, how can you free up skilled resources to accelerate your digital transformation initiatives?
Recently, in their annual State of the CIO Survey, CIO Magazine asked companies for their opinion on the skills needed for digital transformation. According to the CIO’s, technology integration and implementation was the number one skill needed for digital transformation. Gartner’s TalentNeuron Labor Market Trends Reports, which showcase the latest labor market data related to global job and skills demands, also shows that a lack of skills is threatening digital transformation. The TalentNeuron report shows demand for AI skills increasing by 103%, and demand for data science / data analytics skills increasing by 106%.
Many organizations already possess some of these skills in their IT department. Unfortunately, the people with these critical skills are busy trying to meet current operational requirements. Just trying to keep the business running, doing things like implementing new versions of software, provisioning or deprovisioning users, fixing internet or network problems, changing user privileges as they change positions etc. As a result, these people have no time to architect digital transformation. Is there a way to free up these resources from operational tasks?
The IT Service Desk plays a key role in operating and maintaining a company’s current IT investments. A typical service desk manages incidents (service disruptions) and service requests (routine service-related tasks) along with handling user communications for things like outages and planned changes to services. Service Desks have always had to handle a high volume of work, but the COVID crisis has worsened the skill shortage due to increased service desk requirements. Data from a 2020 MetricNet survey indicate that IT Service Desk monthly helpdesk ticket volumes have increased 35% due to remote work and COVID.
One of the customers we’ve recently worked with, a global pharmaceutical company, has told us that they process over 1,300 tickets per month on their email help desk. This does not include service tickets for all the other systems in the company. So, it’s easy to see how this can chew up IT technical resources.
In order to handle this increased volume and keep current systems operating efficiently many organizations have had to dedicate more staff to Service Desk ticket resolution. More technical staff in Service Desks means less staff available for digital transformation.
What if it was possible to automate a large percentage of day to day operational tasks in order to free up technical resources for more strategic business transformation initiatives? Recent advances in IT Automation Solutions are making this change possible. IT Automation Solutions are cloud based automation tools which allow IT to automate many of the routine tasks that take up a large percentage of technical professionals’ time.
Our recent work at Alorica is a good example of automation freeing up skilled resources for more important work. Alorica is a 100K person company that was able to free up a dozen IT people after they implemented automation to handle service desk requests stemming from provisioning and deprovisioning employees. As a side benefit, average time to provision a new user went from 72 hours to a matter of seconds. The 12 people that used to be focused on provisioning are now able to focus on more strategic tasks.
Automation is good for business and good for employee morale also. Employees would much prefer to work on strategic initiatives rather than a repetitive process. So, automation makes for a happier workforce, significantly reduces your turnover, and prepares your organization for digital transformation.
Many organizations don’t understand the cost of repetitive IT tasks. A lot of this work has always been done manually so organizations often do not know that there are faster and better ways of getting things done. CIOs are often surprised at how much they are spending on routine help desk tasks. To help organizations understand how much resource could be freed up by automation we created an ROI Calculator for automation. The tool measures the time required and costs of routine tasks. Examples of tasks are setting up a new Office 365 account, setting up a new NT login, etc. The screenshot below shows the ROI calculator and the time savings that could be achieved by automation at one of our prospects. In this case, automation could reclaim 440 IT days, which is approximately 2 person years that could be allocated to more important digital transformation tasks.
If your organization is interested to find out how many technical staff could be freed up by automation contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.