There is a lot of focus currently on automating business processes and tasks to improve productivity, achieve efficiency savings, and make the best possible use of resources. There are lots of automation options available, many of which are highly complex. One option that can be regarded as the lowest of low-hanging fruit is implementing a centralised technology portal.
A centralised technology portal will streamline technology services in your organisation and deliver a rapid return on investment. It will also bring benefits to other business units and departments.
In this first part of a two-part blog series on centralised technology portals, we will look at how a centralised technology portal streamlines modern technology. In Part 2, we’ll delve deeper in the automation and self-service opportunities of centralised technology portals.
What is a Centralised Technology Portal?
A centralised technology portal has two main functions:
- Information and document repository.
- Process automation solution.
An example is Access Symphony Portal. It is a place where users can go to access everything from technology support FAQs to user guides to HR forms, timesheets, and corporate policy documents. It also automates multiple tasks that are time-consuming and resource-intensive to complete manually.
Examples in practice include:
- Instead of an employee submitting a support ticket, they can find the answer to their query on the portal.
- Instead of an employee asking for help using a software app or changing their password, they can follow a user guide and self-service tools on the portal.
- Instead of an employee emailing the HR team for a holiday request form, they can download it from the portal.
- Instead of disjointed and laborious onboarding processes, effortlessly apply standard configurations and settings to new computers.
In other words, it’s all about self-service, where employees can find the information, support, documents, and automated tools they need without involving any other company resources.
How Centralised Portals Improve Technology Functions and Operations
There are seven main ways that technology services in your business will be streamlined by implementing a centralised technology portal.
1. Reduces Tickets
Many of the support tickets received by your technology services team are repetitive. It is the same or very similar questions coming in again and again. Answering these questions manually or even using a semi-automated process is not an efficient use of valuable technical resources.
With a centralised technology portal, fixes and answers to common support queries can be made available in one place. This means users can find the answer or solution they need without raising a ticket.
The result is an overall reduction in the number of support tickets raised, allowing your technology services team to focus on the more challenging, complex, and/or unique tickets.
2. Puts Technology Services Teams on the Front Foot
Technology services teams often feel like they are constantly firefighting, not least because they have to deal with repetitive and easy-to-solve tickets, questions, and requests. This makes it difficult for technology teams to make the improvements they know are important for the company today and into the future.
As mentioned in the previous point, a centralised technology portal will significantly reduce the number of support tickets the team will receive. This frees up time to not only work on more complex issues, but to also focus on improvements, upgrades, and preparing for the future.
In other words, a centralised technology portal can put your technology services team on the front foot. This sport-related expression is about moving from a defensive position (firefighting repetitive technical queries) to an attacking position (making improvements and helping to drive the business forward).
3. Improves Technical Resource Productivity
A centralised technology portal enables your technical resources to solve more problems and do it faster without increasing headcount. You’ll also benefit from an increased level of value-adding work, contributing to an overall increase in technical resource productivity.
4. Improves Technical Competency
A centralised technology portal can improve technical competency levels across your organisation. For example, user guides and other training materials can be added to the portal that users can access when they need to. This type of training, known as just-in-time training, is highly effective as it takes place when employees are most motivated to learn, i.e., they need the knowledge now, so they have to learn it.
Overall organisational technical competency will also improve by employees simply solving issues themselves. Users can become over-reliant on technology services teams doing it for them. With a centralised technology portal, those users will become much more self-sufficient.
5. Available Anywhere, Anytime
The technical resources in most organisations are only available at set times during the week. With a centralised technology portal, on the other hand, users have access to technical support, information, and training 24/7, wherever they are in the world.
6. Improves Employee Experience
Disjointed access to technical support, information, and training doesn’t offer employees a good user experience. With a centralised technology portal, everything the employee needs is in the same place on a self-service basis. This creates a seamless, consistent, and familiar experience that improves overall satisfaction levels.
7. Easy to Scale
In general, technology teams need to scale as the company scales. A centralised technology portal changes this equation, however, as there is no difference between one person in one location accessing a support question and tens of thousands of people in hundreds of locations asking the same support query – the centralised technology portal can handle both scenarios with no need for additional resources.
Bonus Element: Centralised Technology Portals Are Not Just About Technical Support
Finally, there is a bonus element as centralised technology portals are not limited to the technical support function of your organisation. You can also use the same portal to provide other information and documents to employees, including HR, compliance, training, corporate, and finance documents and information.
The benefits of a centralised portal are similar for these business functions. Those benefits can be summarised as enhancing the employee experience while doing more with less and doing it more productively.
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