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In this video, we’re going to discuss the concept of shift-left in IT Service and Support.

The term shift-left has been around for about 10 years now. It simply refers to moving tickets from a higher cost of support to a lower cost of support. For example, in North America last year, a fully loaded cost of a level 1 service desk ticket was around $22. Now, if I can deflect some of that volume to self-help/self-service – in other words, if I can shift some tickets from level 1 to level 0 (which is shifting left) – then I can reduce my cost pretty dramatically because a self-help ticket only costs about $2.

Now if I go further to the left, level -1, is incident prevention. Problem management is a formal discipline of incident prevention. Imagine eliminating 10%, 20%, or even 50% of all incidents through problem management. That would reduce the total cost of ownership in Service and Support – TCO as it’s called – pretty dramatically. By the way, a reduction in incident volume of 50% using problem management is not that uncommon.

There’s also a level -2. I call it search and destroy or seek and destroy. This is AI technology that’s starting to show up in an increasing number of support environments. At level -2, there are endpoint bots that continuously look for pending failures in hardware such as servers and hard drives. By identifying potential failures before they occur, preventive action can be taken to replace or repair the device that’s on the verge of failure.

Now let’s talk about the support levels to the right of the level 1 service desk. Level 2 is how we refer to desktop support; Level 3 is IT support such as a NOC or an application team; and then there’s field support and vendor support on the far right side of the spectrum. Vendor support on the far right costs about $600 a ticket, so you want to minimize these tickets by shifting them left to level 3 IT support or desktop support or level 1 service desk. Likewise, field support tickets cost about $220 each. Level 3 IT costs about $100 per ticket and level 2 costs about $70 per ticket fully loaded.

The idea here is that by pushing tickets as far to the left as you can, you have the potential to dramatically reduce your IT support costs and minimize your total cost of ownership – your TCO. To learn more about how to benefit from shift left in your own IT support organization, I would encourage you to contact MetricNet.

Jeffrey Rumburg

Jeff Rumburg is a co-founder and Managing Partner of MetricNet, where he is responsible for global strategy, product development, and financial operations for the company. As a leading expert in benchmarking and re-engineering, Mr. Rumburg authored a best selling book on benchmarking, and has been retained as a benchmarking expert by such well known companies as American Express, Hewlett-Packard, General Motors, IBM, and Sony. Mr. Rumburg was honored in 2014 by receiving the Ron Muns Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the IT Service and Support industry. Prior to co-founding MetricNet, Mr. Rumburg was president and founder of The Verity Group, an international management consulting firm specializing in IT benchmarking. While at Verity, Mr. Rumburg launched a number of syndicated benchmarking services that provided low cost benchmarks to more than 1,000 corporations worldwide. Mr. Rumburg has also held a number of executive positions at META Group, and Gartner. As a vice president at Gartner, Mr. Rumburg led a project team that reengineered Gartner’s global benchmarking product suite. And as vice president at META Group, Mr. Rumburg’s career was focused on business and product development for IT benchmarking. Mr. Rumburg’s education includes an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, an M.S. magna cum laude in Operations Research from Stanford University, and a B.S. magna cum laude in Mechanical Engineering. He is author of A Hands-On Guide to Competitive Benchmarking: The Path to Continuous Quality and Productivity Improvement, and has taught graduate-level engineering and business courses.

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