The More Things Change, the More They Stay the same: 2021 Help Desk Trends

CompTIA’s latest research shows that help desk support is becoming more important than ever as innovation pressures take focus from core technical support functions. According to Volley podcast hosts Seth Robinson (senior director, technical analysis) and Carolyn April (senior director, industry analysis), organizations are trying to stay relevant and keep up with the latest technology solutions. The need for help desk support is more important than ever. Robinson and April discussed the latest trends in the IT help desk. They also explained why, despite all the innovation, businesses should remain focused on their core technical support functions. Here’s what they had.
Technology is now a core competency
Technology has not always been an integral part of most businesses’ business operations. Operational shifts are forcing more businesses to rethink their approach and embrace technology. Recent research suggests that 40% of businesses intend to make IT their core competency. This suggests that a more strategic approach is being replaced by the tactical.
Robinson on Volley stated that there is a shift towards strategic IT. “In the past companies were concerned primarily about tactical IT. But the shift away is highlighting the importance of quality support. This brings us back to the help desk.
Companies have had to reevaluate their approach to managing their help desk. Nearly half (49%) of businesses keep their help desk internal. 46% use a mix of external and internal resources. Only 5% of businesses use help desk services exclusively from third parties. Regardless of whether a company qualifies as an SMB, or whether technology doesn’t inform as much about their business model and business model, there is still a growing reluctance not to give up all technical operations.
It’s becoming clear that a revitalized helpdesk function is needed, with so much of it being housed. “More businesses believe that technology is the focus of business and… I think that the help desk is right in that crosshairs. Robinson stated that technology should be something that makes the workforce productive. The help desk must function at a very high standard.
The Evolution of the Help Desk
The help desk will need adapt to meet the changing needs of technology as it becomes a central focus. The help desk was traditionally associated with password resets or impaired laptops. However, modern business challenges such as remote working and emerging technologies are driving us to increase the number of help desk employees.
CompTIA research has shown that many companies are more open to outsourcing routine tasks like password resets and basic user issues. “There is a mix of things going on with the help desk where…many businesses are willing to outsource these duties.” April stated that if these operations are outsourced, it does allow the internal help desk to rise to higher-level, more sophisticated services.
Skill Sets Required for a Proficient Help Desk
The help desk must be able to adapt to the changing requirements of modern business. This evolution has had a major impact on the customer experience. It is important to provide a positive customer experience in resolving user problems and helping employees. Customer experience, which is a function that is primarily employee-facing, is rapidly becoming a key characteristic of a great help desk. It will distinguish the elite from the rest.
Robinson stated that customers are increasingly demanding a better customer experience. Robinson stated that companies cannot have employees getting stuck, or doing workarounds. There is a lot of expectation about how technical problems are resolved these days and that will require some investment. Technology moving smoothly isn’t cheap.” In fact, 65% companies rated customer satisfaction the primary metric to evaluate the effectiveness of their help desk.
Help desk employees are expected to perform more complex and advanced tasks. To keep up with changing industry requirements and evolving job responsibilities, the CompTIA A+ certification is updated every three years. The help desk is becoming more flexible as more routine tasks are automated or self-service. This allows for more complex tasks to be handled. CompTIA research shows that this includes an increase in the need for cybersecurity, remote support, network security, mobile device issues, and other advanced skills.
Robinson stated, “When we automate these tasks, we aren’t taking away the helpdesk technician, but we’re asking them to do greater things.”
Learn how IT skills can adapt to meet today’s demands.