Service Desks and their respective managers are very much the unsung heroes of the IT department. As more ‘app-led working cultures grow and emerge within the workplace, the team at the coalface of the department can quickly lose clout to the ‘rock star’ developers and ‘IT owned’ product managers.
Service Desk managers can regain lost ground easily though, by presenting more innovative ways to bring the business together, using the teams and technology to improve collaborative working, information sharing and creating greater end-customer experiences.
One proven method of doing this is implementing new integration solutions, which enable faster working, simple communication and great agility around improvement projects. To support the ambitious Service Desk manager, who’s eyes are firmly set on wow-ing the business… here are our top tips for creating fantastically effective software and service integrations.
1. Think ‘cloud first’
Most of your service desk tools are now cloud based, so why wouldn’t your integration solutions be ‘up there’ too? When we used to think of integrations, the first solutions we often though of were batch scripts, API keys and scheduled tasks. However, nowadays we are just a few clicks away from setting up cloud-based integration hubs, which take hours (if not minutes) to setup and require no code or on-site tech.
So, re-train your thinking around integrations to start with a cloud based solution for each and every connection you want to make. You will quickly find fast, affordable and flexible cloud based solutions, which suit the needs and demands of your business.
2. Avoid relying on API’s
As suggested in point one, API led solutions are antiquated and fragile. API’s by their very nature only work in one direction and lack the awareness or intelligence needed to adapt around the data or information they are sharing.
More and more businesses are forgetting about API’s and shifting to integration hub led solutions, which provide a central location and language for all applications and processes to use. This also enables a ‘many-to-many’ way of working, which moves way beyond the point-to-point method of API’s and allows an unlimited number of applications to share a network of infinite integrations. So, remove API’s from your toolbox and integration language, and just focus on the holistic ecosystem of your software and services!
3. Set it up quick, or not at all!
‘Click, click, click and done.’ This should be your new integration mantra! Centralised, codeless and easy-to-use are core values to modern service desk integrations. Just because it took 6 months to get Service Now up and running! It doesn’t mean it should take just as long to get it working nicely with your development team’s instance of Jira or your MSP’s own Service Now setup. When you use Integration Hubs and place them at the heart of your service ecosystem, you can leverage hundreds of pre-built software integrations, which only take a short time to setup and often require little or no customisation.
Don’t be afraid to put integration software through the test. Modern solutions should be quick… like really quick! And so, if you have an integration supplier or partner, telling you it’s going to take a few weeks or months to get your Service Desk integrations setup, push back or start looking elsewhere!
4. Prioritise the integrations that give you back time
Most teams make the mistake of just starting with the ‘easy’ integrations. But then get frustrated when they have invested time and money into several integrations and not really seen any value back from it.
At ONEiO, we often argue that EVERY integration should be easy… and because of this you should be able to prioritise your most valuable integrations first. And, your most valuable integrations are the ones that offer you back time and resource. This can be easily assessed by looking for existing integrations that are either mostly managed by hand, or not yet in place at all. Wherever you find people emailing, calling, running scripts or regularly repairing code to keep some exchange of data afloat. Start there, because that is where you will get the most immediate ROI back… which is people and their time.
5. Don’t pay upfront
Gone are the days of paying some offshore service provider a huge lump sum upfront, to go off and spend 6-12 months creating a load of API-based integrations for you. But not only that, you no longer need to buy-in to a 1-3-year contract with an iPaaS provider, in order to manage your integrations effectively.
When you switch away from these old-fashioned approaches and leverage the modern benefits of the next generation iPaaS, you should only be paying for what you use and on a subscription basis. No up-front or setup fees, just pay-as-you-go style monthly payments based what integrations you actually use in real-time. Doing this reduces both your upfront and overall costs of integration.
If you would like to learn more about any of these integration ideas or opportunities, get in touch with our expert team of integration specialists today. Many of our team come from a Service Desk and ITSM background and have experienced the same challenges you might be having with your own software and services.
Getting started with big integration changes and projects can often be the hardest part, so if you would like any advice or guidance on how to simplify integrations in your business, we’d love to hear from you .