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IT Managers: The importance of the bigger picture

Oct 18 • Features, Software and Apps • 847 Views • No Comments on IT Managers: The importance of the bigger picture

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Alastair Clifford-Jones, CEO at Leadent Service Cloud, looks at the challenges IT managers working within service organisations face… 

If you are an IT Manager in a service business, you have a tough job. With an increasingly-squeezed budget, you are constantly expected to deliver more for less. When it comes to your organisation’s fieldforce the responsibility to provide an effective field service software tool for minimum cost and maximum return may well lie with you, together with managers of the operation itself.

But whilst budget is obviously important, we don’t believe it should be the top priority in the decision-making around IT investment. (And yes, we hear your response of “Well, you would say that”, but bear with us.) We think you need to think more broadly, think bigger.

Whilst the budget for field service software may sit with IT, primarily it’s the operations of the business who will be using it day in, day out. If implemented and used correctly, field service management solutions can offer a whole host of savings and benefits, including a good number that will directly impact the IT department and budget.

Whilst the budget for field service software may sit with IT, primarily it’s the operations of the business who will be using it day in, day out. If implemented and used correctly, field service management solutions can offer a whole host of savings and benefits, including a good number that will directly impact the IT department and budget.

In trying to explain the return on investment from field service software, we’d usually talk about savings in diesel costs through the use of optimised driving routes, completing extra jobs per day through a more optimised scheduling system, or adding a new customer because you have been able to eliminate repeat visits. All of these savings have a direct impact on the company’s bottom line, and we do acknowledge that they come primarily from the operation. But there’s more to it than that – what about the IT savings that will result from using a best-in-class, cloud-based solution rather than a bespoke or customised system from a small, niche provider?

The benefits of a Software as a Service (SaaS) model have been much discussed and well documented. It allows IT Managers to hand responsibility for up-time, service levels, bug-fixing and support back to the software vendor. No more out-of-hours server upgrades (at least not for these systems), or working through complex contracts to understand what’s your responsibility; all you really need to do is make sure that hardware is available and the users’ browsers are the correct version.

When it comes to a system as central to the organisation as field service management, think how much effort and stress could be saved by not having to worry about the system going down. Or, not having to think about how it will integrate with other systems that you might purchase in the future. When you use a market-leading product (like that which Leadent Service Cloud is based on), these worries are a thing of the past.

Obviously, this will never be a decision that sits solely with either IT or Operations; we think it’s vital that the business and IT work together to come up with an aligned approach that focuses on benefits to the organisation as a whole, and which looks at costs/savings across all budgets, rather than putting this all on a single department.

IT Managers are used to having to support business needs – it’s the whole purpose of the function and it happens brilliantly in organisations every day without too many people noticing. So when it comes to field service management software, we’d encourage you to think big, get involved with the Operations teams and consider the organisation-wide benefits of a using a best-in-class solution, as well as thinking about the financial and workload flexibility you can derive from a SaaS solution.

If you would like to know more about how Leadent Service Cloud can help you improve your field service then please visit www.leadentservicecloud.com

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