The Internet of Things - Help desk Edition
It’s the new Buzzword of 2017, people talk about the Internet of things (IoT) and how it’s going to revolutionize, well, pretty much everything, including the help desk, ticketing and service management. What is this Internet of Things anyway and how’s everything going to change because of it? That’s what we’re here to help you find out.
So, what do people mean when they talk about the Internet of Things? Basically, the IoT is a term, that designs all sorts of devices and objects; Phone, tablets, smartphones, Game Consoles, Water coolers, printers, heating systems and so on, that are enhanced by being connected online.
Think about a thermostat that you could control with an app on your phone, or cars with Wi-Fi, those are some improvements that are made, thanks to the Internet of Things.
In terms of IT service management and how this affects your helpdesk; we’ve seen the use of connected objects provide more ways to access your helpdesk, with things such as mobile portals. The IoT also allows for a better collection of data and an automation of processes that is much easier, but more on that below.
(Yeah, that title sounded better in my head.)
Automation is one of the easiest improvements brought by the Internet of things to notice. In a universe where objects are interconnected, it’s easy to see how, when something triggers one of those connected objects, it can be configured to cause a certain reaction to another object.
Let’s take our thermostat app example from above to illustrate the possibilities of automation. Let’s say you don’t need heat or air conditioning while at work, so you can configure your app to turn off the thermostat from 9 to 5. Every time you leave home, you don’t need to think about turning off the thermostat, your app already did it for you! This is a textbook case of M2M (Machine to Machine) communication and of the efficiency that comes with the IoT.
In a helpdesk, you can use those connected objects, communicating with your helpdesk software to automate tasks, create tickets for incidents, maintenance and more. You can also expect things like Chatbots and automatic searches of ticket resolutions, all thanks to the data sent by the connected objects. Which brings us to the next point:
More data, Big Data
It’s obvious that with such a huge number of objects around (There are predictions varying from 20 to 50 billion of connected devices in 2020), there’s also a huge amount of data to handle coming with those connected devices. We can really talk about Big Data when talking about data from the Internet of things. In IT service management, the trick will be to make that data talk, transform it into useful information, resulting in better support, decision-making and problem-solving.
Still tiptoeing around your notes and Excel sheets to find the solution to a clients’ ticket? Imagine a Helpdesk that allows you to store that info inside a knowledge base and that prompts you with solutions and past resolution based on the ticket type you’ve received. Or a helpdesk that uses the data it receives and displays it in dashboards that you can customize to get the info you want. Good news, Requuest already does that. (for both the knowledge base and dashboards)
There’s one more thing that is vital when dealing with the Internet of Things, fortunately, Requuest also does it.
Mapping the IoT
Multiple connected devices inside a network means that network is also more complicated and more sensitive. When an incident affects a device, there’s an increase chance that incident can affect other devices connected to the one that’s impacted and ultimately, affect the whole network.
Thus, the importance of mapping your network, with the help of a CMDB (Configuration Management Database), mapping the relations between each of the Configuration Items (CIs), the connected devices, inside your network. This allows you to better see your network and the relations between each item. That way, if an item is affected by an incident that could affect your network, you can detect it faster and isolate your affected CI.
With great power…
Now that you have a better idea of how the Internet of Things can be used to improve your helpdesk, service delivery and service management, you must also know the limits of those new powers of the connected devices.
As we’re still entering the new Internet of things era, you should know that some of those technologies are young and the software used not always mature. That translates into a security risks, especially with those devices connected in the Cloud. There have been many improvements regarding Cloud security and IoT security over the years, but there is still some risk. So, do consider network security when using connected devices. Better be safe than sorry!
Still, the Internet of Things is not going away, make the best use of it as you can, you will see the improvements in your helpdesk right away!