Astonishing benchmarks

“When we started the end user services (EUS) benchmarking seven years ago, we thought the range of results would be small. IT management processes were well known, large chunks of the environments were uniform with most using Exchange for their emails and a Microsoft desktop, managers were experienced, everyone used the same tools; we thought it was a mature activity. When I saw the results, I nearly fell over. I was astonished.” Phil Hopley, partner at h2index describes his reaction to the first h2index EUS benchmarking study done in 2007.The staggering figure in 2007 was the 7:1 ratio between the highest cost of service desks per user and the lowest.Over the intervening years, the ratio has reduced as best practice has spread; by 2011 it had gone down to three. Even so, this means one company is paying three times more than another. Put more bluntly, one company could halve its service desk costs and still not be the cheapest. And let’s be clear, the best companies are doing this without compromising their service.

A company needs to understand whether its service desk costs are temporarily high due to the froth of organisational change: mergers, cuts, and expansions. Or are they high because of the way the business chooses to operate? Some companies had hundreds of applications, others had tens of thousands. Similarly, some had a few dozen resolver groups, others had a thousand. If this is the case, does the business appreciate the associated life-cycle costs of running its business this way?

Service desk managers can only control their own costs. So there comes a point when the only way to improve further is to look beyond the service desk. Can the manager engage with the business to (say) reduce the number of applications?

Simon Bennett: partner at h2index: “We have seen our clients use their benchmarking results to reduce both their costs and the disruptive effect of IT on their business. There are two essential levers:

  • Eliminating faults in the IT environment
  • “Shift left” support from desk-side to service desk, and then to self help

Those performing most efficiently have pulled these levers hard.”

The next EUS benchmarking study takes place in the last quarter of this year. Should Phil sit down before reading the results?

Find out how your company’s EUS compares with some of the world’s best. Join the study and you’ll not only receive the results but also a set of recommendations based on the findings and our experience. Just contact us to find out more.