Help Desk Evolves to Reclaim IT Clout

While the help desk, or IT support, is often viewed as a low-priority position with a company’s strategic planning, a shifting focus to private cloud computing within companies has made the help desk more of a central focus for IT.

Have you seen the help desk become a more important part of your strategic planning? Share your thoughts below. 

IT departments are increasingly becoming private cloud purveyors to companies with new levels of service and service-level agreements, which has increased the need for greater support and service from the help desk, notes Network World. The help desk is now expected to deliver metrics and predictive analysis, which can help IT predict and resolve bugs before they become big problems.

As IT enters a “SLA culture,” it’s becoming more important to use business analytics to predict problem response and resolution trends before they materialize. New tools like help-desk software solutions can streamline this process.

“Help-desk software now has moved to a more holistic approach,” said Raj Sabhlok, president of ManageEngine, which produces help-desk software. “It now includes metrics that answer trending questions like which applications are creating the most problem issues? And is the average time to respond and to resolve a request increasing or decreasing?”

By using these metrics, the help desk can solve application problems before they occur and also assist service level response monitoring by alerting managers about a variety of response issues.

Yet then again, there are also an increasing number of help desk questions centered around non-related inquires, such as “I dropped my phone in the toilet. What should I do?” according to a Robert Half Technology survey of more than 1,400 chief information officers in U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.

Of course the classic help desk questions still surface: “Will you show me how to use the mouse?”, “How do I start the Internet?” and “My computer won’t turn on” (because it isn’t plugged into a wall socket).

Comments

  1. BY Fred Bosick says:

    An “SLA culture” is more likely to make line and department managers hew to the demands of the metrics than to the work. Also, an excellent way to kill initiative amongst the staff. Think of call centers.

  2. BY RMS says:

    “While the help desk, or IT support, is often viewed as a low-priority position with a company’s strategic planning.”

    That’s because it’s considered to be an entry level position fit only for low or no skill employees who want to climb the ladder into more “respectable” positions. Here’s a link to my view of the low opinion of support positions: http://rmichaelsmall.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/why-is-support-considered-an-entry-level-second-rate-position/

    “By using these metrics, the help desk can solve application problems before they occur and also assist service level response monitoring by alerting managers about a variety of response issues.”

    Problems are not SOLVED (uppercase for emphasis) before they occur; problems are
    prevented from occuring. If the HD manager is paying attention he or she should see the trends; the reporting capabilities only serve to provide evidence of the observation(s).

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