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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.

Think about Facebook, with its one billion users, for a second. Most of us use Facebook as a social networking platform to connect with family, friends, and associates. ITSM solutions can leverage on Facebook's massive outreach to keep employees and customers up-to-date in real time with things like scheduled or unscheduled service outages or the availability of new services and applications.

For instance, if a server is down, denying access to important office data to employees, under a normal scenario, the company's IT department will be flooded with volumes of calls from employees asking for assistance. The volume of calls will persist until the server is back up and running again.

Using an integrated social media platform like Facebook, IT departments can keep users updated, via a live feed, on the status of the server, provide an estimated recovery time, and deliver other pertinent information. As a result, with employees being kept up-to-date in real time through Facebook, the volume of calls to IT departments in a situation like this will reduce, allowing IT to divert its already limited resources for more purposeful, value-creating activities.

Apart from using ITSM solutions with integrated social media capabilities, IT can also leverage on the popularity of community Wikis and forums. These social platforms function as knowledge banks, created and curated by users. They allow users to expedite the troubleshooting process for easy-to-fix hardware or software problems, freeing up IT to focus on the more serious problems.

Striking a balance
Looking ahead, given how complex IT is becoming, enterprises should not limit themselves to relying on just one solution. They need a dynamic strategy to manage their IT environments; through good ITSM solutions as well as concrete social media strategies.

In time, depending on how the IT environment changes in the next five years, enterprises might need to factor in more components to their IT management strategy.  A good and wholesome IT strategy can help businesses overcome the problems I mentioned above, and improve their operational efficiencies as well as generate value.

Chip Salyards is Asia Pacific vice president at BMC Software.


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