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IT's Take on Help Desk Software

I closed out last year with several articles that prompted you to complete a short online survey. Several of you were kind enough to speak with me on the phone for some follow-up questions, and I'm ready to share some results.

This time I'll focus on my questions about help desk management software. My interested was prompted by the fact that help desk software seems to be so prevalent today, compared to a decade or so ago when there were only a few major commercial solutions and a lot of home-grown ones floating around (I wrote one myself when I was at Bell Atlantic Network Integration). I'm also seeing more and more solutions being released that incorporate help desk software -- which struck me as odd, because I kind of thought everyone already had something in place by now.

Most of you do have something in place -- BMC, Remedy and HEAT were some of the brands I expected to see, and I wasn't disappointed. Other brands, like ManageEngine's offering and ScriptLogic's product, also cropped up. Interestingly, about a third of you said your solution wasn't well-implemented in your organization, and a fifth that the product was too complex. I see and hear that a lot. It seems like help desk solutions can easily become the IT equivalent of SAP -- extensive implementation times without a lot of results. A fifth of you also said that your solution doesn't offer Web/mobile or self-service interfaces, which in this day and age should be unforgivable. A fifth of you also said that your solution takes "too long to use," which tends to keep people from using it. What a waste!

Every single person who answered the survey, however, indicated that a help desk solution that was tightly integrated with monitoring and configuration management tools would be absolutely appreciated and essential -- even though I know most of you don't have such a solution today. I'm actually a bit surprised that Microsoft hasn't bought someone and released "System Center Service Desk" or something, which would, of course, tightly integrate with Configuration Manager and Operations Manager. There are companies playing in that "integrated" space, though, including Nimsoft and ManageEngine, so there's at least some promise for growth in that space.

All in all, this survey suggests that you're all working harder than ever -- with a lot of manual effort -- to keep your users connected and productive. It's the shoemaker's kids, right? We provide great services and tools for the business, but we seem to get so few ourselves!

 

Posted by Don Jones on 03/08/2012 at 1:14 PM


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