In this modern age of computing and technology, many businesses have neither the time, nor the knowledge or experience to cover the entire spectrum of Information Technology. This could be due to a shortage of employees with the necessary skills, limited budgets or the absence of scalable solutions, which are vital when it comes to ensuring a smooth workflow within the IT department.
Fortunately, new technologies are here to help. These include blockchain, heralded as one of the most transformational technologies of our time and odds-on to revolutionise and disrupt the way businesses operate and process information.
In PwC’s 2018 Global Blockchain Survey, 84% of executives surveyed said their companies were already ‘actively involved’ with blockchain technology. The healthcare, banking and finance and supply chain industries are setting the pace in incorporating blockchain into their business models, but this is likely to change as more industries recognise its benefits.
Many still view blockchain technology through the prism of virtual payments and cryptocurrencies. However, the idea of a decentralised, distributed ledger infrastructure has applications in many traditional business functions, including IT support, where blockchain is already having an immense impact in cutting down IT department running costs and ensuring data integrity.
Not long ago, the main concerns of IT departments were the resolution rate for helpdesk tickets, the cost per ticket and user satisfaction levels. While these are still important, IT managers today are increasingly responsible for rolling-out major technologies across the enterprise and for implementing new technologies and new approaches to automation that have the potential to make a business more secure and more profitable.
So how does blockchain help IT departments manage their expanding workload and still cut costs and improve user satisfaction? In a nutshell, it does so by automating IT service management processes to increase the helpdesk ticket resolution rate, using the concept of a distributed ledger that allows seamless integration with an existing IT system and real-time workflow interaction between systems.
Blockchain ensures the secure exchange of encrypted data between systems and, because the ledger is distributed, there is a significantly lower risk of hacking or system failure than with other systems. This adds an extra layer of security and system availability for organisations that strive for an ultra-secure and highly available transparent data exchange infrastructure.
For IT services, the concept can be adapted to simplify communication and improve workflow between the IT department and external IT services vendor. For example, KompiTech has created its own proprietary blockchain-based solution, called KompiTech BLiTS, which automates service agreements through the creation of a Smart Contract that eliminates the risk of human error and cuts down a business’s operations and management overheads.
Blockchain in IT outsourcing
Blockchain also has applications in IT outsourcing. Current IT projects are more complex than they used to be, involve new technologies and require up-todate knowledge of existing trends and experienced staff who can keep up with a rapidly changing IT environment. As the jobs market becomes highly saturated, it becomes more and more difficult to find competent IT employees. Which is where IT outsourcing comes into play.
Using third-party IT services providers brings an array of challenges and risks that are easily addressed by blockchain technology.
KompiTech BLITS, for instance, can help boost the confidentiality and integrity of data exchanged, as all information, including smart contracts and service level agreements, are stored on virtual blocks that cannot be amended or removed without the authorisation of the parties involved. It ensures that SLAs are not breached and that there is a mechanism for automating instances of services breach detection that automatically allocates penalties stipulated in the service agreement.
Moreover, because the blockchain ecosystem does not run on a single server and uses peer verification instead, the system is practically un-hackable and extremely secure.
Fully automated blockchain technology also boosts workflow efficiency, for example by cutting out the middleman, in this case the IT desk operator, which improves data security – confidential business data is stored within the network instead of being logged inside an Excel file. This is important, especially in large organisations where valuable data can be easily misunderstood or lost during the incident reporting process.
With KompiTech BLITS, the blockchain network is responsible for automatically logging and processing critical pieces of information, removing the need for human intervention and freeing up internal IT staff to focus on other priorities and work towards growing business revenue instead.
Greg Erhahon is CEO of KompiTech, a Swiss IT company specialising in future-proof IT services and blockchain technology. An expert in blockchain operations, Greg has previously worked for global healthcare companies, such as J&J and Covidien.