The 3 keys to the success of IT support !

Support IT team

Prepare to do things differently. It is a survival condition for IT support in your business. 

Many factors contribute to making IT support more complex to users: constantly evolving technologies, market globalization, employee mobility, multiplication of applications and connections with customers and partners ... These elements can also create "silos" organizational or technological. 

Towards a growing need for agility, organizations face the challenge of supporting a rapid evolution of platforms and tools. Time to market is essential to stay competitive. 

The complexity of the support service has therefore increased considerably. And if it increases, it also increases the risks. In fact, a failing support center not only generates employee dissatisfaction and slows down activity. It can also go so far as to prevent the growth of the company, to jeopardize the development of the business.

SIAM, SHIFT LEFT and XLA: if these 3 words are not familiar to you, discover 3 ways to guarantee the performance of your IT support services and increase the satisfaction of users. 

SIAM: Ensuring coherence of IT services 

The SIAM, acronym for Service Integration and Management, is one of the latest developments in ITIL. It addresses new challenges raised by the proliferation of IT service providers internal and external to the organization. The complexity of the IT infrastructure such as the advent of the cloud and the impact of security also impact the tasks of IT support teams. 

The first objective of the SIAM is to propose, upstream, a single point of contact for the entire business. The SIAM function ensures the relationship between the business and the different entities of the IT department in charge of each segment offering the deliverables to users. 

Its primary role is to manage the delivery of each stakeholder (internal or external) who delivers services to the Business while synchronizing in an integrated and coherent way their services. The SIAM thus plays a key role in the coherent management of different external suppliers, notably by harmonizing service levels (SLAs) between the different service providers and in relation to the business. 

This unique team also supports important functions such as implementation of security rules, disaster continuity plans, knowledge management or quality control of the service. 

SIAM also integrates the Service Desk to provide a single point of contact between users and different IT service providers for incident management, service requests or change requests, system and network events, and tracking problems until resolution. It offers a complete service catalog, consistent with that of different IT service providers and in line with the needs of users. 

The benefits of the SIAM are both operational and financial. While this approach improves the availability and quality of services, it also helps to optimize operating costs and the use of resources, and to achieve economies of scale. 

The implementation of this new structure is done by and with the internal teams of the company. You can also entrust this role to an external service provider who is not already involved in the support of certain applications or in the delivery of services, this to avoid any conflict of interest. 

Shift Left Operations: Ensuring rapid resolution of incidents 

In order to increase responsiveness and reduce the budgets of IT support services, the implementation of tools that promote user autonomy is essential. 

And this is the concept of "Shift Left", which proposes to set up effective and professional self-help tools such as user portals, Chatbots or FAQ's. Shift Left also promotes RPA (Robotic Process Automation) to speed up repetitive tasks and automate workflows. 

The benefits of Shift Left Operations are numerous. First, users are able to immediately resolve, without human intervention, simple problems such as resetting a password or running standard service requests. The direct consequence is a reduction in the number of calls and e-mails at the Service Desk. 

This approach facilitates better organization of IT support services and optimization of resource utilization. It is therefore possible to organize a Service Desk with highly qualified staff able to offer a first call resolution approaching or exceeding 80% which drastically reduces the need to assign calls in the second or third line. The shift left allows a better use of the know-how and technical capabilities of Service Desk agents, scarce human resources, while improving their skills. Therefore, this ensures a better experience for the end user. 

At the financial level, the shift left operational approach obviously offers a clear reduction in the overall cost per incident or service request, not only through self-help aspects, but also through a better use of IT support resources. 

XLA: Evaluating Real Satisfaction and Optimizing Services 

If you have a well-organized team and powerful tools for managing your IT support, you must also be able to evaluate the quality of the service in order to optimize it regularly to measure the real quality of the service as experienced by the users. 

The establishment of a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to ensure responsiveness and KPI (Key Performance Indicator) to measure problem solving is a solid foundation. However, this is not sufficient to have a view of the satisfaction actually perceived by users about the responses provided by IT support. 

The ITIL4 methodology, which focuses on the added value of "Service Management" for the business of the company or organization, brings a new important concept: the XLA - eXperience Level Agreement. 

XLA goes beyond the concept of SLA by the fact that we are looking here for the satisfaction of the user. Having performance indicators (KPIs) "in the green" simply means that service delivery is correct, while users expect, in many cases, that the delivered service really meets their needs. Indeed, it is not because the KPIs are reached that the customer is happy with the answer that has been delivered. 

Controlling the real added value of the service delivered is through regular satisfaction surveys and Service Level Management, supplemented by the implementation of a continuous improvement program involving the beneficiaries of the service. 


Want to know more about the implementation of SIAM, Shift Left Operations or XLA? Discover our IT Support Services