5 Steps to Integrating Virtual Agents in a Painless Password Management Program

5 Steps to Integrating Virtual Agents in a Painless Password Management Program

What happens when you return to the office after vacation?

You say hi to your colleagues. You notice a stack of mail on your desk. Then, you sit down, breathe deeply, and hope for the best when you start your computer. Then, your mind goes blank. You can’t remember your password! Before you know it, you’re on hold with the IT department to get a password reset. Your post-vacation bliss is shattered by slow processes.

There’s a better way. As an IT leader, you can provide painless password management to your workforce. Even better, you can deliver that solution without expecting your IT analysts to grind away answering the same password requests over and over again. Use this five-step process to make it happen.

First, Check Your Current State

Before diving into the tactics, check your current situation. Skip this step and you could be accused of practicing “IT malpractice.” Don’t worry; there are no painful tests involved. Just sit down with your team and answer these self-assessment questions.

How many password reset requests does your team have to manage every quarter?

If it’s only a handful of reset requests, password management efficiency shouldn’t be your top concern.

How do business end users score IT in surveys?

Without user satisfaction surveys or interviews, you have no way to know if the business is happy or frustrated.

Does the organization face increasing cybersecurity hacks and threats?

If the answer is yes, you’ll need to free up capacity to address these concerns by implementing efficiencies.

Now you’ll understand whether there’s truly a need to improve your password program. If there isn’t a need right now, it’s time to look at other ways to improve your security. Consider improving your password management training for employees.

Five Simple Steps to Implement Virtual Agents to Your Password Management Program

You’ve already seen virtual agents in the market. They’re most common in sales and marketing situations. However, this technology has significant potential to improve the employee experience as well. This guide will take you through each step of the process.

1. Document your current password arrangements

For a virtual agent to manage some of the password workloads, you need a documented process. At a minimum, your documentation needs to specify password complexity rules, user account rules (e.g., apply additional verification on system administrator passwords), and rules on when to escalate to a human operator. If you have some of these documents in hand already, expect to complete this step in less than a day.

2. Identify high-volume password reset requests

Your organization has dozens or hundreds of applications and systems. Some of those are used more heavily than others are. To make the best use of virtual agents, focus this technology on high-volume requests. For example, start with making a list of the five most heavily used apps in your organization. That’ll probably include business email, PC login, and the customer relationship management (CRM). Next, pick one or two of those applications to focus your effort on during the pilot.

3. Design a pilot program for virtual agents

To continue with the step above, focus on password management for the CRM. You’ve identified that it’s a critical system and has a significant volume of password administration since your sales force travels a great deal. Your next step is to choose a scope and timeframe. Consider limiting the pilot project timeline to 60-90 days, and make sure it covers at least 100 users.

4. Set up monitoring

No technology, especially a newer technology such as virtual agents, will always perform as expected. To limit execution risk, set up a monitoring program during the pilot project. This doesn’t need to be complex. Choose a monitoring frequency, perhaps weekly for the pilot. Next, choose 3-5 data points you want to monitor. For example, track the number of virtual agent requests, and track how long those requests take to be fulfilled. You may also want to measure the percentage of requests that are escalated to a human agent.

5. Determine your expansion options

After your virtual agent pilot project is complete, you’ll need to evaluate the results. If the project delivered acceptable quality and time savings, go back to step 3. Choose one or two more applications to support with the virtual agent. If the pilot didn’t meet expectations, you need to understand why. Review the data and speak with some of your end users.

Written by Nelson Cicchitto