IT teams in modern workplaces are no longer spending the bulk of their time troubleshooting and break/fixing issues. As in any service industry in the consumer world, IT service workers are now expected to deliver a great experience to their consumers – the employees.
Managing the workplace has become much more like managing a theme park, where every aspect of its real estate should exhibit interest, joy, and fun; everything that makes up a great experience.
When the expectations of the end consumers – here, the employees – is to have a great experience, IT teams are expected to go above and beyond the basic responsibility of keeping IT services up and running. They have to bring in more excitements that can get employees engaged and empowered. They will have to keep thinking of new and creative avenues to make work interesting for employees.
Suddenly, words like issues, incidents, and break/fixes have become stone-age terms in IT, while words like productivity, engagement, and experience are the new-age priorities.
Let’s return to the idea of a theme park. The issues in any theme park might include lights not working, overly long queue lines for rides, insufficient parking, etc. Does this mean that in a great theme park, these issues, problems, and break/fixes simply vanish on their own? And consumers only see and feel excitement, fun, and great experiences?
No! A great theme park is instead one where the team has invested extra effort to first overcome these basic issues: they’ve learned to apply the right technology and processes to identify them on an ongoing basis, catch them before they occur, and learn how to avoid them in the future. They’ve invested in new technology to avoid issues in advance, brought in regular and continuous maintenance, and proactively replaced and replenished vulnerable items ahead of time. In short, the team has prepared themselves to keep the basic amenities of the theme park up and running non-stop without any hiccups.
This is a major step, and the most necessary one for the “theme park operations” team to achieve before they step into the next stage of creating a more exciting and experience-rich environment.
If we apply the same view to the digital workplace, an IT team has to overcome the long-haunting obstacles that every team faces in the end user space. These obstacles are the user-logged issues – the top call drivers that cause employees to submit support tickets. IT must be able to address these top call drivers, arrest them, and create an infrastructure to avoid them from recurring.
To do so successfully, they must also have a mechanism in place to monitor and alert them if anything may go wrong in the future, enable regular and continuous maintenance, and optimize every asset in the enterprise for availability, performance, usage, and risk.
To wrap up this theme park comparison, here are the two main lessons that both theme park management teams and IT operation teams have learned through the exercise we’ve outlined above:
1. Experience is an outcome, not a commodity. A great experience is not a “new” commodity that we can offer to our customers. It is an “outcome” of the services we offer to those customers. When our infrastructure is properly managed and secured, and our operations are at maximum efficiency, every facet of our strategy works in tandem to minimize the issues and problems felt by the customer – in the case of IT, the employee.
2. Seamless services are the first step to transformation and great experiences. We cannot provide new and thrilling experiences if our customers are still being impacted by regular issues. When we get basic services running without any hiccups, then we have the opportunity to create offerings that are more exciting and useful to customers. Digital transformation initiatives become possible only when you’ve created a seamless and smooth environment.
Yes! Experience by itself is not an isolated offering of any one service. It is the outcome of the services performing efficiently.
In end-user computing, digital experience cannot be offered or operated as an isolated offering. It has to be a consolidated outcome of all or most of the end-user IT service functions performing perfectly. This then translates into a “desirable digital experience” for the employees who use these IT services.
When you’ve minimized the impact of issues in your environment and enabled a desirable digital experience for your employees, you’ve set your IT team up for success in the future – a future filled with transformation initiatives that will surprise, interest, and delight your employees as much as the best theme park attractions.