What Good is Automation If It Puts You Out of Compliance?
Our vision at Espressive is a world where employees get help without friction. We do that by automating resolution of employee reported issues and requests with exceptional employee experiences. Our core belief is that if the experience isn’t exceptional, employees will not adopt self-help solutions. It is great to see the level of engagement that our customers’ employees have with Barista, our virtual support agent.
At the core of ITIL, when a request is received from an employee, it is necessary for IT to know whether the request is an “incident” or a “service request.” Interestingly, since most ITSM platforms have not put the focus on the employee experience, they require employees to know the difference between the two. This has led to employee confusion, and as a result, an additional tax on an already overloaded help desk.
Chatbots today promise to automate the resolution of “incidents” by providing answers to questions or issues. They also promise to leverage automation to handle “service requests,” such as creating a mailing list, resetting a password, or initiating a vacation request.
Working with Business Processes
Chatbot customers want to optimize work through automation but must face the fact that compliance doesn’t go away. While some service requests are simple and can be handled directly (e.g., password reset), others may require one or more levels of approval, each needing to be recorded for audit purposes.
Let’s use an example of an employee that requires a virtual machine for testing purposes. For most organizations this would likely require two levels of approval. Thankfully, sophisticated ITSM platforms provide an ability to invoke approvals within a workflow, although this normally comes at a high price.
Some chatbot vendors claim they can replace the automation performed by these ITSM platforms but ignore the fact that they introduce a compliance problem. Customers heading down this path can find themselves stranded from a compliance standpoint and will quickly need to consider reverting back to their old ITSM platforms for automation.
Meeting the Needs of the Enterprise
At Espressive, we are not focused simply on automating work, but doing it in a way that ensures our customers can maintain compliance. I am super proud that we announced Barista approval capabilities yesterday. This means Barista process automation can be tied to an approval process—which is required before the process is truly “automated.”
Your auditors want proof that you have followed your processes? No problem. You can either create an approval report directly from Barista or allow Barista to update your approval system of record.
Usable and Affordable Approvals—Finally
Two challenges we have heard from our customers using approvals built into their ITSM platforms are the cost and the complexity for approvers to manage. Many ITSM platforms charge an approval price per manager, which can significantly increase the ITSM investment. This is true even if a manager only approves one or two requests per year. Further, these approval requests come in the form of emails that are frequently lost in a manager’s inbox (or worse, hit a filter previously set up to limit the noise created from these systems).
Further complicating this, when an ITSM platform sends an email to a group, it is difficult for the recipients to know whether a request has already been approved by another member of the group. This leads to many people approving the same request, which leads to productivity issues and confusion.
With Barista, when a group receives an approval request, every member of the group sees the status of the request in real-time. If someone in the group has already approved the request, and the policy requires only one approval from the group, it is removed from the queue.
Espressive was founded on the premise that adoption is maximized when delivered as exceptional employee experiences — and we have extended that to approvals as well. Barista now has the ability to leverage automation to resolve employee service requests while maintaining compliance.