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The help desk is an essential component of IT operations, connecting end users with internal staff. As a result, organizations should continually seek ways to improve help desk management and processes.
Help desks enable clients to report problems and request services and changes from IT to maintain or boost productivity. The most common function is a ticketing system that logs requests and tracks issues from initiation to assignment to resolution, but IT can take a number of actions to improve this and other help desk services.
Use this expert advice to improve help desk management, streamline templates and integrate stronger levels of automation.
Hone request templates
Polished request templates are a crucial element of help desk management. IT operations manager Adam Fowler noted that clean and specific forms minimize workflow disruption for admins, as well as the time it takes end users to submit requests.
Track the change approval process, and ensure that ownership is clear for ticket assignment and escalation. To further improve a change request template, seek user feedback.
Stick to best practices
IT incidents are inevitable, so maintain detailed documentation. Fowler debunked three incident management myths and explained how organizations can apply best practices to avoid damage to their reputation and image.
A quick fix is not always possible, but there are actions IT admins can take to ease resolution and avoid escalation. Rushed remedies might appeal to end users but are detrimental in the long run. Learn what help desk agents and staff can do to prevent future incidents.
Make improvements through knowledge management
A regular time sink in IT management is duplicate work in the help desk from a lack of communication among systems administrators, developers or other support staff. Recurrent problems are fixed superficially and are liable to arise again in a future ticket. Each fix increases the burden of platform maintenance, as help desk agents apply change after change. While specific log restraints streamline issue management, industry analyst Clive Longbottom presented another option for help desk management improvement: Adopt a natural language processing (NLP) and knowledge management system.
NLP augments help desk management with a system that analyzes the language in tickets, compares it to previous entries and helps identify patterns. Knowledge management also helps discover relationships between current and past issues and alerts IT staff to those connections to provide greater context for resolution.
Partner with AI
Legacy IT service management (ITSM) systems are reactive and require a person or machine to open the ticket before it can be resolved. Through the implementation of AI, IT teams turn the help desk into a proactive system -- and reduce their workloads.
Many elements, such as the cloud's influence on computing architectures, propel demand for automated help desk management programs. Industry expert Muddu Sudhakar detailed the benefits of an AI-based ticketing system, ranging from faster and more proactive issue resolution to the ability to make more accurate infrastructure predictions.
Streamline work with automation
Many ticketing systems are already partially automated with software, such as a monitoring tool, that identifies issues and creates tickets, but they still require a human response to resolve the problem. Tech consultant Kurt Marko provided a blueprint for help desk management automation.
Get a quick rundown of ITSM tools that use automation to increase customer satisfaction, reduce IT overheard and free personnel to work on more complex problems. An advanced, automated system should pertain to help desk management as much as code deployment and other processes.