When your users require access to systems and applications that falls outside the normal provisioning scope for their role or attributes, self-service is a lifesaver. While IT traditionally holds responsibility for ticket fulfillment, these access requests don’t even need to enter the service desk’s queue.
With organizations striving to improve their efficiency, self-service functionality substantially reduces the ticket burden placed on your service desk. Self-service allows employees and managers to address their own needs without adding to your service desk’s workload.
For example: when a user is assigned a temporary project, they can submit an access request to their manager; if approved, a self-service solution automatically processes the change and handles fulfillment. Additionally, managers may preemptively grant access and initiate provisioning.
Rather than chasing down approvals or contributing to massive service desk backlogs, users submit their own requests. These requests are routed to the appropriate decision-maker(s) as configured in your self-service solution. The decision-makers receive notifications about the request with the ability to approve or deny it. Following the approval or denial, the solution handles fulfillment.
Self-Service: Nothing New?
As people in today’s IT environment manage their personal resources with ease, we see a similar shift for employees within the workplace. The non-stop growth of online shopping and personal accounts for banking, retail, medical, and more needs has given most workers a solid familiarity with carts and catalogs.
Already experienced with these interactions, users are more than capable of submitting their own resource requests. In fact, an inability to initiate and manage these requests likely frustrates users.
From the IT department’s perspective, the more processes and tasks that become automated means that more people can be served with fewer resources. Particularly when provisioning takes 30 minutes or more per account, a sudden influx of access request tickets can derail your IT team. Either current IT projects get put on pause, or employees remain unproductive while waiting for fulfillment. Limited involvement frees up the IT department’s time and allows them to refocus on other projects and tasks for the organization.
For the helpdesk (and the organization), the more manual processes that are automated, the better.
Establish Decision Makers
Like automated provisioning, self-service relies on accurate data and established configurations. The main organizational planning necessary for achieving success with these solutions is determining who should handle the approval for which requests and the level of approval each request requires. The most knowledgeable decision-makers likely come from your department heads, managers, team leaders, and specialty positions.
Decision-makers represent an evolution in IT service fulfillment. Before self-service functionality, employees filled out forms and submitted them to IT, often running around to collect signatures. In the best-case scenarios, IT and management still suffered from prolonged back-and-forth communications while determining whether to grant access. In the worst-case scenario, IT simply processes the request without verification and potentially over provisions the users (e.g., granting full admin rights rather than a basic account or “Read Only” permissions).
Decision-makers allow your users to bypass IT entirely with their self-service requests. More than efficiency, decision-makers are the people in your organization with the most knowledge regarding day-to-day business processes and compliance needs. Decision-makers easily determine which employee needs certain resource access to execute their role. On the other hand, your IT staff is removed enough from these ongoing operations that they comparatively lack the insight for approvals. With the requests routed to the set decision-maker, the only human involvement in the process is the approval or denial.
For access requests to less sensitive or restricted resources, the approval stage can be replaced with a simple notification for the decision-maker to inform them of the change.
As provisioning configurations are set, you can trust the self-service solution to provide consistent and timely fulfillment.
Automation Eliminates Bottlenecks
Automated processes remove bottlenecks and bridge communications between teams within the organization. Automation can be applied to simple tasks, such as requesting access to Adobe Photoshop, or more complex ones, like automating employee onboarding to ensure that new hires receive all of their resources on their first day. Using automation helps your organization standardize common processes, reduce errors, and boost efficiency.
Self-service helps minimize IT’s bottlenecks and should be viewed in the same vein as automated provisioning. The main difference is that detected changes trigger automated provisioning, whereas a user or manager initiates the process with self-service. The end result is identical: productive users provisioned with their required resources, reclaimed IT bandwidth, and logged activity for future review.
Tools4ever’s cloud-based IDaaS solution, HelloID, offers both automated provisioning and service automation to ensure maximum organizational efficiency. You can use HelloID’s Provisioning module to automate the management of user accounts, allowing your organization to operate efficiently while remaining compliant with industry-standard laws and regulations. For the “one-off” tasks that can’t be automated, such as granting a user temporary access to a resource, you can use HelloID’s Service Automation to grant access to the user for a specified time period. All of this can be set up to be accomplished without any IT involvement, allowing your IT department to begin working on projects that can yield more impactful results for your organization.