“What’s next?” is a common topic of conversation during the planning period that closes out one year and kicks off the next. From the CIO to support managers, everyone pauses to look at how the industry is changing and to confirm that operations are pointed in a direction that will take advantage of today’s trends.
I talked to our internal experts to get their thoughts on influential technology topics for 2020. Here’s what they shared…
As organizations further develop their automation toolkits, the impact will be that their processes become far more agile and will move away from being strictly rule-based to being more driven by machine learning.
While automation in general has been trending for years, a Gartner report defines hyperautomation as an organization’s ability to use multiple tools in combination to facilitate work. As organizations further develop their automation toolkits, the impact will be that their processes become far more agile and will move away from being strictly rule-based to being more driven by machine learning
„”Hyperautomation is a key focus of mine,” said product manager Nils Leideck. “OTRS has a process management module that gives customers the freedom to design and change their processes simply and agilely. These can then be automated to control many aspects of the business, from updating requests, the CMDB or data in other systems to triggering notifications and recurring activities. With the next version of OTRS (Q1 2020), we will take even further steps towards hyperautomation with enhanced reporting and advanced analytics so that the process owner can have an eye on the complete cycle, from analysis to reassessment.”
A recent survey done by OTRS Group among IT professionals worldwide supports the importance of process design and automation, specifically as it pertains to incident management. These professionals stated that having a lack of clear processes was an impediment to quickly resolving incidents. Clearly, the need exists today and the role of automation will continue to expand in the future.
Ensuring the trust of customers and preventing excessive fines requires preparation and investment.
Transparency and Traceability1
The topic of data privacy and protection continues to expand in 2020. This is partly due to the increased focus by both government and individuals, as evidenced by the implementation of the GDPR in the EU, the CCPA in California and the pending LGPD in Brazil. While there has been more oversight, there is also more need: As machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies leap forward each year, it is important to ethically manage the data that is being captured, stored and processed.
When asked to comment on the trend, COO Christopher Kuhn said, “I see 2020 as a year in which businesses will increase spending on managing data privacy requirements. After the significant fines issued last year, businesses are very aware of the value of proactively protecting themselves – and their customer data.”
Ensuring the trust of customers and preventing excessive fines requires preparation and investment, such as:
- Ensuring that “privacy by design” best practices are being implemented.
- Using tools like OTRS, to manage “right to be forgotten” and related requests as well as to ensure proper documentation for audit purposes.
- Automating security processes and notifications to meet GDPR and similar incident-related requirements.
- Overseeing vendor relationships to ensure that they too protect your customer data.
Business process management systems, particularly those like OTRS that include automation features, will be used to an even greater extent to structure tasks and communication for remote teams.
Tools for Remote Teams2
The need to expand beyond local markets to find the right skills to support a company’s growth continues to be important. To do so effectively, companies will increasingly rely on applications that make it easier for remote teams to work together seamlessly.
Sabine Riedel is the board member responsible for human relations at OTRS Group. She commented, “Both the connectedness of team members and the way in which work is managed must move beyond email when remote teams are being used. At OTRS Group, nearly 75% of our employees work remotely. We use video conferencing tools to help keep team members feeling connected. Regularly scheduled calls are kept: They are critical for building team spirit and keeping a pulse on each individual’s needs. Managing work is done through OTRS, of course. This gives our teams easy access to all details about requests from our customers – both externally and internally.
When people sit together in an office space, it’s easier to keep track of who is doing which task and what the requirements are. But, as remote teams become an even larger part of operations, it’s easy for tasks to get missed, workloads to become unbalanced or time planning to become difficult. Business process management systems, particularly those like OTRS that include automation features, will be used to an even greater extent to structure tasks and communication for remote teams. People can then be out in the field, at a home office or in a co-working space and still continue to have a prioritized overview of the work that needs to get done and the schedule on which this should happen. Nothing gets missed, regardless of where people are physically located.
Customer knowledge is a key component of delivering high-quality service.
Human Experience Platforms3
Companies will begin to use technology to evaluate how customers are feeling . They will mix that together with other customer background information to help create responses that are more appropriate for customers.
Said Nils Leideck about this trend, “Delivering great service to customers means truly understanding them. What are their expectations, past problems, worries? This is the foundation of OTRS. The ticket portion of the system offers companies significant insight into their customers’ history and agreements so that agents can build upon relationships. This data can be accessed and used by a variety of other systems to provide this type of future-forward service.”
Customer knowledge is a key component of delivering high-quality service. Using data to predict what the customer may need and provide solutions will be a key differentiator for businesses in years to come.
While there are certainly other changes that will impact the technology landscape in 2020, these four are among those that are on the minds of our team at OTRS Group. If you’re curious to get feedback on others, let me know. We welcome your questions.