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Help Desk Responsibilities, Importance Expand

A recent survey from CompTIA finds the help desk is being tasked with new duties and is increasingly viewed as a strategic asset. By Colleen Frye

THE HELP DESK is emerging as a strategic asset in today’s economy, according to a recent survey of 400 U.S. workforce professionals from CompTIA, the nonprofit IT industry association.

Respondents to the help desk trends survey report that demand for tech support has increased for issues related to cybersecurity (70%), securing networks (67%), remote work/work from home (67%), mobile device issues (60%), and SaaS and cloud (57%).

No surprise, then, that 76% of respondents say the top skill for help desk personnel is cybersecurity, followed by software (71%), network support (70%), operating systems (70%), hardware (69%), cloud/SaaS (67%), and mobile devices (67%).

Source: CompTIA 2021

The help desk is also being tasked with new responsibilities, such as delivering a positive customer experience. Indeed, customer satisfaction is the primary way 65% of respondents’ organizations evaluate the effectiveness of their help desk. And while 83% of respondents are either completely or mostly satisfied with their help desk support, they would like to see improvements in areas such as access to user systems (56%), self-support resources (49%), procedures for hardware issues (40%), and contact options (39%).

The survey also finds more adoption of artificial intelligence and automation in help desk operations, which CompTIA analyst Seth Robinson notes is intended to free personnel for more strategic tasks rather than replace them. Respondents say they’re using AI for classifying and routing requests, chatbots, finding patterns in tickets, and curating a knowledge base. Organizations are using automation for status updates (66%), single sign-on (62%), ticket follow-up (59%), password reset (57%), and asset upgrade notifications (50%).

Some organizations are adopting a hybrid help desk model as another way to free up internal staff, the research finds, with 46% of respondents relying on a combination of internal and external resources.

About the Author

Colleen Frye's picture

Colleen Frye is ChannelPro's managing editor.

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