Service Portfolio

Drowning in Support? Go Social & Multichannel

I’ve recently completed a series of Social and MultiChannel IT workshops for the Help Desk Association of Australia (HDAA).   Aside from having a great time with the HDAA fraternity, we validated the use of Social in IT support and shared some stories about what’s happening out there already! I was pleased to hear that chat and live social feeds are already in use in some IT support organisations.  Presentation is available at:

It is, however, apparent that it’s early days and there is not much guidance around.  I thought I’d pen a few thoughts based on the workshops and see what you all think. Mature services businesses have been using multiple channels for many years.  For example, the banks provide several channels to trade equities and move money around.  Similarly, retailers have online, physical and mobile channels.  So how might IT take advantage of these ideas?

Firstly I must admit that when I first considered the application of this to IT, I had a “moment”.  Wouldn’t social and mobile channels for IT simply add to a the deluge of support requirements – more “stuff to manage”?  Maybe this thought stalls a lot of us who put the now conventional “Single Point of Contact” service desks in place through the 1990s to early 2000s.

My emerging view, based on the successful models in business and Service Design thinking, is that we need to deliberately design a multi-channel model for IT.  We’ve already commenced this journey through the introduction of Self Service portals and email channels.  What we need to do now is introduce the concept of Service Experience Design to support the profiles and preference of our business users.  We need to apply some management discipline to ensuring that we have the right mix of resources and skills that match the desired in fact required services our business users need. To deliver the right Service/Value proposition we need to design with the following in mind:

  1. Users work context, channel preferences and skill levels
  2. Business model & business operational attributes
  3. Service Vs cost tensions in the organisation and the overall “service posture” of the business
  4. Service Portfolio attributes and levels of skill required for each service
  5. Sourcing Model and the attributes of each provider including those in the “build”
  6. Device profiles that the users use to consume IT whether or not there is a BYOD policy

The multi-channel model below is a high level view of the interactions between business users and IT and how the various interactions might best be channelled. With the right design effort we can provide a new approach that benefits IT by “left shifting” the simple stuff towards automated knowledge management solutions.  And we can ensure that IT fully engages the business users with the right skills in those interactions that require the human touch.

MultiChannel Support Model

To make all of the above work I suggest that organisations should draw upon:

Very interested in your thoughts as always.  Please comment below or email us on

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