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Last updated on: June 14, 2019

The comprehensive guide to help desk software is a one-stop resource for answers to some of the most common questions related to help desks.

This guide attempts to build a complete understanding of help desks and their implementation, best practices, metrics, and other key aspects. It can help IT teams establish, optimize, and maintain an efficient IT help desk.

In this help desk guide, we'll answer the following questions:


What is an IT help desk?

Some key features of help desk software include:


What are the types of help desk software?

Help desks can be classified into different types based on deployment method, size of target audience, and source code availability, as listed below:


What are the differences between a help desk and a service desk?

Up until the introduction of Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) version 3 in 2007, the two terms—help desk and service desk—were used interchangeably.

Since then, this practice has changed within the ITSM industry. However, to the average end user, the difference remains blurry. Based on the ITIL v3 description of the two terms, there are a few key differences between help desks and service desks.

Help desk software Service desk software
Help desks are user-centric Service desks are business-centric
Help desks are point solutions Service desks are integrated
Help desks are reactive in nature Service desks are more proactive
Help desks are for end users Service desks are for both technicians and end users
Help desks are a subset of service desks

What are some of the key features of a help desk software?

There are certain must-have features every IT help desk can benefit from. Some of these key features can be found listed below.

  • Helpdesk software installation

    Installation and usage

    • Straightforward setup
    • Easy to use
    • Processes and workflows aligned with ITIL guidelines
    • Multiple deployment options: On-premises and cloud
    • Intuitive user interface
    • Multi-channel ticket creation: Email, phone call, and self-service portal
    • Minimal learning curve
  • Help desk software solutions


    • Incident management
    • Request management
    • Problem management
    • Change management
    • Service level agreement
    • Service catalog
    • Self-service portal
    • Asset management
    • Knowledge base
    • Reporting
    • End-user surveys
  • Helpdesk automation


    • Create tickets from emails
    • Automatic escalation of SLAs
    • Automatically assign tickets to technicians
    • Automated password reset tool
    • Automated workflows
    • Automatic notifications for requesters and technicians
  • IT support help desk software


    • Customizable dashboards
    • Customizable self-service portal
    • Customizable forms and templates
    • Customizable KPIs and reports
    • Drag-and-drop widgets
  • Help desk reporting


    • Standard reports
    • Custom reports
    • Query reports
    • Scheduled report generation
    • KPI tracking and analysis
  • IT support desk software


    • Native mobile apps for major platforms like Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry OS
    • Complete capabilities and features, as supported by desktop version, in mobile apps
    • Features and interface optimized for mobile devices
  • Help desk security


    • Role-based access permissions
    • Secure communication with data encryption
    • Audit logs
  • Help desk integration


    • Seamless native integration with other IT management tools to build an ITSM suite
    • API integrations with third-party solutions
    • Central command center for managing all IT operations
  • Help desk improvement ideas


    • Quick and easy implementation
    • Client Software
    • Support for open standards
    • No additional programming for client or database customization
    • Documented database
  • Help desk ticketing system requirements

    System requirements

    • Operating systems supported
      1. 1.Linux
      2. 2.Windows
    • Databases supported
      1. 1.Oracle
      2. 2.SQL
      3. 3.MySQL
      4. 4.Postgres
    • Browsers Supported
      1. 1.Firefox
      2. 2.IE
      3. 3.Chrome

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What are the benefits of using a help desk ticketing system?

The value added by IT help desk management software goes beyond IT operations. Help desk software benefits all the stakeholders of an IT help desk: the technicians, end users, management staff, and the entire organization itself.

End users