Looking for the Help Desk of the Future? It’s Already Here.

By: SolarWinds


help-desk-of-the-future-logicalreadWhat do IT professionals—in every industry and organization across the world—have in common? Their reliance on the IT help desk, which serves both as the repository for all IT issues and as a conduit between themselves and their organization’s end-users. The functionality of the IT service desk is vital to the success of any company, so it’s no surprise that we’re all looking for the help desk of the future, with its promises of improved processes and ease of use.

The good news is that the help desk of the future is already here. In response to a fast-moving world filled with tech-savvy end-users, help desk technology and processes have been evolving—for the better. And, while the foundational premise and basic functions of the help desk, including ticketing management and service-enablement automation, may not change dramatically, the IT service desk is advancing in terms of its applications and scope of use.

IT Help Desk Functionality is Evolving

Some of the following trends are informing the evolution of the IT help desk:

  • End-user expectation of responsive and excellent customer service
  • Demands of a BYOD and an increasingly mobile workforce
  • Cloud computing
  • New communication channels including social media
  • Need for increased productivity

Let’s take a look at how some of these trends increase demands upon the IT help desk:

  1. End-user expectations. Our world is fast-paced and interconnected. People depend on technology to perform their jobs and as entertainment when they aren’t working. When something goes wrong, they expect a fast resolution to their problem. Whether or not they receive the level of customer service they expect, they share their experiences and opinions with friends, colleagues, and family. These reviews can travel rapidly and have a strong positive or negative impact on your company’s brand.
  1. Demands of BYOD and an increasingly mobile workforce. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement is in full swing today. In response to our move to mobile technology, IT help desks are required to respond to issues with a growing range of devices and to communicate with end-users via an increasing number of channels.
  1. Cloud computing. Cloud computing is fast becoming the industry standard, which includes the growing number of SaaS (Software as a Service) applications that require support. These applications may produce fewer technical issues, but they tend to update and change rapidly, and end-users need support through the changes.
  1. New communication channels. As the world has embraced social media and other emerging forms of communication, IT help desks are learning to manage end-user requests through a range of channels. People who are comfortable communicating via social media and text in their personal and work lives often expect to be able to use those channels to reach out for assistance with technology issues.
  1. The need for increased productivity. IT service desks juggle the demands of multiple users, dueling priorities and often, lean budgets and small teams. Automating help desk functions increases productivity and releases the IT team for other valuable tasks. Today’s help desk software provides centralized help desk management, streamlines and automates IT service management from ticket creation to resolution. Remote functionality allows IT support teams to provide support without visiting the client site and provide anywhere anytime support to end-users. All of these features contribute to increasing help desk productivity.

Integration and Collaboration Are Key in the IT Help Desk

Today many organizations are integrating their IT service desk with their other IT applications, which expands the functionality of incident management and directly associates it with other IT systems. There are real benefits to doing this. Combining IT infrastructure and operations management platform with your help desk functionality lets help desk teams, and networking teams work together. This collaboration can help speed up issue resolution and, in the case of network or server node failures, the network management system can be configured to trigger a trouble ticket in the help desk. Your IT administrators learn of network issues well before your end-users do, which gives your help staff a head start in resolving infrastructure issues and ahead of a significant service impact.

Remote Support Integration at Core of the Help Desk

Mobile devices are transforming the way we do business and in turn, creating the expectation that help desk teams will respond to end-user requests and provide almost immediate resolutions. To meet demand, your IT service desk team will need to be as flexible as your end-users, which means being able to help remotely.

With remote support integration, your help desk team can provide anywhere anytime support to end-users in multiple locations—all without leaving the building. Your IT service desk becomes a platform to launch a troubleshooting session and help resolve issues remotely. And, in an organization that has integrated the help desk function with their other IT applications, remote support becomes an extended arm that allows your team to accelerate desktop troubleshooting.

Turn Your Help Desk into the IT Service Desk of the Future

As you find yourself looking ahead for the help desk of the future, take a few minutes to appreciate the evolution of today’s IT service desk functionality. Your IT help desk plays a vital role in the success and future growth of your business, so equipping your IT help desk team with tools and applications, like help desk integration with remote support, is an investment in your organizations’ future.

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