What Is Shift Left?

Service desk support is one of the larger line items in IT budgets. It makes sense: With technology now the backbone of business success at scale — resolving end-user issues with in-house applications — mobile devices or cloud platforms are top priority. Yet expert assistance isn’t cheap.

Shift left strategies look to reduce costs and streamline outcomes by improving the ability of end users to solve their issues with best-fit support that delivers speedy, specific resolutions.

Service Desk the Right Way: Shift Left Strategy          

The shift left strategy started with software testing. By moving the testing phase earlier in development, companies were able to detect and resolve issues before new applications went live. This, in turn, reduced total costs. Now, shift left has made its way to the service desk.

What does this look like in practice? It’s helpful to think of IT support in terms of levels:

  • On site deskside support – technicians who come to your desk to help resolve productivity issues with your technology is the most expensive support mode.
  • Remote service desk – front line IT support who can resolve most desktop issues remotely help significantly reduce the cost to support end user productivity.
  • Self-Service – the provision of FAQ, How-To articles and self-service tools help end users get immediate resolution to tech issues at a low cost.
  • Automated problem resolution – eliminate the incidents through the automated resolution of incidents as soon as the conditions present themselves. Such self-healing is the lowest cost option.

For companies, balancing support and cost  is a challenge. While end user satisfaction and productivity is essential, support solutions on the right side of the chart are more costly. Shift left initiatives look to reduce the skill and spend required to solve key problems while rapidly resolving problems. The key tenets are self-service tools that allow staff to find resolutions to the most frequently asked questions and automation which helps speed up resolution or eliminate incidents completely.

Unpacking the Benefits of IT Shift Left

While cost is the primary driver of shift left strategies, this approach also offers other benefits for service desk operations, including:

  • Increased resolution speed: Robust Level 0 options help staff solve their problems, cutting overall resolution time.
  • Reduced time commitment: By ensuring service requests move steadily up the skill chain, experienced (and expensive) IT staff spend less time solving simple IT issues.
  • Improved skill utilization: Using the right people for the right problems lets your top-tier IT staff focus on what matters most — business-driven innovation.
  • Ongoing service improvement: Shift left models and data gathering help identify common IT issues, allowing companies to address them at scale.
  • Proactive IT response: The IT shift left approach moves from break/fix models to address problems ASAP and provide long-term solutions. 

Making the Shift With Managed Service Support

While it’s possible for companies to create and deploy shift left models in-house, the amount of time, effort and expertise required to convert existing service desk models often results in the exact cost overruns they’re trying to avoid.

Here, reliable and robust managed IT solutions offer a way to deliver shift left support at scale. Consider the ITS approach: Using a combination of ITIL best practices, industry leading tools and shift left methodology, we empower businesses to streamline IT issue resolution — without breaking the bank. From self-service to agent-driven solutions that provide comprehensive problem solving, we’re here to help your business find the right approach to shift left support.

Integration. Transformation. Specialization. Discover our IT service desk solutions. Contact us today.