Lesson Learned: An IT Dept lacking a dedicated dispatcher role will never be high performing.
After conducting an IT Assessment, we realized that the IT department was spending more than 90% of their time being reactive rather than proactive. The team was in the weeds and just trying to get through the day. Bold users were circumventing the help desk software and showing up at the technician's desk. Passive users were not getting their issues addressed and expressing their frustration with others. The business leaders were frustrated because IT wasn't able to complete important project work in a timely manner. The IT manager felt isolated and overwhelmed. It became a divisive culture that could only end in termination unless there was a catalyst for change.
The customer didn't have a dedicated dispatcher. Although there was no justification for a full-time hire due to a relatively low ticket volume, the lack of that specific role had a crippling effect on their small team. The responsibility to respond to new tickets and ensure all tickets were addressed in a timely manner was shared collectively among the individual members. If a ticket was entered and didn't receive a timely response, the bold users would go directly to the technician's desk with laptop in hand. This caused the other technicians next to them to not only be distracted but to also be involved in the resolution of the issue. Multiple notices would go out to the users to please use the help desk software vs going directly to the technicians. The bottom line is that the users were extremely frustrated and had no confidence in the very capable IT team.
The majority of the team's time was spent on reactive type work so they were never truly able to achieve their potential. They certainly were not able to successfully implement changes at a high throughput rate. And a lot of the changes they implemented would not be deemed successful by a truly high performing IT department. The team didn't know what was wrong. They just felt beat up at the end of each day and often thought about quitting.
Allari filled the role via a 24-7 Dispatcher service. This role triaged and scheduled new tickets, alerts, or phone calls. If the work itself was very simple like resetting a password or creating a new user, our dispatcher would schedule it to be executed by an Allari resource. This freed the team from these kinds of distractions. The customer asked that some types of requests such as network issues go to certain internal resources. We were made aware of vacation schedules, doctor appointments, etc. and were able to schedule the tickets accordingly. In addition, because they were lacking a cybersecurity expert, we simply routed these kinds of tickets to our Allari MSSP team members.
The investment in the outsourced dispatcher service has eliminated the uncertainty that led users to go directly to the technicians. The IT team has gained support from the business. They no longer felt alone and were now able to relax a bit because there was a layer between them and the users. They could put more focus on projects. The users gained confidence that there was now a dedicated dispatcher responsible for ensuring their needs got met. Communications were more open. Follow up occurred on all requests. The consistent quality of service gave the users even greater confidence in the process.
- The team now has the support of upper management that all requests are to go through the help desk and users should not be going directly to the IT team members.
- Because the requests are triaged and dispatched by Allari, their IT department doesn't have to constantly monitor or ignore their email and feel stressed when the phone rings.
- They are not being physically interrupted by direct requests from the users.
- Because Allari is executing L1 type requests, their team has even more free time to focus on projects.
- As Allari builds out the SOP library, the customer's ability to focus on implementing change will only increase over time.
- The IT team is also able to enjoy their weekends with their families because they are not On Call. And they know that they will only get interrupted if there is a critical ticket that required escalation.
- Statistics – Because of the solution implemented, we are able to present statistics about the requirements received. This information, allows the IT manager to properly manage his department. They have a better understanding of what it takes to support the users. These metrics can justify future investments like perhaps the hiring of a business analyst b/c the ticketing software is showing a high volume of BA tickets.