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IT help desks adopt self-service strategy as staff cuts hit

Karl Flinders

Almost all IT help desks will use self-service tools to cope amid job cuts, which have left service desks with a huge drop in staff numbers since recession kicked in six years ago.

Research from LANDesk Software revealed that 96% of service desks will use self-service because of smaller teams. Research from the Service Desk Institute (SDI), revealed 50% fewer staff in service desk teams now, compared to 2007 figures.

LANDesk’s research indicates an immanent increase in the use of self-service desk tools as the SDI’s study revealed that 68% of service desks provide self-service to users.

The study found that major barriers to self-services included out of date knowledge and lack of integration with support tools. 

“Managing user-owned devices is a trend that is not going away,” says Andy Baldin, vice-president of EMEA. “With the proliferation of hybrid enterprise/consumer IT in the workplace, service desks are increasingly being called on to support devices and applications they may not be familiar with. 

"This places strain on teams and it is extremely encouraging to see high uptake of such innovative solutions by service desks, including experimenting with self-service and social media to provide the best service to their organisations.” The research revealed that more than a third of organisations now support user-owned devices in the workplace.

The research found that 24% of service desks are using live chat to allow users to communicate with them, while 13% use Twitter and 6% Facebook.

“Service desk teams have always been in tune with the needs of the wider workforce, but it is clear that they are responding to the changing environment in a responsible and innovative fashion,” said Tessa Troubridge, managing director at the SDI. “It is heartening to see that despite smaller team sizes, they are finding ways to cope with an ever-expanding remit through innovative use of technology.”


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