Ed Toner

IT with a Customer Focus

I frequently blog about our organization’s focus on IT as a service and my expectations of my team to deliver this value. We are all responsible for providing products and services that meet or exceed our customers’ expectations. My expectation is that we put customers at the focus of every interaction, which helps the Agencies achieve their performance goals, which increases their satisfaction with the IT we provide.

Tracking performance and customer service metrics has become a tradition here at the Office of the CIO.  We first published our metrics in 2017 during consolidation. We used those metrics to gain valuable information about our progress and identify the area where we could improve. Now we can use them again to gauge our success. 

Every organization that is serious about improvement measures customer satisfaction, and the quality of their products. Measuring removes the subjective view and provides us with the data needed to objectively target certain areas and celebrate success in others.  I believe the OCIO has achieved the maturity to embrace and learn from this approach and extreme transparency.

With this in mind, I want to share some of the OCIO metrics for 2019, to show the results of continuous process improvement and automation at the State of Nebraska.

2019 Incident Requests

In 2018, we experienced our workload increase at the OCIO, after some major progress in consolidation. Volume doubled in 2017, to an average of 2,880 Incident Requests per month. I predicted that the trend would continue in 2019 based on the consolidation work on our schedule.  We are now averaging 3,337 incident reports per month (in 2019), a 16% increase with an average resolution time of 4.3 days for all incidents. This is higher than in 2018, but the number does not account for the processes we automated.

The best example is our self-service password tool. The automation of support for password-related incidents eliminated 80% of our password reset calls. In December, we received 1,118 of those calls. Self-service is the best possible experience for our customers because it accomplishes our goal of immediate support, 24/7, and it decreases our average resolution time.  So when we factor self-service into our service calls, the resolution average becomes 3.2 days for all incidents, and this is an improvement from our 2018 average.

Total Incident Requests by Month Graph

Average Days Open - Incident Requests Graph

2019 Service Requests

A Service Request is a customer-initiated request for technology services listed in our service catalog. The services were always available, and after consolidating service desks we are collecting and analyzing the data we get from these requests. Volume of Service Requests mirror what we see with Incident reports. In 2018, we averaged 4,187 of these per month, and in 2019, the average grew to 5,240, another 25% increase.

The average resolution time also increased to eight days, which is more than a day longer than 2018. We are continuing to analyze data from these requests with a focus to automate more solutions. Our focus includes the enterprise onboarding process, which we speculate will free up our technology resources to spend more time on other service requests. With a 25% workload increase, we need to look towards more automation and adequate support for our customers. This will be our focus for 2020.

Total Service Requests by Month Graph

Average Days Open - Service Requests Graph

2019 Change Requests

For the second year, we are publishing our Change metrics. The objective of change management is to ensure that our services use standard procedures for handling all IT changes. IT changes can encompass hardware or software, or both, and we manage changes such as these to minimize a negative impact or related incidents that could manifest in other service offerings. The OCIO’s change success rate in 2019 was 96.6%, above our 2018 rate, which meant our customers experienced fewer service interruptions and more availability.

OCIO Change Management Graph

2019 Survey Results

We use a customer feedback survey to collect data, which we analyze to improve our customer service. Collecting this data gives us an objective to measure our delivery against our customer’s expectations and perceptions. Using this actionable data, we adjust our activities to meet those needs. We focus our organization on areas of improvement, which we presume will fulfill our customers’ expectations in the future. Best in class organizations focus heavily on customer experience, and to do so they measure and track their customers’ experience through surveys.

The charts below represent the results of our 2019 survey. We contacted a random sampling of customers who had reported incidents and requested services from July 1, 2019 to August 1, 2019. During this sampling period, we sent 1,909 surveys and received 459 responses. The cumulative average score of those responses is 4.6 (out of 5) over seven questions regarding customer support provided by the OCIO.

Below are the specific questions and detailed survey results:

2019 Customer Service Survey Graph - Overall Customer Service

2019 Customer Service Survey Graph - Using the Service Portal

2019 Customer Service Survey Graph - Diagnose and Resolve Requests

2019 Customer Service Survey Graph - Time to Resolve Requests

2019 Customer Service Survey Graph - OCIO Staff Professionalism

2019 Customer Service Survey Graph - Request Progress Updates

2019 Customer Service Survey Graph - Satisfaction with Solution

Being Accountable and Actionable

Based on the feedback we received this year we need to continue our progress to enhance the Service Portal, and provide a more user-friendly experience. Decreasing resolution time continues to be our organization’s focus. Self-service password reset produced some immediate relief for the Service Desk and is becoming an essential tool for many of our customers. Together we will continue to update our technology, processes, procedures to address customer issues via enhanced self-service and automation.

Availability and Reliability

The OCIO infrastructure team will continue to analyze server and network availability. From the application team’s perspective, the metric of interest is the availability of individual applications. While (we presume) our customers will look at a combination of both.

Metrics like these assist in explaining to our customers, what services they get. When asked, “Why are you so expensive?”.
Below are the available metrics of our key Enterprise Applications:

2019 Enterprise Availability Metrics Graph

This team has accomplished so much in 2019: High availability, higher customer service ratings and process improvements across the agency. You meet our customers’ expectations and this is indeed a confirmation of your dedication to customer service.

As always, I appreciate your efforts to provide quality services to the State and the Citizens of Nebraska!

Ed Toner