Are you using your helpdesk ticket data?

Data driven technology decisions are available if you know where to look!

“Leave no stone unturned” An idiom with historic roots as explained in the Free Dictionary:

This term actually dates back to a Greek legend recounted by Euripides. One of Xerxes’s generals, Mardonius, was said to have abandoned a great treasure in his tent when he was defeated in the battle of Plataea (477 b.c.). Polycrates of Thebes looked for the treasure but could not find it, and turned to the Oracle of Delphi for advice. The oracle replied, “Move every stone,” which Erasmus later translated as, “Leave no stone unturned.”

Are you applying this centuries old, proven advice when thinking about your technology budget and/or roadmap? If you are not thinking about what your workforce is spending its time on and what you can do to prioritize or shift heavy ticket hitters, then you did not leave every stone unturned. This is most likely costing you.

You might be saying to yourself, “Good for Polycrates and the divine wisdom shared by his Oracle – wish I had one of those”. I am here to tell you that you do have one. No, I am not talking about your Oracle of NetSuite, but your IT ticketing system.

Don’t have an IT ticketing system? I recommend Zendesk, or at least have your IT team export their helpdesk email requests for further analysis. Small team and don’t want to spend on a purpose built system – perhaps MS Planner from Microsoft?

Ticketing systems are often viewed as work tracking systems and nothing more - but the real gold for those who value strategy, long-term vision and proper workforce management is in the reporting capabilities. Your stone to unturn therefore lies in your ticketing system as the data it contains is full of insight into your technological needs. Every time your employees interact with your IT team and a ticket is created; a manual interaction occurs. Those manual interactions are costing companies quite a lot. This is manifesting itself in lost time, not only for the employee seeking assistance, but also for the IT staff member as they could be spending their time driving the organization forward and not working on repetitive challenges or requests.

To continue Greeking out, lets visit the story of Sisyphus who, although he did pick up a huge boulder to some credit here, brought it up the hill only for it to roll back down making him start the effort all over again (Full story here).

As a punishment for his crimes Hades…ended up consigning Sisyphus to an eternity of useless efforts and unending frustration.

If Sisyphus had reporting capabilities, he would have realized his task could have at least used a wheelbarrow or a wedge! All jokes aside, ask yourself, are we doing the same thing to our IT department? Are we asking them to solve the same challenge or fulfill the same request repeatedly? Are our employees frustrated with the service they are provided, not because of the people but because of the asks? Instead of taking a feelings approach, back up the answer with data.

How do I do this?

High level overview:

  • Use your ticketing system to create reports based on ticket subjects or categories
  • If the system has graphing capabilities, check for high volumes of the same category/total time by category/incidents by priority/etc. Pie charts really help here!
  • If you can only export because the system does not chart well, use Excel and make a pivot table from the raw data
  • Use the outcomes to have meaningful strategic discussions with your IT team
  • Map solutions to a roadmap and mark possible budgetary items
  • Determine ROI based on future ticket avoidance

Here are a few recurring themes we see from our clients:

  • Password resets – Microsoft can handle this for you but make sure you have Azure AD connect setup
  • Printer setup – Microsoft has Universal Print, making print management easier than ever for both employees and IT
  • File Permissions – Enable employees to manage access to files using a modern approach with Microsoft Teams or SharePoint
  • Computer performance – Microsoft Intune has endpoint analytics that can help you help employees before they report work blockages from equipment malfunctions
  • Onboarding/Offboarding – Microsoft can integrate with many HRIS systems, allowing you to help automate user creation from work that your HR team is already doing
  • Computer refreshes – Ease the computer replacement cycle using Microsoft Autopilot or possibly
  • Application Installation – Employee’s shouldn’t be administrators of their machines. Use Intune to allow them installation access for approved apps without compromising security
  • VPN challenges – Remove VPN dependencies by shifting workloads to the cloud with Microsoft Azure
  • Spam/Phishing emails – Microsoft Defender for Office 365 allows your users to report events quickly through Outlook. You can also send phishing emails to your own employees to help with awareness and training

The results of your reporting exercise may include the above items or may surface something new. The point is to act and leave no stone unturned. Without analysis of your ticketing system, are you really making data driven decisions when looking at your technology footprint and strategic roadmap for the future? Some solutions may not even cost you at all because you may already have the capabilities available through your existing Microsoft licensing. Don’t be Sisyphus because you will certainly cost yourself time and money. FMT can help guide you on the next steps. We are your wheelbarrow and wedge – time spent with us will help keep the stone you unturned at the top of the hill where employees and IT are productive, happily efficient beings. Contact us and invest wisely in your company’s future!


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