Friday, December 9, 2016

Why study ITIL

Many IT professionals would be working in their profiles with many years of experience without any proper guidance. This would result in following processes and procedures that suits best for their organization. But having a guideline on how things can be improved using few best practices is really advantageous.
IT companies use a lot of technologies for their products, but their main goal and aim is to manage that technology effectively to provide excellent services to their customers. ITIL fits these needs successfully, as it is a set of processes on how to manage the services effectively for the benefit of both the business and the customer. It has become foundation knowledge for every person in spite of any role or job that they perform in their company. Knowledge about service management and delivery has become essential for success of any project. Many companies even would mention ITIL certification as mandatory for their job profiles.
ITIL uses many best practices which can be implemented in any area irrespective of the technology used by the company. It is very versatile and flexible and can be adapted by any organization to suit their needs. If ITIL is implemented effectively in an organization, we can definitely see the benefits. There has been research stating that many international companies have benefitted by using the ITIL framework.
In an ever changing market, organizations need to adapt faster and keep up with the market competition. ITIL provides a better way to do that and also provides improvement in quality of services.
ITIL foundation has been considered as a mandatory knowledge for all IT professionals including project managers. ITIL service lifecycle deals with different aspects of service strategy, service design, service operation and service transition, which are all the major aspects of any project lifecycle.
Studying ITIL ensures that a professional is aware of the different stages involved in an IT lifecycle and what are the best practices to follow for increasing the productivity, reducing the cost and improving the quality of the service.
There are different levels in ITIL certifications such as Foundation level, Intermediate level, Management level, Expert level and Master level. Based on the job profile, one can pursue the different levels of certifications. The Foundation level provides you with basic insights into Lifecycle and the processes involved.
Listed below are few benefits of studying ITIL:
1.       Globally recognized certification: ITIL is globally recognized certification and hence helps in career growth.
2.       Common terminology: Many organizations might be using the ITIL processes but may not use the correct terminology. ITIL provides them with a common baseline for using same terminology which is beneficial for all.
3.       Increase in productivity: ITIL describes many best practices and implementing them in the job would increase the productivity of the individual and of the company.
4.       Increased Customer satisfaction: By following the practices suggested in ITIL, one can effectively improve the quality of service provided to the customer and knowledge on the processes provides better customer satisfaction.
Service providers that use ITIL processes and practices would have a competitive edge as people understand the processes and models provided by ITIL to effectively implement in their project. Managing the technology effectively to deliver the desired results to customer has become increasingly important for all the organizations to provide that extra edge to stand out from other service providers.

Most of the companies realize that a good service delivery and management is utmost necessary for building trust with the customer and hence are ready to adopt the best practices for the same. ITIL has become extremely popular and organizations are finding it easy to mould it accordingly to their needs.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

No business small or big can survive without a proper customer support. Issues do arise due to some technical faults, application issues or due to customer ignorance. For sustaining customers and improving customer satisfaction, support is always necessary. This is where Helpdesk comes into picture.

I have experience in my previous company, where the team was doing a wonderful job producing successful projects and completing them as per the deadlines, but the client was not happy. The reason was that, there were no helpdesk personnel to support them with their issues. The team responded to customers whenever they found time from their busy schedule of development and management. There wasn’t a dedicated team to assist the client with their issues. Management realized that the success of the project not only lies in delivering software projects on time, but also in supporting the client, when required, to maintain the relationship. Without customer support, you cannot retain a client.

IT sector is booming and most of the individuals want a career in the IT industry and Helpdesk is considered as the entry level for such a rewarding career. Most of the individuals, who have progressed to Project Managers started as helpdesk technicians. Even experienced candidates, when they form a part of the new project or industry which they are not aware of, they are initially put into support team as they can understand the functionality quickly. Even a Business analyst can understand the problems faced in a business by looking at the defects log raised by the helpdesk team and analyze on the priority of the issues based on the frequency of the occurrence.
There are a variety of Helpdesk jobs such as hardware support or technical support, software or application support.  Few jobs are Call center representative, Helpdesk personnel, Application support specialist, Level L1 and L2 support to name a few. Their skills range from knowledge about the technology they are working in apart from the soft skills.

Companies provide training to helpdesk personnel in many fields such as
  • ·         Call handling process
  • ·         Tools specific to that industry
  • ·         Dealing with frustrated customers
  • ·         Communication skills over phone
  • ·         Email communication
  • ·         Support process of handling tickets

These are few skills that organizations train personnel in.  Helpdesk specialists still need the ability to solve problems and handle situations based on the customer response and so on.
 While these are the soft skills that a helpdesk personnel is expected to have, there are few technical skills which will increase your chances of landing a job.  Some courses which prepares an individual to handle issues faced in helpdesk support include:
  • Ø  Configuration of software
  •   Ø  Network fundamentals
  •   Ø  Troubleshooting
  •   Ø  Installing upgrades

There are also certifications which helps a helpdesk professional to grow in their career. Few of them are CompTIA A+ , CompTIA Network+ and Microsoft Certified IT professionals. To build your career as a new employee or as an experienced professional these certifications add value to your resume and will improve your skills and knowledge. You can also connect with a lot of Microsoft Certified professionals once you have completed the certificate which will help you enhance your knowledge about the subject.  Few colleges have mandated the CompTIA A+ certification in their course which is a computer troubleshooting certificate. Many companies prefer people with such certifications which are globally recognized and are considered as a basis for entry level of a helpdesk job.

After few years of experience, helpdesk personnel can move into any other role in the organization as he would have gained knowledge about the domain in which the company works and has knowledge on how the processes are handled and how to handle customers.