Business leaders know that their organization’s success relies on its ability to keep essential processes running smoothly and efficiently. Communication technology like email and Slack have become so essential that business grinds to a halt if there are gaps in service. Furthermore, businesses are increasingly reliant on applications like Jira and ServiceNow to manage workflows and IT service management. Any issues with these applications can lead to decreased productivity, wasted time and potential security risks.
IT Operations managers monitor and track many KPIs, like service-level agreement (SLA) adherence, mean resolution time and many more. Two of the most difficult performance indicators for IT operations managers to keep under control are ticket reassignments and ticket reopens. For example, if a user’s email is down, they submit a ticket to IT. If that ticket is reassigned to second agent or team for resolution after that initial assignment, it signals inefficiencies in the process. Similarly with ticket reopens: if a ticket is reopened after being resolved, it indicates the need to address an issue with training or IT resources.
Because IT processes like ticket management are manual, they invite discrepancies and human error which can easily impact important KPIs and other downstream activities. Ticket management KPIs are critical for understanding how effective your IT support team is and the quality of service being provided to your customers. However, managing ticket reassignments and ticket reopens is a time-consuming and complex process that requires a deep understanding of IT operations and customer support best practices.
Let automation work for you
Adding an automation layer to IT service management improves cross-department communication by giving IT leaders the ability to send out detailed reports and information on a predefined schedule, streamlines workflows by giving easy access to data insights, and increases customer satisfaction by ensuring everything is working as they expect it to.
Although AI and machine learning are often touted as the solution to all problems, it’s important to understand that automating a flawed process can make things worse. Not only can it lead to more inefficiencies, but it can also add to expenses by requiring additional resources to correct mistakes and deal with delays.
To stay ahead of potential service disruptions, processes must be optimized before they can be automated. The first step towards optimization requires giving IT service managers tools to see the flow of tasks and tickets within their system. Auto-discovery tools like process mining — a tool gaining popularity with organizations — does just that. Process Applications for process mining helps IT service managers analyze event logs from various IT systems and applications so they can stay one step ahead of inefficiencies, improve processes and get the insight they need to keep the business running like a well-oiled machine.
Leaders recognize the importance of process optimization
According to a 2023 commissioned process optimization study conducted by Forrester Consulting, 78% of decision-makers polled look at continuous process optimization as a high or critical priority; however, approximately 50% of the surveyed decision-makers confess that their companies lack the expertise to implement process optimization plans. As the demand for process optimization grows, the supply of professionals is not keeping pace. Proper IT service management requires a deep understanding of business processes, the ability to find solutions to inefficiencies and successfully implement improvements.
The same decision-makers are particularly critical of their company’s ability to analyze, reengineer and automate processes. Despite being confident in their ability to review processes with the goal of continuous improvement, only 55% of decision-makers come from firms that can consistently implement this step. This gap could be the result of several factors: lack of resources and expertise being top among them.
36% of respondents polled primarily use automated discovery tools like process mining, which improve their ability to analyze processes objectively and at scale. Continuous process optimization and technological breakthroughs in process mining are now competitive differentiators.
Process mining helps determine if a process is suitable for automation
The technology behind process mining provides a digital twin of the processes so that users can pinpoint hot spots for automation and other improvement opportunities. Process mining can be applied to a wide range of use cases to help IT teams test changes within the solution itself before using it in the organization or making investments in new technology and prevent inefficiencies by triggering actions like prompt notifications. IT operations managers have a real challenge in gathering and analyzing data from different systems or users, and Process Applications can help overcome these challenges by providing prebuilt assets that allow users to quickly dive into their analysis and start improvement initiatives immediately.
Process mining is an ideal solution to start planning for automation. Front-end communication, back-end workflow, and the thousands of processes that govern the supply chain, customer operations, IT operations, finance and administration, quality, and sustainability can benefit from process mining as they involve multiple stakeholders and can be complex and challenging to manage.
A tool like process mining can help IT operations teams save time and money and improve customer satisfaction. It gives IT operations managers the ability to track KPIs like SLA adherence and mean resolution time across the organization. For example, let’s say an employee needs access to their email or Webex. Their manager raises a request on a tool like ServiceNow, JIRA, or Remedy.
The process mining application helps IT operations managers manage that ticket through the entire life cycle of the request, ensuring service level agreements (SLAs) are met without incurring penalties, and that critical services are managed efficiently until the ticket is closed. The application ensures IT service managers don’t need to manually track tickets and employees are more satisfied with IT support knowing their requests are being handled quickly and efficiently.
Identifying the right processes to improve, getting the necessary resources and support, and changing how people work can be difficult. A process mining tool helps service managers see the flow of tasks and tickets within their system. It provides an overview of the different paths’ tickets take, as they move from open to resolved to closed. The tool helps to identify areas of improvement in ticket management, such as multiple tickets being assigned to one person only to get reassigned to another, or tickets being constantly reopened. Process Applications also assist IT operations managers in setting KPIs, such as time required to resolve a ticket based on severity or priority, which improves the overall efficiency of ticket management and helps to meet SLAs in a timely fashion.
IBM Process Application delivers the process mining tools your organization needs
Innovative tools like process mining allow your experts to accomplish faster and more successful process optimization projects. The IT Service Management for ServiceNow Process Application from IBM Consulting is a prebuilt Process Application offered inside IBM Process Mining. The application includes modules like a direct connector for ServiceNow which speeds up the process of importing data and getting started with process analyses.
The Process Application also includes preconfigured analytics dashboards and common KPIs so users can get insights faster and focus on optimization and improvement initiatives using industry benchmarks and best practices. Designed specifically for the IT Service Management process with the ServiceNow connector, the analytics dashboards and KPIs are preconfigured according to a proprietary framework of IBM Consulting. This Process Excellence Value Triangle framework focuses on three main areas: efficiency, experience, and compliance. The Process Excellence Value Triangle uses industry expertise, benchmarks, and organizational targets to monitor and understand how the process is performing and how it makes data-driven decisions.
In addition, IBM Process Application focuses on the entire incident lifecycle, from monitoring performance to action flows. As a result, users can take proactive measures to optimize service efficiency and improve user experience using intelligent processes.