Last updated on: May 20, 2020

  1. What is help desk software?
  2. What are the types of help desk software?
  3. What are the differences between a help desk and a service desk?
  4. What are the features of help desk software? (Free checklist attached)
  5. What are the benefits of help desk ticketing software?
  6. Why is a help desk important for your business?
  7. How does help desk software work in different industries? (Workflow attached)
  8. How do you choose help desk software that works for you?
  9. How do you measure help desk metrics and KPIs?
  10. What are some best practices to improve your help desk performance?
  11. What are the benefits of automating routing help desk activities?
  12. Why do organizations need an integrated help desk software?
  13. What are the key challenges IT help desks teams are likely to face?
  14. What's the future of help desk support?

How do you choose the help desk software that works for you?

Choosing the right help desk software

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 help desk solution that will best fit your organization's needs.

Set objectives

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.

Gather requirements

In this step, you should create a detailed list of requirements. You can use the problems 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.

Budget and ROI

As is the case with any purchasing decision, it is important to know what your budget is to streamline the evaluation process. Besides 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.

  • Feature fit: The help desk software's features should be able to plug the gaps identified during the requirement gathering stage and should help achieve the goals you set in the objective setting stage.
  • Deployment: When considering deployment, you should ask yourself two questions: Is your organization allowed by law to use software hosted in the cloud? Can you host the application in-house? These considerations can help you decide between on-premises or cloud deployment.
  • Business model fit: The structure, processes, command chain, and work culture of your company should fit the solution. If your organization has a multi-tier help desk, or offices in multiple locations, you'll need a help desk tool that supports this structure.
  • ITIL compliance: ITIL is a set of best practice guidelines that helps make help desks more efficient. Choosing an ITSM solution that comes with ITIL compliance out-of-the-box is a quick and easy way of enforcing best practices in your IT help desk.
  • Scalability: The solution should be scalable to provide room for future business growth. It should be able to adjust for more technicians, end users, modules, and other IT management tools.
  • User experience: The application should be easy to use and come with an intuitive interface. That way, your technicians remain productive and end users don't feel averse to using your help desk for raising tickets.
  • Support: You should always consider the quality of support provided by the vendor while evaluating alternatives. Within this, timeliness and available support channels can be two important decision points.
  • Multi-language support: If your organization operates in more than one country, you may want a solution that supports multiple languages.
  • Pricing: ITSM solutions usually come with different licenses at different prices. While choosing help desk software, maintain a balance between features and license price based on your budget. Look into the cost of scaling up, receiving support, and annual maintenance.
  • Security: To protect company information, the solution should offer security features like data encryption and access permissions.
  • Integrations: If you're looking to convert your IT help desk into a central command center for all IT operations, or to make your help desk work with other applications like CRM, you should consider native or API integrations.

More than 100,000 help desks worldwide already rely on ServiceDesk Plus.

How does a help desk software work in different industries?

Help desk software for SMBs

Small businesses

Help desk software for small business

Small businesses usually operate with small IT departments and only a handful of technicians. The small staff size makes it a challenge to handle all the incoming requests on time. Carrying out changes or maintaining assets is also difficult to do manually.

Therefore, small businesses can gain many benefits from implementing IT ticketing system software, such as:

  • Organized management of IT operations from a central location.
  • Less burden on IT staff to carry out tasks manually.
  • Empowering end users through a self-service portal.
  • Reliable data automatically generated and stored in the system instead of manually updated in spreadsheets.
  • Automatic generation and maintenance of asset inventories through network scans.
  • Safeguards against hefty penalties by ensuring compliance during audits.
  • Readily available reports to improve performance and demonstrate value.

The easy to use ITIL-ready help desk software for your growing business.

Healthcare

Healthcare help desk software

In the healthcare industry, time is critical. A hospital's help desk must be able to offer quick service when needed. Hospitals usually use a lot of equipment that is critical to patient's lives. This makes it important for help desks to manage equipment efficiently and without any errors.

IT support desk tools can help healthcare organizations in the following ways:

  • Assign priority to tickets that are crucial to the hospital's operations. For example, an issue with a workstation/node in the ER needs immediate attention, while a workstation in the payroll department can wait.
  • Automatically route the tickets to the right technician or support group to ensure immediate resolutions.
  • Help ensure that incidents are resolved on time with SLAs and automated escalations.
  • Use vendor and contract management capabilities to optimize purchasing of expensive medical equipment.

IT support

Help desk software for IT support

IT support professionals are naturally the best fit for an IT help desk ticketing tool. In the absence of a solution, IT teams usually work with spreadsheets and email, which is a slow, inefficient, and error-prone approach.

Out of the numerous benefits that IT help desk solutions offer IT support teams, a few key benefits are listed below:

  • Centralized control of all IT operations.
  • A comprehensive knowledge base to help end users and technicians alike with known and approved solutions to common issues.
  • Automated processes and workflows that reduce time, effort, and errors.
  • Simplified communication through emails from within the application as well as notifications.
  • Native problem, change, and asset management capabilities in addition to incident and service request management.
  • Tracking KPIs and metrics and generating in-depth reports.

Education

Help desk software for education

Educational institutions usually deploy workstations for teaching staff, administrative staff, and students, making their user base fairly large.

In many cases, schools rely on IT for computers, projectors, and software applications. So, to provide reliable IT service to a large user base, educational institutes can use IT help desk software to:

  • Provide a central portal for students to create service requests like access to the college Wi-Fi network.
  • Provide a common platform for IT announcements.
  • Simplify student enrollment and the onboarding process.

IT help desk software evaluation kit

An exclusive package of a feature checklist and a request for proposal (RFP) template

  • Feature checklist

    Comprehensive list of must-have features that you can use as a benchmark

  • RFP template

    A guide to a great RFP that helps you get all the information you need about a vendor

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