Let’s face the obvious truth of operating in the Internet of Things (IOT) business landscape: if your IT support is lackluster, your organization will suffer. This is especially true in the eDiscovery and Forensics (legal technology) landscape. Without proper protocols and, most importantly, skilled people to manage large data footprints, resource-intensive applications, and ongoing maintenance, an organization can and will experience daily platform disruptions. Efforts to fix these issues will quickly lead to wasted capital, soaring operational costs, and eventually, widespread panic.
Whether you are currently in the market for a qualified managed service provider or operate in an IT management and support role / organization, be sure to keep the following topics in mind to ensure a healthy and successful Support Team:
Institute and govern clear, replicable operational processes.
Every aspect of the support triage workflow, from ticket creation to issue remediation/closure, must be defined, documented, and communicated to key internal/external stakeholders. With every workflow and organization, one should anticipate variance; however, armed with a defined workflow, you position your team for consistency in execution, communications, and management of stakeholder expectations. The establishment of this process can vary greatly depending on your needs, but consistency, communication, and expectation building are critical. If implemented and governed properly, your operation’s outputs will be measurable and repeatable, ensuring a high degree of uniformity while eliminating the headache of “reinventing the wheel” time and again.
Allocate and map resources to the support team’s needs.
Support is the backbone of your service or application offering. If the customer isn’t happy with your team’s output, rest assured they will find an alternative solution. If your organization’s core value proposition is IT support, monitoring, and maintenance, then your fiscal, human, and operational priorities should align to heighten execution and allocate resources accordingly. Of course, there is no silver bullet for ensuring you have the best and the brightest; however, identifying, documenting, and creating an overview your team’s strengths and weaknesses is the best place to start. Without this orientation and actionable direction, your support apparatus will inevitably fail.
Hire the right talent with diversified skillsets.
It is extremely important to maintain multiple tiers of customer support staff. This will provide your experienced engineers with the necessary time to work on complex tasks while your new talent gains experience. To ensure you have a solid grasp of your human resources, maintain regular schedules and build ample coverage into your operating model. Remember: plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Institute robust mentorship and/or training programs.
Technology moves at the speed of light. Keep your engineering pool engaged and up to date on industry trends and the tools required to do the job. This requires identifying and prioritizing internal training (shadowing, shared ticket execution, etc.) and allowing engineers to secure certifications from reputable programs. These programs may be expensive on the front-end, but you will see a return on investment when troublesome tickets pile up.
Keep support as the center of your business.
You need your Support Team to thrive and take ownership of core responsibilities in order for clients to believe in the product you are supporting. Promote teamwork, collaboration, and cross-pollination between all departments in the organization to broaden horizons and understanding of how every task affects holistic workflow. Ensure that the Support Team understands how their services are critical to customer success and satisfaction, and how that directly impacts the bottom line. And always celebrate success when feedback/outcomes drive satisfaction and profits.