The Inner Conflict over Self-Help Desks

Michael Vizard

One of the ways that IT organizations have been trying to save money is by employing as much self help as possible when it comes to IT support. The theory is that the more end users can resolve problems themselves, the less money needs to be spent on staffing the help desk.


But the problem with this theory is that it doesn't take into account the actual amount of time end users might actually spend trying to solve their IT problem, or even more likely, enlisting the aid of their fellow workers.


Conan Reidy, vice president of business development for LogMeIn, says that when all is said and accounted for, most companies find that self-help systems are not quite as effective as a manned help desk. Whether that help is provided on premise or via a service is up to individual company -- what's important is maintaining the overall productivity of the organization.


Obviously, LogMeIn, which partnered with Intel to create the recently announced Remote PC Assist Technology (RPAT) service, would argue that a service is the more cost-effective way to go. But Reidy says the most important thing an IT organization can do is concentrate on preventative measures that stop issues from happening in the first place as opposed to putting in place the most efficient first-response system, because a problem that never occurs is a help desk ticket that was never issued.



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