There\u2019s no doubt about it \u2013 today\u2019s workers have fully embraced the trend toward remote working. In fact, according to last year\u2019s Gallup \u201cState of the American Workplace\u201d survey, roughly 43 percent of employees report they have worked remotely. \u00a0It would seem that the genie is out of the bottle, and it\u2019s not likely to go back in without a fight.\nThis mass migration off premises changes the dynamic between users and IT help desk teams. An operator can no longer run down the hall to ask a user \u201cCan you show me what the problem is with your computer?\u201d More importantly, without having total visibility in the cloud, the operator may be completely unable to \u2018see\u2019 any problems that users are experiencing as they work remotely.\nBut this is not the only cultural transition affecting how help desk teams interact with users. The pervasiveness of technology in all areas of day-to-day life has caused a significant shift in users\u2019 expectations. If my smartphone can do x, y and z, why can\u2019t my work computer perform as efficiently? This consumerization of IT is creating heightened expectations that are often unrealistic in the confines of the corporate environment. Nonetheless, the gap between users\u2019 experiences and their expectations is resulting in an increased number of trouble tickets.\nClearly, the enterprise IT landscape has changed. So, why are we applying archaic data and systems to modern networking challenges?\nExpectations vs. reality\nFor decades, enterprises have relied on IT support teams steadfastly waiting to receive a trouble ticket to spur them into action. Ticket resolution was straightforward, based on objective data\u2026 Does the user have a good connection or not? Is the link up; is the server they are trying to access available?\nNow, a key factor in the troubleshooting process is the user\u2019s subjective perception of the service. Is Bob satisfied? Yes, but Sally feels like the network is very slow today, and it\u2019s a major issue for her.\nAs a result, the user experience is more important than ever. And with workers accessing applications remotely through the cloud, whether they are on-premises, at home or in a coffee shop, IT teams are increasingly challenged to track and optimize service delivery in order to meet user expectations.\nIf it\u2019s not broken\u2026break it\nSome organizations have tried to address distributed workforce challenges by migrating to cloud-hosted helpdesk platforms, but without changing any underlying processes, it\u2019s merely a transfer of infrastructure. To make a fundamental change from an operational perspective, not just a budget standpoint, IT teams should look at how they are taking in user complaints and the triage process used to address them.\nMoreover, to get real value from any cloud-hosted helpdesk platforms, these services should interface with tools that collect real-time event data from both remote and on-premises workers. Although some IT management applications can be integrated with other solutions, enterprises typically don\u2019t use those integrations with the network monitoring tools they need to enable full stack visibility \u2014 from end users all the way up through the processes and applications being used.\nJust because your IT support team is in the cloud doesn\u2019t mean you\u2019ve adopted a next-generation helpdesk model.\nSelf-help mindset\nWe can\u2019t address 21st century challenges with 20th century solutions\u2026 At what point do we reinvent the standard help desk model that served us so well in the past? Now we wait for an event to happen; wait for a user to notify the IT team; wait for experts to solve the issue after it has already happened.\nSo much of our world these days is self-service. Can we leverage digital transformation and apply self-service principles to get ahead of the issue? If a user is dissatisfied with their application experience or has connectivity issues, the right technology could streamline large portions of problem resolution. Helpdesk teams could deploy an automated self-help function to either remediate the problem, or at a minimum collect key data to assist a help-desk operator in resolution.\nWe must begin to \u2018think differently\u2019 if we are to re-invent the IT support model. For example, taking a page from Mac OS support, could we improve the user experience with a simple connect, detect, configure workflow that detects and remediates problems beneath the user experience level?\nBy transferring some level of control and capability to the user community, IT support teams can be freed up to address much bigger challenges as network technology continues to evolve and more applications move to the cloud. Because if we don\u2019t change our fundamental approach to the IT help desk, twenty years from now we may still have people sitting in a cubical with a headset on, waiting for something to happen.