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Guest blog: Tapping social media in managing IT

Chip Salyards | Nov. 29, 2012
A good and wholesome IT strategy can help businesses overcome problems and improve their operational efficiencies as well as generate value.

Chip Salyards
Photo: Chip Salyards

The biggest change in IT over the past decade has been its consumerisation. A host of new technologies and devices have become popular in the consumer space, resulting in an entire generation growing up in a highly interconnected world, with an arsenal of smart devices and social platforms at their disposal. These devices and technologies are now making their way into the enterprise, thus breaking the traditional barrier that used to exist between what's used in the office and at home.

As this generation enters the workforce, they are bringing with them a specific set of expectations to the corporate space—this translates into wanting to be always mobile, use their own personal devices at the workplace, be self-sufficient, and remain connected to their social media networks.

Automation is the way to go
This has complicated the job of the IT departments. They now have to support a large number of new and varied devices within the office network and at the same time ensure existing devices are serviced and maintained at all times. Moreover, today IT is also expected to provide a host of next-generation applications to enhance business processes across the enterprise.

To make matters worse, they must do so with a constantly shrinking IT budget, while being expected to deliver a value-proposition to their respective businesses. In short, IT can no longer be a cost centre; rather it has to become a value creation centre.

Due to the changing role of IT, and the problems that many IT departments are facing because of this change, the market for ITSM (IT Service Management) solutions is booming. These solutions, following the IT Information Library (ITIL) best practices guidelines, help to streamline and automate IT processes, reduce complexity and costs while increasing efficiency.

While a good ITSM solution can help to address the concerns that IT departments face today, in my experience, there is sufficient room for more as I explain why below.

Leveraging on social media
Social media is increasingly gaining traction in the enterprise, as businesses realise the benefits of leveraging on social platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to grow. Since end-users and other stakeholder like customers now expect to be able to interact with IT service providers from remote locations outside the office, and in real-time, social media can play a highly useful role if ITSM solution providers can efficiently integrate social media tools into their solutions.

For example, BMC Software's ITSM Suite has integrated social media capabilities that allow IT to communicate with employees and customers via social mediums of their choice, like Facebook, which enables them to better manage user expectations and speed incident resolution.


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