Quite often, technology is viewed as a process automation solution - increasing the efficiency of an existing process and making it go faster and cheaper. However, there are some game changing developments in technology that creep up on you slowly (over a looong 5-year period as technology changes very fast!) so that process automation does not make any sense any more.
The classic case cited is that of buggy whips and automobiles. At a time when automobiles were taking over the functions performed by horse-drawn carriages, makers of buggy whips were on a doomed path, trying to increase the rate at which buggy whips were manufactured. Any amount of Six Sigma analysis or Lean could not save that particular effort!
Help desk CRM, outsourcing, ITIL, multi-level handling of calls are all doomed in a similar way by recent advances in what one can do remotely! Citrix offers many online conferencing and remote access solutions like GoToMeeting, GoToMyPC, etc. that can enable someone 10,000 miles away to log into your system and through your system access other systems in your network using Remote Connection (a Microsoft Windows utility). They can grab hold of your mouse and keyboard and operate your system from 10,000 miles away as if they are sitting next to you!
Happened to me! Our engineers in Chennai fixed one of our systems through one of the services mentioned above all the way here in California!
Here is where five years from now, you don’t need to be answering questions over the phone to a support person. They can reach out and fix your system remotely. Chat software would most probably include this capability so that you chat and hand over control to the Dell or HP support person and they can poke around your system and fix it!
So there goes any effort put into making some aspects of help desks faster or cheaper!
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic – Arthur C. Clarke.