Mobilizing the IT Service Desk

By Doug Mueller, Corporate Architect, BMC

Mobile technology also benefits all business users who rely on IT services. A mobile IT organization is more responsive and can resolve issues faster. As a result, the business can potentially experience less down time.

In the past, mobility has been somewhat elusive for service desk technicians, who often need to pull records from databases or fill out complex forms. Today, however, improvements in mobile technology have changed this situation. While service desk mobilization is considered to be in its infancy and still faces some hurdles, it’s a promising area that brings many benefits to the business.

Multiple Advantages to Mobile Technology

Mobile technology isn’t an appropriate tool for everyone or every job. If a person’s role is to take calls for the service desk, then mobility isn’t necessary. However, if a technician or manager is constantly on

the move fixing equipment or attending meetings in various locations, mobilizing will make the job easier and more effective. It will also improve the accuracy of service desk information used to make business decisions.

Mobile technology enables the support person to get accurate data in a format appropriate for the requirements of the job. This technology allows the technician to enter quick requests or do instant checks on key issues while sitting at someone else’s desk, or when trying to resolve problems from any location. A mobile device can be a useful tool for recording tickets when service level agreements (SLAs) are not being met, for checking items in violation of an SLA, or for monitoring situations that are becoming critical. Technicians could be alerted to and address urgent issues immediately. Or they could run a quick check on a key issue from a remote location. By taking advantage of mobile solutions, you will be able to increase the value of your service desk.

A Best Practice: Mobilizing Key Functions

As you migrate to a mobilized service desk environment, start by identifying service operations that you wish to mobilize. Consider the volume and types of data that must be transacted and how the mobile staff will interact with the service management system. Be sure that the mobile devices can handle the desired interactions.

The greatest successes in mobilizing the service desk come when you find a place where an important service activity gets stalled or can’t be completed in a timely manner simply because someone isn’t sitting at the service desk computer. This is especially true if support people have responsibilities that require them to spend more time roaming than sitting at a desk.

For example, approvals may take longer to obtain until the approver returns to his or her desk. But if the approver has easy access to the issue, it can be approved quickly. If you rely on e-mail alone, however, the support tech may not have access to the ticket. Without the approval capability, the requester can’t take action. You can remove this bottleneck with mobile technologies.

As you think about implementing mobilization, select applications that are very “point focused” or that require a quick request or status check. Find situations in which the service desk support team needs to do specific, quick actions that don’t need a large quantity of data — or constant connectivity. In these situations, the technician can take action to move the process forward quickly from a mobile device. Other examples of point operations that can be effectively handled via mobilization include completing quick requests and quick escalations. This also entails reassigning or escalating a process that has stalled, lacks the necessary support, is outside normal service activities, or is not in compliance with one or more SLAs.

Keep in mind that taking a customer call and entering a trouble ticket via a mobile device is not the best use of mobilization, unless you streamline the effort by using templates. It’s possible to accomplish this task without templates, but typing large volumes of data with many fields, menus, and validation information can be time consuming in the mobile environment. A voice recognition component may be appropriate to facilitate the necessary data entry.

Doug Mueller, Corporate Architect, BMC,

BMC helps leading companies around the world put technology at the forefront of meaningful business change, improving the delivery and consumption of digital services. Contact us at:


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