The beginner's guide to IT help desk software
Last updated on: July 06, 2018
The beginner's guide to IT help desk software is a comprehensive, one-stop resource for answers to some of the most common questions related to IT help desks. This IT service management (ITSM) evaluation guide attempts to build a complete understanding of IT help desks and their implementation, best practices, metrics, and other key aspects. It can help IT teams establish, maintain, and optimize a best practice IT help desk. This beginner's guide is divided into 4 chapters and chapter 2 talks about the the benefits of IT help desk software, and their necessity in an organisation.
The value added by IT help desk management software goes beyond just IT operations. Help desk software benefit all the stakeholders of an IT help desk: the technicians, requesters, management staff, and the entire organization itself.
There are certain must-have features in an IT help desk system that add breadth and depth to any help desk. Although there is no standard set of features, some of the key features are listed below.
Any organization that uses IT capabilities needs a system for managing them too. IT trouble ticketing software adds value by helping organizations better manage IT operations. The points below illustrate how organizations can benefit from using help desk software:
An IT support ticket system converges all inbound communication and converts the help desk into a single point of contact for all IT-related questions.
IT service desk software automates tasks, processes, and workflows, reducing room for human error and technicians' workload.
Each organization can customize forms, templates, workflows, etc. to meet their needs.
All requests, queries, tickets, and other data are centralized in one place, which makes it easier to access and manage them.
With well-defined workflows and processes, an IT help desk tool helps reduce redundancy and delays to boost efficiency.
Minimizes service interruptions.
An IT help desk ticketing system allows users to set, track, and manage SLAs to ensure that services are provided on time.
Different teams, technician groups, individual technicians, etc. can collaborate easily through help desk software.
Requesters and technicians can view the accurate, current status of their requests and tickets.
Users can assign, analyze, and manage risks associated with an incident, problem, or change.
Any incoming incident or service request can be given an appropriate priority and handled accordingly.
Requesters can access solutions to common issues to fix problems themselves.
Help desk software allows users to define and track important key performance indicators (KPIs) and generate reports to assess overall help desk health.
A better managed IT help desk leads to higher satisfaction among customers or end users.
There are a vast number of ITSM solutions available in the market and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. This might complicate the decision making process, making it hard to arrive at the best fit when an organization decides to invest in ITSM software.
A systematic approach to decision making can help simplify the evaluation process. Below is a four-step guide to choosing the IT help desk software that will best fit your organization's needs.
The first step is to arrive at an unambiguous understanding of the problem you need ITSM software to solve. For example, the problem might be managing tickets or assets, implementing changes, and so on.
This helps narrow the focus down to a specific problem area and provides direction for the decision making process. You should also define your expectations at this stage.
For example, does your team expect the software to aid in communication via email and notifications, or do you expect powerful reporting facilities? Setting your expectations beforehand will help you get the most out of demos and trials later on.
In this step, you should create a detailed list of requirements. You can use the problem(s) and expectations identified earlier to begin charting your requirements. Performing a gap analysis can also help you build an exhaustive list of requirements.
This involves drawing up the existing and desired states and then comparing them to understand the gaps between them. Based on this, you can create a list of requirements that will help plug the identified gaps.
As is the case with any purchasing decision, it is important to know what your budget is to streamline the evaluation process. In addition to your budget, you should also consider your return on investment and payback period.
Depending on your organization's structure and practices, returns can sometimes appear in terms of savings on resources and increased output as a result of better and more consistent service quality.
In some cases, organizations choose to use the charge-back model where other departments pay the IT department to use their services. In such scenarios, you can calculate ROI and payback period directly.
The next chapter will focus on some advanced IT help desk software features along the benefits they deliver, and the essential metrics and KPIs to measure and improve the performance of an IT help desk.
An exclusive package of a feature checklist and a request for proposal (RFP) template
Comprehensive list of must-have features that you can use as a benchmark
A guide to a great RFP that helps you get all the information you need about a vendor
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