The Help or Helpless Desk?

A new study, “Help Desk Efficiency Report 2010,” from 1E, a software/services company found a remarkable number dysfunctions in the Help Desk of the 1,000 plus IT professionals who participated in the study. These challenges include:
* 44% of users feel that ordering software from their Help Desk is inefficient and time consuming,
* 2/3 rds of users will wait a week or more for the software requested,
* Half will follow up to see the status of their request,
* 15% of software requests are never fulfilled,
* 37% still must contact their Help Desk by Phone,
* The call to a Help Desk can cost $75.00,
* 33% say they have 5 or more applications on their system that they never use,
* 69% of users do not know what the software they request costs,

One thought on “The Help or Helpless Desk?

  1. Colin Taylor says:

    While the results of the study are interesting in and of themselves, and it is not surprising that 1E provides services and solutions to improve the operational efficiency of Help Desks. Yet the statistics are concerning… more than a third of users must phone the help desk. While I am all in favor of call centers, haven’t they heard of email? I would think that an email would create a superior audit trial. That audit trail could be employed to see what happened to the 15% of software requests that are never fulfilled. What happened to these requests?…” Thank you for calling the help desk, we are busy right now please call us back at another time”. Or perhaps it is not the request that didn’t get fulfilled; perhaps the individuals were no longer around and could not be fulfilled. Of course if the email request was mapped to the ERP application then perhaps the one week delay cited by more than 66% of participants could be reduced and the half of respondents who can’t work without their software would have other options besides staring at the walls or calling the help desk to follow up on their request. It’s no wonder that a call to the help desk can cost $75 given all of the efficiency actions identified above, well that and the 5 applications that are never used…IT has to recover those software license costs from somewhere.
    Of course as with most studies the results are designed to shock, surprise and garner attention. That is certainly what the sponsors are hoping for. But there are many of highly effective and efficient help desks out there.

    These effective help desks have developed or embraced solutions that make the environment more productive and more enjoyable to all involved. The following three examples of low hanging fruit can all contribute to reducing the cost of a help desk request;
    • Establishing a web form on the intranet directly linked to the asset management application that submits the equipment request and matches it with the appropriate approvals. This can knock days off the delivery time.
    • By standardizing desktop images based upon class of employee the set up and configuration can be completed quickly and efficiently.
    • By ensuring that each discrete user class is matched to its functional requirements the surplus applications can be eliminated and costs saved.

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