Related Topics: SYS-CON MEDIA


Digital experience tool catches end user IT problems before they escalate

Closely monitoring endpoints to remediate incidents

Nexthink has just announced its Incident Management Connector for the ServiceNow PlatformTM which is designed to enable automatic identification and immediate resolution of IT issues impacting employee productivity. This integrated system is intended to help IT operations teams to seamlessly facilitate the digital efficiency needs of end users in the business.

With the promise that this pre-emptive system can proactively identify and engage with end users that have been or could be affected by a problem, Nexthink suggests that incident encounters will be reduced by 35% and resolution times will drop by 60%.

Support staff will be able to use the tool to resolve issues directly, without ticket escalations, potentially solving problems before end users have even raised them.

Time is money

The old adage is particularly appropriate for IT downtime. For North American organizations, the annual cost of downtime is $700 billion, according to IHS research. That’s based on an average of five downtime events, resulting in 27 hours of downtime per month.

Network interruptions are the biggest culprit and the main cost is not fixing the problem, but rather the loss of productivity and revenue.

The cost has soared in recent years, with 81% of enterprises suggesting the hourly cost of downtime now exceeds $300,000 on average, according to Information Technology Intelligence Consulting. For a third of enterprises that figure is between $1 and $5 million.

Clearly, the faster a problem can be uncovered and fixed, the better. While it may not always be possible to prevent issues from arising in the first place, greater visibility into real-time performance can certainly help IT operations understand where issues are likely to arise and focus their efforts more effectively.

What does Nexthink Incident Management Connector do?

When an incident is raised in ServiceNow currently, it is associated with an end user and their device. This Connector pulls in real-time performance and experience scores, security metrics and configuration status details. The idea is that support staff can see precisely what the issue is from their desk and go ahead and fix it immediately.

Key features include the automatic discovery of device information, a real-time scoring dashboard that can flag critical problems, and support for automatic remediation and drill-down investigations from a remote console. IT staff can also customize the information that’s required from endpoint devices to speed their investigations and get access to the device properties and activity history they need to resolve issues.

In brief, the Incident Management Connector does the following:

  • Reduces the time it takes to capture the configuration of the end user's device; for example, determining what device and operating system is being used, which version of software is installed, what applications are used, what connections are made to consume what IT and cloud services, and metrics such as network response time and web request duration.
  • Provides automated checklists to allow for the auto-diagnosing of common issues, effectively reducing time to fix common issues.
  • Features single-click remediation for incidents, enabling the support agent to automatically deploy and run a fix on the problem device.

“The success of a proactive IT can be measured by when tools, people and processes fit and augment each other,” said Vincent Bieri, co-founder and Chief Evangelist for Nexthink. “But tools are only as good as when they can fit into existing processes. The Connector is flexible enough to be customized to fit its implementation into the diversity of existing (and often rigid and complex) processes associated with the specific end user device.”

Focusing on the end user

Consider that only 36% of business users think IT is aligned with the needs of the business, delivers projects on time, reduces frequency of issues and offers updates to improve productivity, according to a Forrester study. The perception is at odds with the reality, but there’s a lack of understanding there. Only 34% of end users think their satisfaction is a priority for IT.

There’s certainly room for a new approach to combat the gap between IT and end users. The idea of focusing on the end-user experience by closely monitoring endpoints and acting to remediate incidents automatically, before they pop up on the end user’s radar, is at the heart of Nexthink’s strategy.

Crucially, this approach could free up time for overloaded IT staff by reducing the burden of open tickets and dissatisfied feedback to review. As limited IT resources continue to get squeezed, it’s important to find ways of working smarter. With a bit of room to maneuver, IT may be able to shift from firefighting to proactive planning.

The new Nexthink Incident Management Connector is already available on the ServiceNow store.

About the Author

Simon Hill is a freelance technology journalist and editor with a background in game development. You can find his work at Digital Trends, Tech Radar, Android Authority, USA Today, VentureBeat, Deal News, and many other places, both online and in print. He completed a Master’s Degree in Scottish History at Edinburgh University.

More Stories By Simon Hill

Simon Hill is a freelance technology journalist and editor with a background in game development. You can find his work at Digital Trends, Tech Radar, Android Authority, USA Today, VentureBeat, Deal News, and many other places, both online and in print. He completed a Master’s Degree in Scottish History at Edinburgh University.

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