Chesapeake Bay Academy, a private nonprofit school for students with learning differences, needed to improve its IT support capabilities. The school was previously reliant on emails for the notification of IT issues and requests, day-to-day management of IT support operations, and reporting. The legacy system caused problems for both IT and its customers; a fit-for-purpose ticketing system was needed.
"I needed a solution that’s easy-to-use, accessible from anywhere, that provided communication tracking, and is flexible. Most of all I needed one that would fit the budget of a nonprofit.”
Initially, the school considered leveraging software it already had, specifically Microsoft SharePoint, to create IT support-related forms and databases. But, without programming resources, it lacked the depth to build a ticket management system from scratch – with this route also expected to deliver something very limited. Then, many free and low-cost ticket management systems were trialled, but most had issues or lacked feature depth.
Chesapeake Bay Academy faced the following problems:
- Missed or delayed reporting of incidents – these issues would remain unaddressed until they were considered emergencies or flagged to the head of school as escalations
- There was little structure to incident management, no workflow, no knowledge management, and no ability to prioritize the most important issues to the front of the work queue
- No accurate performance data related to service levels and operational efficiency/effectiveness – just IT support stress and an inability to accurately provide metrics to stakeholders with the result being end-user and customer satisfaction issues
The school learned a great deal during the evaluation and selection process. In particular to have separate lists of must-have and nice-to-have features to ensure that the selection process stays focused on true needs. Planning for the future is key; the solution needed to be dynamic and have the capabilities to grow as the organization grows. The best service desk solutions can adjust to these needs rather than requiring the customer to adjust to their way of doing things.