Warehouse Stationery is bridging the gap between business and IT by delegating common IT tasks to business users — with a little help from software.
Six months ago, the company rolled out software that automates and delegates common IT tasks to business users. Initially, 300 users started using the system, but the company is now extending it to 43 stores and 1200 users nationwide, says Mark Denvir, general manager of ICT.
Denvir is already seeing the benefits of the self-provisioning software, developed by local company Activate Technologies. By automating hundreds of daily administrative support requests, Activate’s software has enabled Denvir’s team to improve response times and reduce the backlog of work, he says.
Denvir first heard about Activate while working as CIO of Works Infrastructure, one of Activate’s first reference sites, and when he took up his role with Warehouse Stationary, he was keen to implement the software, he says.
The software automates and delegates to business users common computer tasks which would normally require help-desk support, such as setting up new users, installing new software and the management of group lists and directories. Simple tasks like password resets and distribution list management, where the IT department doesn’t really add any value, are delegated to the user. “IT can be taken out of the mix,” Denvir says.
The software works with Microsoft’s Active Directory to control security and user access, he says. The only real challenge is getting all of the business data into the system, he says.“However, the benefits far outweigh the effort involved. By automating the entire user provisioning process, Activate frees up as much as 50% of an analyst’s time previously spent handling administration tasks, and gives control back to the business community,” he says.
Glenn Elley, “internal Activate guru” at Warehouse Stationery, has had his workload reduced by 50% due to the implementation, allowing him to focus on higher priority projects.
“Glenn has been the key driver within [the company] to see the uptake on Activate,” says Denvir.
The potential return on investment from the software will be significant, says Denvir. “With Activate being used by 300 users, we have noticed a decrease in administration and support calls that amounts to the equivalent of almost one full-time analyst,” he says.
Once the software is extended to all 1200 users nationwide, Denvir expects all service support calls and response times to reduce by at least 30% of current levels.
Feedback from the staff so far has been positive, says Denvir.
“We started off with getting just a couple of key people using the software. Now, effectively, it’s right across the business. Everyone is using it.”
Denvir’s team is getting demands from all parts of the business for other services they would like to see put up there, for example from the HR department for automating recruitment processes, he says.
“Users appreciate the value of being able to manage their user access and technology support needs without having to wait hours or days for IT support to do it for them,” he adds.