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Help Desk Tickets on the Rise, Despite Increase in Cloud Computing

Help Desk Tickets on the Rise, Despite Increase in Cloud Computing

by Stephanie Faris on Monday, November 23 6:00

Experts have predicted that cloud computing will eventually reduce the amount of IT help a business s workers need. With software that runs on off-site servers rather than requiring local installation, organizations will see fewer bugs while enjoying always-updated software. When employees do need help, they ll simply either call a 1-800 number or do a live chat within the software, where a specialist will offer help from the other side of the globe.

In addition to cloud computing, experts have also assumed that employees will have more extensive knowledge of computing, requiring fewer handholding-type calls. Instead of calling for help for a strange error in a document, the average user will know how to troubleshoot that problem, either through simply conducting a web search or fumbling around until they figure it out. However, studies in recent years have shown that help desk tickets are increasing in frequency, not decreasing.

The Studies

The most recent study, conducted by the Help Desk Institute (HDI), reveals that ticket volumes have increased in 63 percent of the support organizations surveyed. Only 10 percent of responding organizations reported they ve decreased. More than 800 organizations were surveyed by HDI, which is the professional organization for the technical support industry.

Starting in 2009, two thirds of participating organizations reported year-over-year increases in ticket volume. Last year the number of those reporting an increase dropped to 57 percent, so this year s increase is a step back toward those earlier numbers. Interestingly, those increases happen at a time when many organizations have cut IT staff numbers after assuming they aren t necessary.

Increasing Demand

When asked to name the factors contributing to the rise in tickets, more than half of organizations blamed new applications or systems at the top of the list. Mobile devices have rapidly doubled the number of devices per user in many organizations, leading to an increased demand for help. When employees access cloud applications from both their PCs and smartphones, the software doubles its reach, increasing the risk of trouble due to device incompatibilities or user error. Another possible reason for the increase is that it has become easier than ever for employees to request help, with many organizations offering ticket submission via email, web portal, or phone call.

Interestingly, for the minority of organizations that report ticket volumes have decreased, knowledge bases and self-service solutions are named as the top reason for the decrease. This demonstrates that when organizations equip employees to get the help they need on their own, they ll use it, allowing businesses to reduce IT staff and focus remaining staff on activities that contribute to their organization s growth.

For organizations that are interested in reducing the number of tickets they receive each day, having self-service portals and knowledge bases can make a big difference. As businesses introduce more devices and more complex software, it s important to realize that the need for help desk personnel may increase rather than decrease. Cutting staffs when ticket volume is on the rise can be a big mistake, leading to a reduction in productivity and frustrated end users.

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