Peter McGarahan Tells IT Support Professionals: Shift Left to Stay Ahead

The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of HDI recently welcomed Peter J. McGarahan, a noted IT industry veteran, as he neared the end of a nine-city speaking tour. Over the course of two weeks, McGarahan, senior IT director at First American Financial Corporation, spoke to hundreds of IT support professionals during the Western Region HDI Local Chapter Fall 2014 Speaker Tour, sponsored by Robert Half Technology. The San Francisco event was held on November 5, 2014, and simulcast in Mountain View and Santa Rosa. The topic? Preparing your service organization for the “shift-left” strategy. This approach focuses on moving issue resolution from higher cost service channels (onsite assistance, level 2 support and above) to lower cost channels (online self service, social community forums).

In this ever-changing world of technology, McGarahan stressed that radical changes may be needed in order to meet the expectations of customers and fulfill business requirements. He urged the IT support professionals in the audience to evaluate their organization’s performance, structure, process, people, tools and metrics. In addition to driving down support costs, a shift-left strategy leads to a better customer experience and allows support teams to focus on high value work. Paul Keck, account executive for Robert Half Technology, attended the live meeting in San Francisco and said, “The topic of today’s meeting really resonated with the audience. Organizations are eager to reduce costs while increasing customer satisfaction and their support team’s productivity.”

HDI is the world’s largest IT service and technical support membership association, with more than 150,000 members. The San Francisco Bay Area HDI chapter, a dynamic group of IT service and support professionals, meets regularly to share ideas and build business relationships. Connect with them on Facebook, BayAreaHDI, for chapter updates and event information. As the Exclusive Career Center Partner of HDI, Robert Half Technology regularly contributes articles, videos and career development material to HDI members, all of which are available at

Pete McGarahan is celebrating his 30th year in the IT industry. He enjoys sharing the lessons he’s learned through published writings, storytelling, webinars and international speaking engagements.

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Have IT support professionals in your organization adopted a “shift-left” strategy? Let us know in the comments below.