2020 – ITSM community shows strength |

I think we’ll all be glad to see the back of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic and all it entails has created a roller-coaster of a year which has tested our individual and combined strengths to the limit. At Sunrise, we hope we’ve done our bit to help to help the ITSM community. We can’t claim to have developed a vaccine, but it’s comforting in many ways that our 25 years spent developing ITSM tools has helped our customers into a position of capability when dealing with the crisis as it unfolded.

Covid turned the world on its head when the ‘work from home’ (wfh) mandate came about. IT teams which had been quietly supporting and encouraging ‘wfh’ initiatives with suitable devices, software and training found that their best laid plans were accelerated overnight to ‘with immediate effect’. The Sunrise team has been in close touch with our customers this year, despite not being able to physically meet up at our usual User Groups, and has heard some first rate stories of how service desks kept their heads while all around was plunged into the unknown.

Take North Wales Fire & Rescue Service – all small but highly knowledgeable IT team, driven by a remarkable customer service ethos, the IT team had already deployed a new self-service portal in January, deflecting many phone calls from the service desk. When a new logistics function came into force the support team stepped up and came to the assistance when complexity quickly outgrew a simple spreadsheet. “ Within a day, we had built a dedicated service in Sunrise with a dashboard on the self-service portal and visibility through the mobile app.”

Moray Council, like so many other public sector and commercial organisations had a wfh initiative in place for a while and so the IT team was well prepared when they needed to accelerate their support. Setting up a new ITSM service in Sunrise ITSM – ‘COVID’ – enabled them to prioritise and track all requests and responses for immediate delivery as well as providing reporting for ongoing planning and continuous improvement. It was then easy to accurately track the additional work generated by the Coronavirus crisis, and gauge what resources are required to plan ahead and continue to deliver lifeline services to Moray’s residents.

Care homes of course have been in the hearts of minds of so many, and in a quiet spell late this summer, we caught up with Community Integrated Care (CIC) and heard how its IT support team has coped with the unique challenges of 2020. In summary, reacting to total lockdown in their care homes they implemented 2 years’ worth of changes in 6 months… Enabling a 16-fold increase in  broadband capacity, providing communication devices and training to frontline staff, many of whom are older workers, less knowledgeable in technology, were all handled professionally by the ‘slim’ IT support organisation.

2020 has required open doors to ITSM in other ways – the wider role of the service desk gains an added perspective when integration is enabled. CIC has benefitted from running Sunrise data in Power BI reporting, providing an extra layer of visibility to the Board and departmental management across the business. With so many remote workers in the (virtual) picture, integrating collaboration platforms such as Teams with the service desk means updates can be shared to wider audiences quickly and accurately with minimal effort.

If we’ve learned nothing else in 2020, it’s heartening to see ITSM as a community does practice what it preaches – we’re enablers, supporters and communicators – putting the customer first while making the most of the tools to hand, even when we don’t seem to have time to think.

Everyone at Sunrise wishes you well for the Festive Season; let’s keep everything crossed that 2021 gives us a bit more time to enjoy the good things life can offer!