IT Service Maturity Relies on Stellar Self-Service Portals

With the federal government spending at least $90 billion on IT annually and state and local governments spending $103 billion on IT in 2018, plenty of questions arise, but none bigger than: Are you ready?

Are you ready to be at the forefront of government information technology? Is your department making the investment to modernize your approach to IT service delivery?

The answers to most of those questions, according to research commissioned from HDI appears to be “yes.” The research shows that government IT staff, along with those in education and healthcare lead the way in knowledge management, process controls, and other steps toward ensuring IT service maturity compared to other industry sectors.

Government, education and healthcare IT departments will need to continue to be on the cutting edge of ever-changing technology because the rapid influx of technology in these sectors is not going to slow down. In fact, all studies show that the pace of technology adoption and device proliferation will pick up speed.

This places an immense strain on IT departments in government, education and healthcare. The way to deal with this change is to improve process controls and to embrace self-service and knowledge management. Fortunately, this migration makes a significant positive impact very quickly.

Rory Atkinson, senior writer and analyst for HDI, noted that IT service maturity, such as knowledge-centered services and self-service, is vital. “These sectors are facing rapid expansion and adoption of new technology, which creates a need for more efficiency and expanded use of KCS and self-service portals,” Atkinson said.

HDI’s research showed that 65 percent of IT professionals in government, healthcare, and education are more likely to leverage knowledge-centered service than their peers in all other industry sectors combined, a statistic that may seem unusual to the average person.

Having an easy-to-navigate self-service portal is an important building block. The average Level 1 support call costs $22 while the average cost of a self-service incident is $2. The opportunity for reduced costs are significant given that 65 percent of end users contact support. While the remaining 35 percent may simply not have a question, the likelihood is that the tech-savvy individuals are just finding their own answers, making a strong self-help system vital.

Amazon and Google thrive not just because of marketing. They thrive because of the ease of using their sites. Government needs to be equally nimble in how they support their end-users. Here are a few tips to making this happen:

Create a Stellar End-User Portal

Make your portal welcoming by including graphic elements that the user will recognize. Familiarity brings comfort – and return visits. Also, ensure that your site uses the customer’s language, especially in navigation efforts, and doesn’t get bogged down in “government-ese,” using the language only common to those who work for the government.

Make Self-Service Portal Accessible

When creating a portal, it is important to be as accessible as possible. This is why most government self-service portals are WCAG 2.0/508 compliant. Not only should the site be easy to navigate, but it should also be made available to everyone.

Knowledge Base Design

Along with being easy to navigate and in users’ language, stellar portals also include a knowledge base this is highly indexed, provides quick links to the most accessed content, has the ability to enhance content, and is accessible via mobile devices.

Self-service delivery of content and help is not the only way forward. Best-in-class IT organizations are also taking these key steps forward:

Change Management

Adoption of a strong change management process can prevent problems from occurring. When resources have the time to apply a change-management framework, they can reduce the volume of tickets generated.

Bringing Projects & Service Together

Are you prepared to take on the onslaught of new projects that will kick up in light of the rapid expansion of tech spend? It is best to keep IT service management and project management together on one platform. This gives you the ability to manage resources more effectively and to quickly gain perspective on work assignments and project outcomes.

On May 21, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT, will host a virtual roundtable with five panelists from government, higher education, and K-12 institutions. The panelists will discuss key findings from the recent market study and will share real-world examples that can help all organizations bridge the project management maturity gap. 

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