Blog: 2020 Year in Review

It has become my annual tradition during my tenure at the State of Nebraska to publicize this organization’s focus on what I call “IT as a Service”.  Back in 2017, we were tracking fundamental data and we noticed some new trends had started to form just as the OCIO Service Desk was becoming the centralized support channel for all of the cabinet agencies.  Our organization is accountable to the State Agencies to provide IT products and services, and we were in the beginning phases of measuring our fulfillment of that.  Four years later, we continue monitoring our performance and measuring our progress against a set of defined goals; additionally, we make our findings public to ensure we are holding ourselves accountable.

We use metrics to gain valuable information about our progress and to identify the areas where we can improve. Metrics help us remove our human tendency to review from our subjective standards, and provide us a baseline of data needed to objectively target certain areas and celebrate success in others. The OCIO team has proven over the years they have the maturity to embrace and learn from this extremely transparent approach.

Our record historically has led to process improvements which increase customer service. One such example was our successful attempt to reduce the number of calls to the Service Desk for password help. With the implementation of Self-Service Account Management for network account passwords in 2019, followed by the introduction of Self-Service Password Reset for our Finance and Human Resource systems, together we eliminated approximately 6,000 calls to the Service Desk each month. Process improvements include the reduction of low priority tickets to the Service Desk, and productivity gains on the customer side, provided an immediate resolution for lockouts and forgotten passwords. 


Service Desk

Our focus this year will be the automation of Teammate Account On-boarding, Transfer and Transition process.  During our work on the pilot portion of the project, we were able to eliminate some of the time it takes to create a new account; this went from hours and multiple teams involved, to less than one minute.  Plans to expand to all cabinet agencies are in progress.

Taking that into consideration, I want to share some of the OCIO metrics for 2020, to show the results of continuous process improvement and automation at the State of Nebraska.

2020 Incident and Service Requests

In 2020 we expected our workload to increase dramatically. We challenged ourselves to uphold our customer service standards in the IT team’s COVID response. The metrics proved to show that we succeeded in doing so.  We reduced the Time to Resolve Incident Requests by nearly 10% and Service Requests by 13%. 

Incident Requests

Service Requests

2020 Change Requests

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 2020 was 98.13%.  An improvement on our 2019 rate of 96.6%, which meant our customers experienced fewer service interruptions and improved availability.

2020 Survey Results

For the last few years, the OCIO utilizes 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 chart below represents the results of our 2020 survey. We contacted a random sampling of customers who had reported incidents and requested services from August through November 2020.  During this sampling period, we sent 3,578 surveys and received 1,202 responses from 30 different agencies. Only one survey per unique user was sent; if multiple requests were made by a single user then the latest request was selected for survey feedback.  306 Separate responses had a perfect 5.0 rating.  The overall score of those responses was 4.63 (out of 5).
Below are the specific categories and scores:

Customer Feedback Survey

Being Accountable and Actionable

Based on the feedback we received this year we continue our progress to enhance the Service Portal to provide a more user-friendly experience. Decreasing resolution time and improving our communication continues to be our organization’s focus. Together we will continue to update our technology, processes and procedures to address customer issues.

Availability and Reliability

The OCIO infrastructure team continues analyzing and improving server and network availability, something I wrote about in Plan to Fail(over) (2018).  As a result of their efforts, The State of Nebraska was recognized for its outstanding work in Disaster Recovery and Continuity of Operations in the 2020 Digital States Survey, a biennial evaluation of the technology practices of all 50 states.  The State received accolades for demonstrating results across all criteria in the category, including the ability to recover from and maintain continuous IT and business operations during disasters and crisis conditions. 

Below are the availability metrics for our key Enterprise Applications:

Availability Uptime Percentage

The OCIO Team has accomplished so much in 2020: Higher availability, higher customer service ratings and multiple process improvements across the agency. You have once again met 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