The help desk has long been one of the fundamental underpinnings of IT. For those who subscribe to the ITIL and Six Sigma disciplines, the help desk (aka call center, contact center and other descriptive definitions), it is the help desk that is the initial contact point between IT and the end user.
But first, as always, the disclaimer. The opinions and point of view expressed on this blog are mine and do not represent those of my employer.
With consumerization comes end user empowerment. This would seem to suggest a rather high level of self sufficiency by the end users. For those who subscribe to BYO (bring your own devices) then it would seem that the help desk would be one of the targeted IT infrastructures for change.
With the average cost of a help desk call estimated at $10 per call (your mileage may vary based upon the consultancy you support and your own calculations), there would seem to be an opportunity for at a minimum continuous process improvement.
Aside from the ever present automated password reset conversation, it seems that we remain in relatively the same position regarding self help as we did pre-Great Recession.
As always, I would be interested in your point of view on this as well.
I have positioned this in other conversations that one of the fundamental premises of consumerizing IT, is to basically change the way we support end users, in a sense have end users attain a level of self sufficiency that can therefore encourage IT to actually exit a lifecycle operation.
Reality here does not align with the theory, although many believe and subscribe to the theory suggesting that it is only a matter of time (perhaps they will be correct) that the help desk will be transformed.
I have often suggested that as a precursor to BYO strategies, that the end users be fully on a self help support plan thereby creating cost benefits for the enterprise. After all, if an end user cannot be self sufficient on a standardized, imaged, patched and secured device, what is the expectation of the consumer oriented approach where there is a different type of support offered?
Another point of view is that with the consumerization of IT we will see an increase in what we have referred to in the past as "stealth IT". This represents the peer to peer support that will undoubtedly increase as consumerization and consumer service levels are adopted. Will there be an overall increase or decrease in call volumes?
In the new consumerized IT infrastructure, at a minimum, it should be expected that the profiles of calls, volumes of calls, the top ten calls, resolution rates and the typical call metrics would be fundamentally changed.
However, there are those who would say -" not so fast, the same support will be needed, and perhaps even more support". This point of view may be correct, but it does not seem logical that the focal point of our IT infrastructure does not change if the surrounding technologies and applications do change.
My sense is that the help desk focus should change and that self help, automated tools, virtualization and cloud enablement should drive the help desk to change with the times. Retaing the same model when all else commences to change surrounding it, seems out of alignment.