Schools and colleges are home to thousands of IT assets. For IT departments, however, these computers, mobile devices, and other digital assets provide endless challenges. Each asset must be tracked, managed, and supported—often by a small IT team.
It’s not unusual for IT pros to manage this process using email, Post-it® notes, and spreadsheets.
There’s a lot of room for efficiency in this process. One way to achieve this transformation—without costs getting out of control—is to automate the IT service desk.
Not to be confused with the help desk, which resolves issues as they arise, the service desk focuses on maximizing productivity and accelerating resolution.
Taking the Frustration Out of Tech Support
In education environments, tech support needs come fast and furious, placing demands on already stretched resources. IT pros also wrestle with the changing nature of remote learning and technological advancements accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The help desk is an ideal starting point for modernizing a legacy system. It provides a home-grown tracking system to an affordable, automated self-service IT asset management and ticketing system.
Often, a help desk system can seamlessly integrate into existing IT infrastructure and provides an easy-to-use method for students to request technical support. Automated processes turn mountains of emails, support requests into tickets, and reminders to ensure nothing gets lost in the shuffle, simplifying the entire process.
In addition, the IT help desk has automated the IT asset discovery, tracking, and reporting process with a granular view of all the details needed to ensure visibility, life cycle asset management, and security of every asset.
A Touchless User Experience
Today, students and faculty are used to getting answers in a few clicks. With the IT service desk, they can do just that. When students and staff have questions about their devices or digital services, the service desk connects them to the necessary answers and solutions—all in one place. Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbots answer common questions and intelligent suggestions direct users to the correct information via a service portal.
Instead of a frustrating legacy system that users are reluctant to use, the help desk is the first step toward a more modern system. If educational institutions want to simplify the user experience further, adopting a service desk approach can help.
Seamlessly Manage Cross-Departmental Workflows
The IT service desk extends beyond the help desk and asset management for enhanced workflows and reduced reliance on disparate toolsets. With a service desk approach, all parties are intricately linked in a step-by-step automated workflow, including IT service and asset requests, incident and problem management (including network performance issues), and more, reducing a multi-step process to one or two steps.
The service desk ensures tickets are tracked, recurring issues are identified, and services work properly. Tasks happen in parallel. Notifications ensure relevant parties are engaged efficiently for approvals, such as requests for new IT assets. Plus, new students and staff enjoy a positive onboarding experience where everything they need to succeed is in place on day one.
Though the help desk addresses individual user issues, an all-encompassing cloud-based service desk oversees the lay of the land. This is a win-win situation for everyone in today’s expanding digital education environment.
The author, John Wilson is Director of Sales for SLED and Healthcare, at SolarWinds.