Time to Reboot Legacy Help Desk Systems

Michael Vizard
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All things being equal, most organizations would not opt to manage IT the way they do today. Instead of having to invest in dedicated IT infrastructure they would be making more use of IT management software delivered as a service. And they would look for a platform that was designed from the ground up to handle multiple kinds of devices that may not even be owned by the company.

According to Elizabeth Cholawsky, vice president and general manager of the IT support line of business at Citrix, it’s those twin issues that are driving the adoption of GoToAssist, help desk software that is delivered as a service in the cloud.

But more importantly, Cholawsky says new IT management platforms are required to give end users self-service capabilities based on rules that are derived from a knowledge base managed by IT. End users today want to be able to solve their own issues without waiting for IT to find the time to solve their problem.

The simple fact is that most of the issues that generate a trouble ticket on a help desk are relatively simple, and IT people by and large have more pressing tasks to attend to these days.


Cholawsky says existing on-premise help desks are not only weak in terms of providing self-service capabilities, they were never designed to be regularly upgraded to deal with an IT environment that dynamically changes as much as it does today. In contrast, software-as-a-service applications take away all the complexity involved.

Of course, the biggest issue when it comes to help desks may be simple inertia. IT organizations tend to get into a rut in terms of how they provide IT support. But between the rise of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon and cloud computing, difficult conversations relating to the quality of IT service being delivered across the enterprise are about to get forced.

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Mar 10, 2013 6:09 PM Daren nelson Daren nelson  says:
Your assumptions that SAAS based software will solve the issue of self support are incorrect. For years comapnies have been trying to drive the adoption of self support. SASS based solutions in no way "Take away all the complexity involved". Your commment that on premise soltuons are weak in terms of providing self service is fasle. Basic research on companies such as iSupport Software and our competitors will show you that the self service functions being offered by SAAS applications today are simply evolutions of what on premise vendors invented in the late 1990's. Your article is a simple reguiratation of what SAAS vendors want you to believe, software that lives in "the cloud" must be better. I see that you do not address any of the counter points such as subordination of the buyers negotiating power when the SASS vendor owns the software, hardware and data. And you make no mention that over the life of the software SAAS solutions can actually cost thousands of dollars more. The simple fact is there are many on premise and SAAS alternatives to the Citrix solution that have been available for years. I suggest sir your research on this issue is not complete. Reply
Mar 29, 2013 9:09 PM Jeremy Jeremy  says: in response to Daren nelson
Daren: of course saas solutions reduce the complexity. It's almost the exact trade off, you pay more for the product over its lifetime and you don't pay for hardware, installation, upfront software fees or upgrades. Whether this is better is for each customer to evaluate, I suspect for many small to mid size companies it is more attractive. Reply
Apr 7, 2013 9:49 AM Help Desk Software Help Desk Software  says:
One very important issue is choosing the right application for each individual company. There is never usually a one size fits all, and each company's needs is bound to be as different as the software they decide to go with. Yes, there are bound to be some common grounds in terms of functions, but the question is what is going to work best for each company, what will reduce the customer's wait time and boost productivity. As quickly as needs change, I am sure many software companies will be listening to their customers needs and wants to produce the best package they can, and perhaps include many asked for features as options. Reply
Jul 4, 2013 12:07 AM Arise Johns Arise Johns  says:
Everyday new technologies launching in market, so that customer services also need to be improved by the time. This technology that you have mentioned, is better choice. Reply

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