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Support – Using automation to help reduce downtime and boost productivity

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CIOs and their executive peers might recognise the power of digital transformation, but all too often the day job gets in the way of true innovation. IDC research shows the IT department often spends too much time on routine operations and support, rather than game-changing innovation.

Estimates from the researcher suggest as much as 79 per cent of time is allocated to operations. Such is the weight towards operational concerns that IT managers often talk about the need to create a shift that allows the technology team to spend more time on projects that support business change.

That shift towards innovation can only take place if the business has an approach to IT support it can trust. As we will see below, the effective use of automation can provide that trusted approach, helping your organisations to benefit from both reduced downtime and a more productive organisation.

How are the demands for support evolving in the digital age?

Support – Using automation to help reduce downtime and boost productivity-Body Text ImageTechnology can enable huge business change. However, the benefits of a digital transformation can only be claimed if the business knows how to use systems and services to the best of their advantage. In an ideal world, the IT team will know what concerns matter and how to prevent issues becoming problems.

The requirement for a proactive stance to support comes into even sharper focus when you consider the amount of IT in business. CIOs face a proliferation of devices, from workers bringing their own smart technology into the office to the increased connectivity posed by the rise of the Internet of Things.

The increase in devices goes hand in hand with a rise in the amount of data being produced and stored. Much of this information will be used across cloud services, meaning IT managers face significant pressure in terms of both security risks and uptime expectations. In most cases, CIOs need trusted support.

What does a great support service need to provide?

Intelliclear Research suggests IT managers have a number of core concerns when it comes to support services. They are determined to get more support for the money they spend. Hardware coverage and software support also rate highly as factors affecting procurement. Additional features – such as accidental damage coverage and rapid repair turnaround times – can also have an impact.

The smart choice for IT managers looking to reduce downtime, increase productivity and boost innovation is a partner that offers a complete support service. That combined approach should offer priority access to expert support, accidental damage repair, and – most crucially – proactive monitoring for automatic issue prevention and resolution.

Proactive support techniques can help your technology stay up-and-running, allowing the business to stay productive, and for IT staff to focus on change rather than operations. The key, here, is a trusted external partner that takes an automated approach to issue relation through an effective support team.

Why is proactive monitoring a competitive differentiator?

The context for proactivity is the nature of support challenges. Sometimes a system update can cause an operating system to crash, or a worker can drop and damage a device. When issues occur, how quickly can you solve the problem and get back to work?

Truly game-changing support services offer true automation. When a problem occurs, the support team is able to use specialist technology – such as Dell’s ProSupport Plus with SupportAssist technology – to be aware that an issue needs resolving, even before a worker contacts the support team.

The best providers follow this automation with a small number of steps to help rectify the problem and replace technology if it is required. Assessment specialist Principled Technologies analysed the response rates of key IT providers to check both the proactivity and helpfulness of support services.

The researcher discovered that ProSupport Plus took up to 84 per cent less call time to resolve a hard drive issue when compared to rival providers. ProSupport Plus, with SupportAssist technology, also took users up to 58 per cent fewer steps than other providers to get a resolution to common system problems.

The conclusion is simple: if you want to stay productive, you need a provider that offers a proactive approach to support.

If you would like more information on Dell’s industry-leading automated support tools, please either click here or contact your Dell sales representative.


Mark Samuels

Mark Samuels

Mark Samuels is a business journalist specialising in IT leadership issues. Formerly editor at CIO Connect and features editor of Computing, he has written for various organisations, including the Economist Intelligence Unit, Guardian Government Computing and Times Higher Education. Mark is also a contributor for CloudPro, ZDNetUK, TechRepublic, ITPro, Computer Weekly, CBR, Financial Director, Accountancy Age, Educause, Inform and CIONET. Mark has extensive experience in writing on the topic of how CIO’s use and adopt technology in business.

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