Overarching goals of the IT service desk include reducing the number of help tickets, resolving more issues on first contact, and improving interaction with end users. Self-service options, knowledge bases, remote desktop control, and mobile solutions for IT service desk workers can make a difference, but it’s important to first identify pain points so you can address them.
Evaluating exactly what’s standing between your IT service desk and its goals lets you create solutions that can significantly shrink the stack of tickets. These solutions may take time to implement, but doing so is worthwhile for the long term gains. Here are 4 common pain points IT service desks experience, and ways to effectively address them.
1. Servicing Remote End Users
If your organization includes sales teams who are always taking their laptops on the road, keeping these devices serviced and updated is a challenge. And if you have branch offices with their own servers, installing updates and patches isn’t always convenient or easy, particularly when network endpoints are a long way away.
Here your priority should be shifting your remote users from reactive to proactive mode. Providing tools for remote diagnosis, remote patch and upgrade rollout, and security updates can go a long way. Cloud applications on network endpoints and mobile devices can help make this process easier too.
2. BYOD Issues and the IT Service Desk
In the BYOD workplace, issues with end user personal devices can be a real headache. That’s because the variety of problems the IT service desk is expected to support is broad and the number of devices is vast. Interfaces, operating systems, and network access can differ, so troubleshooting BYOD complaints can be more complicated than you expect.
Something many BYOD workplaces do to keep the influx under control is require that any rooted or jail-broken devices be blocked from network access. This will prevent installation of questionable software inside your organization’s firewall. If your IT service desk software issues alerts when devices are rooted, or when new software is installed on any piece of hardware on the network, you can at least identify and overcome problems quickly.
3. Lack of Adoption of Self-Service Options
You may have a prominent password reset link right there on your end users’ login screens, but that doesn’t mean people will use it. Education is one key to getting end users to adopt self-service options. A knowledge base can be an important resource for this process, and can deflect many tickets.
For an end user knowledge base, you need to first ask yourself (or your IT help desk team), “What do end users always struggle with?” Team members often will speak right up when asked this question, but you can also analyze tickets to learn of the most common problems that could be solved with self-service.
Also, don’t hesitate to dangle a carrot in front of end users. Perhaps you could have a random monthly prize drawing among end users who fixed their own problems with the self-service portal.
4. Slow End User Computers
Slow computers are one of the most common pain points the IT service desk has to address. Clutter, old hardware, or underperforming apps are typical causes, and you need to convince the end user that making changes to his or her computer may be a temporary hassle, but will make up for it with improved performance. Your “speed up end user computers” campaign should include the following:
- Removing unused programs that hog hard drive space and run background tasks that slow things down
- Arranging for regular virus scanning. Some malware isn’t obvious, but over time it can seriously compromise performance as well as being a security risk.
- Upgrading RAM on machines that tend to have a lot of programs open
- Periodically checking to see that hardware isn’t overheating. If it is, consider adding liquid cooling for desktops or cooling bases for laptops.
- Closing background programs that aren’t needed. Be careful not to disable antivirus programs by mistake, though.
When your IT service desk team takes some time to identify what the major pain points are in terms of IT services, they can work together for solutions that preemptively head off many of them. Tools for addressing these pain points may include self-service options, remote desktop control, and system monitoring for new installations through your IT asset management solution.
About Brad Kremer
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