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Do You Hate Your Help Desk Software?

In the past few months, I've had the opportunity to speak with three or four dozen customers and to visit a half-dozen of those at their main locations. In every instance, out of growing curiosity, I asked about their help desk ticket-tracking software.

Now, I know most of us don't like the work that a help desk ticket represents. Too often, they're firefighting exercises, and we all have things we're more passionate about than fixing problems. Besides, nobody likes fixing as much as building, because fixing implies a failure that we usually wish hadn't happened in the first place. But a ticketing system's job is to help coordinate activity and keep balls from being dropped, so on paper such systems have value.

I've yet to run across a single organization that likes their ticketing system.

It seems like it's either (a) badly designed software, (b) badly implemented software, or (c) both. I've run across all the major brands, and I've yet to hear a kind word about any of them. This isn't just folks who dislike tickets per se; most of the IT teams I've spoken with completely understand the value a ticketing system should offer -- they just don't feel they're getting it from their system. Complex software that hasn't been properly deployed has been the most common complaint, which suggests there's really room for a competitor to come in and offer something compelling and useful -- which doesn't seem to have happened, yet.

At the same time, I'm seeing a spike in the number of ticketing systems offered for sale. Some of these are integrated with hybrid monitoring solutions, although I'm not seeing a lot of organizational demand for combo monitoring+help desk software, no matter how much sense such a combo might make in theory. I'm actually a bit surprised that Microsoft hasn't jumped into this space, either through development or (more likely) an acquisition in the System Center family. The integration of ticketing software with System Center Operations Manager, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, System Center Configuration Manager and System Center Orchestrator (in particular) seems like an easy argument to make.

What help desk software is your organization using -- and what do you like or dislike, about it? Would you prefer a help desk system that has tighter integration with your back-end management tools or does your current software handle what you need it to?

Drop your thoughts in a comment, and if you have a moment to answer a short three-question survey about your help desk software. I'll share the results in a future post.

Posted by Don Jones on 12/20/2011 at 1:14 PM


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