Computer Helpdesk Jobs - Common Myths about Computer Helpdesk Jobs

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Many IT professionals started out in computer helpdesk jobs and know that it is not a position that receives much respect. Helpdesk people are usually looked down upon and neglected by the rest of the company as well as by customers.

However, just think of what could happen if businesses were without customer service people. What would be its effect on the economy? Then why is the vital function of computer helpdesk jobs so undervalued? There are several operating myths about help desk operations that are contributing to the problem.

Myth 1: Desktop application support (DAS) has little or no demand.

Reality: The real demand for desktop support across all industries is from 5% to 15% of call volume in Help Desks, including DAS issues solved with help from co-workers across the enterprise.

Myth 2: The best place to get desktop support is from a regular Help Desk.

Reality: The demand for Customer help desk via asking for help from a fellow worker was brought about by the lack of dedicated DAS. Most Help Desks in big corporations field few DAS calls and involve them in less than 1/5 of DAS issues.

Myth 3: Computer helpdesk jobs are already outsourced by the company and the usual arrangement is that they also handle DAS.

Reality: With the big outsourcing partners generalists are usually answering the phones, which is not much different from the usual internal help desk support positions and the nature of this type of arrangement often results in low quality support, which lessens the demand for it and drives clients to find support elsewhere. DAS requires knowledge in specialized applications coupled with familiarity in constantly receiving support calls all day.

Myth 4: It is not possible to measure the incidence of unofficial support from co-workers.

Reality: Unofficial support from co-workers is both controllable and quantifiable. Usually, information workers spend three or more hours trying to find a solution for a DAS issue by them or with assistance from the in-office help desk. Actual costs due to asking for support from a co-worker, especially in terms of wasted time are substantial. Given the usual time spent in solving a support issue, this equates to an approximate cost of around $50 to $200 per incident, depending on the level of salary of the worker who needs help and not even including additional costs since it involves a colleague or peer, who is usually - if not often- asked to assist.

Myth 5: We do not need DAS since the company sends corporate employees to appropriate training.

Reality: DAS and training are separate, although they are related. Training is needed to address routine or common needs, but is inefficient and very ineffective at taking care of specialized needs that can occur anytime, which is the usual nature of demand for DAS. Information workers often finish training with the knowledge that when the moment comes to apply a technique or use an important feature, they will identify the capability is there but will need some assistance to execute this properly.

Myth 6: Hiring full-time workers for computer helpdesk jobs is ideal for handling DAS as well as other tasks.

Reality: To sufficiently meet the demand for DAS in the information workforce of an organization, the Help Desk will need to undergo continuous and significant training costs as well as considerable management and staffing expense. An in-house approach becomes more inefficient as the need for new products or upgrades required for a non-stop operation grows.

All these are attitudes that helpdesk managers can change even without any major restructuring. If this can be done, IT and helpdesk departments will then receive the respect that they deserve inside and outside company premises.

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