As much as it sounds like a buzzword, self-service is not all that alien. Take for example the ubiquitous visit to the ATM. Or the numerous times we walk through automatic doors. Or when we fill gas in our vehicles in a self-serve mode. These are everyday instances of engaging with self-service. When applied to the workplace, it can bring about game changing advantages in efficiency.
A self-service approach to automation can save significant time. Traditional IT in the workplace is fraught with delays and bottlenecks. Even a simple action like a password reset requires calling a help desk and opening a ticket and waiting till the ticket is identified and processed.
As we move higher up in the value chain, it is thus not difficult to see how and why self-service automation can boost productivity and increase efficiency. The self-service reset gifts us with a minimal workflow interruption, besides significant saving of time and effort.
With burgeoning new technologies that IT must manage, and the widening gap in IT manpower and skills, IT departments are simply unable to keep up with increasing industry demands. With self-service automation, IT can better cope with this scarcity of professionals.
Imagine the relief of freeing up experienced professionals from the tedium of day-to-day tasks. IT departments can now apply their skills to more mission- and organization-critical projects. They can optimally reallocate their time and skills to better run their organization.
When properly implemented, IT will still have the control to improve design workflows and privileges for better security and governance. They can thus achieve faster management and execution of requests. And they can bring about traceability and transparency to operations that is so vital for operations.
If time saving and increased efficiency are the prizes for IT departments, freedom from dependence on the IT department is the biggest advantage for end-users and non IT-users.
Being able to get real-time information and problem resolution without having to wait for or depend on anyone is a big plus for users. The end result is an improved ‘time-to-insight’ and a meaningful engagement of the end user with technology. This keeps them less frustrated and more productive.
Users can ‘order’ what they need from a list of standard options in an intuitive web portal. Self-service automation may also be deployed to proactively transfer ownership to the end-user through alerts and notifications.
An important aspect to remember is that self-service channels must be coordinated and integrated for omni-channel seamlessness.
The IT function can focus on critical tasks and enable on-demand provisioning of application and infrastructure requests. They can still have the control to improve design workflows and privileges for better security and governance. And administrators can monitor and track each service, end-to-end.
In other words everyone wins.