To Helpdesk or not to Helpdesk

O, Helpdesk, Helpdesk- wherefore art thou Helpdesk!

It can sometimes be very frustrating for an individual who calls through to an IT Support Team to spend 2 minutes of their time explaining an issue they have only to be then told – “Can you put it on the Helpdesk?” – heck I get mad when I get the exact same thing. But why do we and other IT Support Teams say the same frustrating thing?

Believe it or not, we are not intentionally setting out to frustrate you or have you waste your time. Below are some of the reasons my team ask the question and probably why many other teams ask that same frustrating question.

  • A helpdesk in some form is just a glorified to do list. Rather than making mental notes (which can easilybe forgotten) or paper notes (which are easily disposed of) of things which we are required to do we use a helpdesk allowing us to see electronically what is it we need to do. Heck – is “Can you put it on the Helpdesk?” as frustraing as calling a member of the support team two days after you first reported the issue to them verbally to find hear “Sorry I forgot”?
  • Unless you are a company whom provide IT Support as a service which is paid for an IT Department within a business is huge but necessary overhead. We have to justify why we are paying multiple different people a wage but we do not make any money in return. We can easily do this by using reporting bolt-ons as part of a Helpdesk facility. Helpdesk’s provide IT Support Teams with the information to provide the board of directors or senior management teams to justify why they are there.
  • A helpdesk allows IT Support Teams to be aware of their SLA’s and how quickly they should deal with a technical problem. Heck – most helpdesk now send email warnings that SLA’s are about to be breached if action is not taken as soon as possible. This allows the management team to hammer down on any member of the IT Support team whom are not working to the agreed timescales that benefit the business.
  • Have you ever found that a situation you experienced on one occasion seemed to have taken forever to solve but when you experience it aain it is resolved in 5 minutes? You probably think that his is because two different people have dealt with your issue on the two seperate occassions and one person is better than the other. 99.9% of the time this isn’t the case. Helpdesk’s provide us a history of issues and IT Support Teams are able to go backin time to the same situation and read the resolution from theprevious time and quickly administor the same solution.

The above are just some of the reasons why not only your IT Support Team make use of that silly helpdesk – but why you should just do asadvised and put your issue on he helpdesk. Without the use of a helpdesk the situation could be more frustrating and your technical issue could be going on for longer than needed either that or its been forgotten about.

This is my plea to not only myself but to you – to please not get frustrated with your IT Support Team when they ask your that ridiculous question but to think about the alternative situation – doesn’t having a helpdesk benefit you aswell? Like you people in IT are not machines, we are human beings. But like machines and like you we are only as good as the information you provide us with and the way in which you provide it.

That being said – What is your opinion on a Helpdesk?