The New York State Office of the Comptroller’s IT team wanted to deploy new processes and tools to address their 3,000 employee’s IT service requests, recognizing that delays impact both employees and the citizens they serve.

Josh Freddoso, an IT specialist with the New York Office of the State Comptroller (NY OSC), told attendees at ServiceNow’s Knowledge 2019 conference on May 8 how the state took action to clear one of its biggest work-process challenges – deploying a key customer portal – and has achieved transformative results because of that effort.

Despite an expanding mission, the office had little transparency and challenging processes for communicating information. With an inefficient paper and email-based system for IT service requests that begged for an upgrade to modern digital workflows, NYSC employees had to spend too much time digitizing and manually entering data. The bottom line: outdated processes limited Freddoso’s team’s ability to plan ahead and meet user needs.

Focused on providing NYSC employees better service and more visibility into request status, NYSC deployed ServiceNow IT Service Management (ITSM) to create new, efficient digital workflows.

Freddoso’s team built a self-service customer portal that streamlines work and brings the transparency and efficiency the office needed. The team abolished the challenges of operating with paper forms and email, and moved all employees onto the portal. On the portal, employees can easily and directly report incidents, make requests, check status, and provide feedback.

Freddoso noted that ongoing meetings with the IT coordinators for each bureau helped keep the team on the same page, move the project forward, and deliver the improvements.

Once deployed, the IT team could offer employees quicker responses to requests for help, and avoid crowded, confusing email chains. The net – faster answers and a better experience for the IT team and the employees who need support.

Over a year has passed since NYSC launched the portal, and Freddoso shared metrics that demonstrate the portal’s impact and the success they’ve had with adoption.

The IT team has seen a 36 percent decrease in emails – translating to 14,000 emails fewer emails – to the service desk, which was the single point of contact before the portal. That reduction, Freddoso added, has allowed the service desk to focus on more important work while empowering users to have more control over and visibility into their requests.

And, the team has seen a 40 percent increase – or 5,000 – in the number of incidents submitted. Freddoso credits the easy ticket submission process, and highly responsive service to get the issues resolved. That improvement, in turn, has increased trust in the IT team, he said.

“I think before the customer portal, a lot of times they’ve had an issue and said, ‘I’m not even going to send it to IT. I’m just going to work around it on my own, or I’ll talk to somebody to help me figure it out.’”

Hand-in-hand with the increased usage and trust came a big jump in the number of service requests submitted – up more than 9,000, for a 104 percent increase.

Across the board, the team met their goals; improving IT request transparency, expediting service to employees who submit IT requests; and making it easier for employees to make IT requests – eliminating paper forms and signatures.

The team now has a true picture of the work completed. The ability to track these requests provides insight into the workload and areas that need attention, such as what software needs to be replaced. That data also helps identify where more resources are needed. The IT team can plan and make sound business decisions, including looking ahead at the next steps.

Freddoso said that automating more services and continuing to enhance the portal are near-term goals, which the team plans to accomplish by exploring more opportunities within the service management platform.

Freddoso emphasized that maintaining robust support and governance, patience, communication, and a positive attitude have been key to the success he’s seen so far. And he said the culture his team has been able to foster with the portal improvement provides the fuel to tackle the next goals on its journey.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs