Speculation in non-technical publications, such as The Economist, reveals IT is set to change a lot. This article (subscription required) ponders upon whether basic support can be ‘unsourced‘ (Customer Self Serve). The truth is, as with most technological change, the significance of the move by Customers to Self-Solve has been mostly overestimated in the short term, with the effects being underestimated by 2020.
We are not there yet. Research undertaken at this year's HP Discover event indicated only 15% of respondents would prefer to Self-Solve, but we still plan to invest in tools in this area. As we plan our future service offerings, we fully understand minor Break/Fix remedies will not make up the majority of the HP's Software Support team case load just eight years from now. Our customers will evolve their expectation of the types of service they require, and by then, the use of online forums for the more simple issues, may be as common place as today's Social Media tools.
While the move to Self-Solve will undoubtedly apply to non-critical incidents; the need for more hands-on support for complex business architectures will always be an essential requirement. Mission Critical Applications with no room for down-time will still need to be supported and will remain a high priority item in our service offerings.
2020 may seem far away, however we have to make sure trends such as unsourcing (Customer Self Solve) are fully considered in our planning. So as peer-to-peer communities help reduce costs for many of our customers, we will simultaneously be ramping up our Support Service offerings. This will enable us to adequately meet changing customer needs, maintaining a predictable reserve of top talent to deal with our most demanding support cases and those for which the community forums cannot help.
Partnership with our customers to deliver functionality and the type of support they desire to support their evolving business will continue to increase the value delivered by HP Software Support. By 2020, the consequences will lead to more training for our teams in areas which may previously have been owned by technical architects. In fact by 2020 the term Support may be superseded by Technical Partnership, Technical Leadership or even Technical Consultancy. If you have a better term (that is non-derogative) then why not leave a comment below?