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New research highlights major setbacks and forecast a troubling Outlook for today’s service desk

April 2012 by LANDESK Software

As organisations continue to feel the impact of limited budgets within fast-paced, demanding industries, service desks are under more pressure than ever to keep them running day-to-day, according to recent research sponsored by LANDesk Software and conducted by the Service Desk Institute (SDI). In the first survey of its kind in the UK, which captured responses from over 10,000 IT service management professionals, the report tells a story of service desks struggling to provide first-class service with a lack of resources: in short, having to do more with less.

The research reveals that an overwhelming proportion of service desk professionals feel that their working environment inhibits them from being efficient, as indicated by 93 percent of respondents agreeing that their service desk needs to be more efficient. Increasingly, service desks are feeling the pressure of being stretched beyond their limits and frustrated that they can’t do more. This feeling of frustration is widespread, as just over half of respondents (52 percent) said that they did not have enough resources to deliver the level of service that they aspire to, and 79 percent admitted to feeling under pressure at work.

‘‘The service desk plays a pivotal role in keeping organisations running smoothly, but it is clear that they are feeling increasingly ill-equipped to provide the support businesses rely on,’’ said Ian Aitchison, Director of Product Management, LANDesk. ‘More must be done to provide the resources service desks need to drive efficiency and maintain support levels, thereby increasing the value they can deliver to their organisation.’’

The survey also highlighted that one of the biggest hurdles to efficiency is time spent dealing with simple tasks that arise on a daily basis, with respondents revealing that 67 percent of a service desk’s time is spent on fire-fighting rather than strategising and forward planning. These responses uncover an endless cycle of service desk professionals spending too much time dealing with everyday niggles – meaning that only 33 percent of them have time to spare to strategise.

‘‘These figures reveal a widespread epidemic amongst service desks – professionals are spending too much time addressing menial needs, which consequently leads to a lack of planning and strategic direction,’’ continues Aitchison. ‘‘It is vital that organisations take steps to ease this cycle. LANDesk’s solutions can automate simple processes that would normally take up people’s time, allowing them to focus on higher level strategising that will, in return, facilitate the smooth running of the organisation and create efficiencies.’’

Solutions like LANDesk’s Service Desk can help service desks reduce IT operation costs and drive efficiency and productivity, improving service delivery.

Creating efficiencies would also have wider benefits for service desk professionals, as the research also highlights that only 28 percent stated that work did not encroach on their personal life, with additional pressure to people manage and problem solve on weekends and outside normal working hours.

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