We’re back with the latest instalment in our IT 101 series. Having looked at cloud computing, the IT roadmap, the benefits of an IT consultancy service, the virtual CIO, software licensing and machine management, we now turn our attention to IT ticket management.
Ticket management is a software package or set of tools designed to rid yourself of the outdated post-it note style of task delegation seen above to better organise and track the progress of IT issues reported by the business. It’s one of the most affordable IT upgrades any business or agency on a budget can use to increase efficiency.
Anyone who works with an IT department that uses a ticketing system knows how tricky it can be to manage, and if you’re not actually using a software programme to give the workload some structure, it can get very complicated, very fast.
Ticket management software is designed to take the sting out of helpdesk or outsourced IT support scheduling, so the team can spend more time actually supporting the business and less time on admin and reporting.
A good ticket management system brings order, but it brings a host of other valuable benefits too - all of which can be fed back into the business to inform future thinking, spend, project management and the expansion of the IT roadmap.
Here’s our take on the best of those benefits.
Time tracking is essential for helpdesk teams or any IT support. As a rule, you want good response times and by monitoring them, you’ll have full visibility and be able to pinpoint where improvements can be made.
It provides valuable insight too. For example, how long a simple and more complex ticket typically take to resolve, so time management gets tighter and you can schedule work based on experience.
Each time a new ticket is opened, it starts a timer and tracks how long it remains open for. You’ll be able to see which technicians are closing the most tickets and where things might be slowing down, highlighting a need for more support or additional training, thus giving you the means to assess whether your IT support is performing to your expectations.
Faster problem solving
The benefit of having all the issues raised in one place is that they can be categorised by things like department or severity and acted upon accordingly, whether that’s in-house or by a virtual CIO. You’ll also be able to see who’s managed similar issues and direct tickets to helpdesk agents most qualified to solve them, keeping turnaround times to a minimum.
As the tickets build, you’ll be able to identify problem areas, allowing you to be more proactive, anticipating issues and trouble-shooting specific teams, to avoid recurring issues.
Communication is key to any business and a ticket management system will allow your IT support to communicate up and out better.
You’ll have valuable information to share, such as tips for keeping machines running fast and clean. You can raise user issues, identify training needs and make recommendations around hardware and software housekeeping.
You can also educate employees on industry best practice when it comes to managing things like spam, cyber security, online activity and email threats that can leave the business open to cyber-attacks or data protection disasters.
Some tickets will be more urgent than others and some people will shout louder than others. Ticket management software can help manage both, because it will allow you prioritise and justify the order in which tickets are addressed.
Different software comes with different prioritisation functions. For example, some will let you set the priority, others will start to identify similar issues and assign priority, while some track issues and update the priority automatically to show that work is progressing or will raise a flag if a ticket hasn’t moved.
How intuitive your software is will come down to the features and benefits you opt in to, but even the most basic packages allow you to be more formulaic and organised when it comes to prioritising workload.
This touches on everything from ticket scheduling to managing team resource, so busy times are well-staffed and quieter periods allow for downtime, holidays, team training etc.
Better organisation will help ensure helpdesk employees stick to the task at hand and keep ticket times on track.
Support the business more effectively
The reports and insights ticket management systems produce will inform and in some cases, transform how you think about the business. You’ll be able to pull weekly, monthly and annual stats to support development plans and implement changes that improve customer service and their experience.
You’ll be able to demonstrate, with facts and figures, the difference the helpdesk makes to the business and how good IT management is adding value, creating efficiencies and reducing costs. Speaking of which...
Knowledge is power and in this case, money saving too, as your ticketing system will help identify IT issues that are draining budgets, reducing employee ability to perform and increasing salary costs unnecessarily.
There are countless ways to use the information you’ll gather to improve how the business operates and how much it takes to keep the show on the road.
When it comes to ticket management data, it’s really a case of how much you’ll do with it, as opposed to what you can do with it.
To learn more about ticket management software or talk to an IT expert about your business and how it could work for you, contact us.
You can also learn how an effective and efficient IT support service can help your business grow by downloading our eBook on The Role Of IT In Your Growing Agency.