Service desk staff challenged with more complexity, less resources

* Service desk employee survey results

Service desk employees often take the brunt of complaint calls and deal with disgruntled end-users while manning the front line of IT, and a recent survey shows these staffers are handling more calls than ever - with fewer resources in some cases.

A recent survey of 500 IT employees conducted by service desk software maker Numara Software shows that more than 90% of those surveyed reported their roles and responsibilities had become more complex. More than 60% of the survey respondents, all customers of either Numara's FootPrints or Track-It! products, also confirmed that there is a significant increase in service requests or trouble tickets.

Close to 50% or those surveyed said that there has been an increase in first call resolution over the past year, and some 71% reported that the number of channels for service has expanded beyond e-mail messages and telephone calls. Now service requests also come by way of live chat, Web forms and text messaging. To add to the complexity of their duties, 35% confirmed that they had seen an increase in compliance requirements.

Among those surveyed, 68% expect virtualization to impact the service desk in the future. More than two-thirds are not employing mobile service desk and have no plans to do so in the future. About one-fourth use the technology, but 80% of those rate the reliance level as less than satisfactory. And just 9% are considering a future implementation. More than half of respondents don't use self-service technologies or features for their service desk operations, but 45% expect to see issues resolved through a self-service portal or other capabilities increase over the next few years.

IT service desk staff faced with the growing number of requests and adoption of emerging technologies aren't seeing an increase in resources, Numara's survey reveals. Almost three-quarters reported they had seen no staffing increases in recent years. Two-thirds said their staffing levels had remained flat in recent years and 8% said they have seen cuts in the number of IT employees. And 59% expect IT budgets to remain flat or decrease in the next quarter. 

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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