It’s no secret IT teams in the public sector are battling a variety of resource constraints due to accelerated digital transformation timelines, budget constraints and being understaffed.
According to a survey from Gartner, there are a few barriers to deploying the types of emerging technology needed for digital transformation initiatives. These barriers include a lack of IT talent availability (64 percent), the cost of implementation (29 percent) and security risk (7 percent).
In fact, IT executives cited talent availability as the main adoption risk factor for the majority of IT automation technologies (75 percent) and nearly half of digital workplace technologies (41 percent).
Keeping these barriers in mind, here are 5 things you can do to help overcome these resource issues.
- Engage in Resource Capacity Planning
Apart from self-service, resource capacity planning can be one of the most valuable tools you can use to combat resource constraints.
Having a single view of all work – both tickets and projects – together on one platform for IT Service Management (ITSM) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) can help you better understand what work needs to be prioritized, and who has the availability to work on it.
Hema Nekkanti, project management office manager at the City of Sunnyvale, CA, touts the benefits of bringing ITSM and PPM together on a single platform, “With one platform now we can actually see the tickets that are being worked on as well as the projects that are in the pipeline,” she said. “This gives us the ability to actually allocate the resources appropriately, and there’s no resource conflict.”
- Focus on Improving Self-Service Capabilities
Investing time in creating a searchable, easy-to-use, robust self-service portal with a knowledge base might be the BEST thing you can do to combat resource drain at your organization. Without a great self-service portal, tickets can stack up and your IT help desk can quickly become overwhelmed.
When creating a self-service portal, there are some key considerations: First, that the content is easy to find, and available via Google search.
Second, the content needs to be very clear and concise. One mistake IT groups make is that they write the content from an IT perspective. It is often helpful to engage the public relations or marketing departments to help describe the services they offer.
Third, accessibility is important — making sure that your client portal is usable by everyone. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also reduces your legal liability.
Fourth, you also must do regular maintenance on the portal. The content will need to change as systems change and get upgraded.
“Our client portal will really open up the gateway to all city staff to be able to request IT services and also access the self-service portion of our portal,” Abigail Ferguson, Customer Success Manager for the City of Madison’s Information Technology, said. “It’s really going to be a game changer for us because it will be consolidating all of the different places people used to go for resources.” With this key pillar in place, the team can further build out the knowledge base to expedite self-service resolution.
- Find Ways to Automate
Did you know 58 percent of IT leaders say their teams spend an average of 5 or more hours per week (that’s nearly two months, annually) on tasks that can be automated? And that 90 percent say those tasks directly contribute to low morale and attrition within their organizations?
Automation is not just about delivering faster service to internal customers 24/7/365. While those are benefits, it also makes your team more content, and it allows them to focus more on the requests that actually require human intellect and interaction. They are no longer spending their time working through a huge queue of password resets or onboarding requests.
Using an integration and automation tool like iPaaS is a great way to empower your team to create codeless automations between different systems.
- Invest in No-Code Tools
Organizations tend to have developers who know how to write code and system administrators or businesspeople who know what they want to automate, but who don’t have the technical skills to do it.
A good integration and automation (iPaaS) platform will serve both of these communities.
It can dramatically expand that community of integrators and people working on automations by democratizing the processes through no-code functionality. This way, when somebody has a business idea, they can put it into practice, generating value instead of waiting in line for IT to have time.
In addition to codeless integration and automation. You can use a codeless ITSM solution with integration and automation functionality built in.
The primary benefit of using a flexible, no-code ITSM platform is its capability to streamline various IT processes while eliminating the need for coding skills. This means faster implementations with minimal overhead costs and more efficient operations as teams no longer need to become bogged down in complex coding projects.
“The drudgery of working through mundane, repetitive tasks doesn’t exist just in IT,” Mark Hayes, information technology leader at Pima County, said. “I think the more we can reduce toil within the departments that we support, the more people are going to buy in and understand the value of what we’re trying to achieve. There’s nothing like success to breed more success, and once other departments see the benefits they’re going to want these tools too.”
And it’s that success that IT is starting to realize with ITSM and iPaaS from TeamDynamix, “We’ve been able to use our success to drive additional headcount in our organization, to do more and better things,” Hayes said.
- Use Integration Tools
A recent market study conducted by TeamDynamix and IDG found that 89% of companies surveyed said they struggle with data integration backlogs, even if using a third party to help. In addition, 74% say they simply don’t have enough resources to handle the integration workload.
Usually, integration debt builds over time as more and more applications, systems and databases are brought into the enterprise system landscape. However, the pace of new tech adoption is on the rise, and IT leaders simply can’t keep up with demand.
Compounding these issues, many organizations are still using point-to-point integrations, APIs, PowerShell scripts and ETL utilities to move data and create automation – in fact, more health systems support more than 300 applications and integrate through APIs. This is an enormous drain on IT as each requires deep technical expertise. In the end, lines of business are starting to look for a new way forward that offers faster connectivity with less reliance on highly technical issues.
iPaaS is built for the kind of quick deployment teams need to avoid creating and accumulating new integration debt because it’s so easy to make new connections leveraging a library of pre-built connectors. Once connected, automation can easily be created using a codeless drag-and-drop interface.
Smaller teams can connect new applications without needing a long development cycle and a team of developers.
Want to learn more about what state and local government organizations are doing to automate and modernize their IT? Check out: Modernizing ITSM in the Public Sector
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