Photo: Walker Library @ MTSU
IT Help Desk fundamentals
It's rarely appreciated by people outside IT exactly how much balancing of priorities and resources is involved in Help Desk functions. The IT Help Desk is usually viewed as a one stop shop for all problems. Issues can range from "My computer isn't working" to "We've lost all our accounts data!" in a few minutes or seconds.
This menagerie of situations, which is usually continuous, requires very efficient management. It also requires high quality training to instill the necessary knowledge and understanding of issues involved in Help Desk work.
Time and space are big issues for Help Desks, requiring real time solutions and good organization of functions.
Priorities can change rapidly, for example:
- "My computer isn't working" is a local issue, easy to fix even in a worst case scenario.
- "We've lost all our accounts data!" is a high priority, critical organizational issue requiring an immediate response and quite possibly extensive, time consuming IT support work at the expense of lower priority jobs.
Return on Investment in Help Desk training
Training defines the core capabilities of any organization in any role. IT training, particularly for Help Desk roles, is absolutely vital to ensure organizational efficiency. The better trained the Help Desk staff, the better and more efficiently IT services will operate.
For organizations, the returns on investment for Help Desk training can be truly excellent. An efficient Help Desk doesn't just respond well to issues. It can also anticipate them, and cover multiple areas of IT support including upgrades and similar functions which prevent problems. A well-trained Help Desk can also manage hardware issues, change and growth seamlessly.
Levels of training required to achieve this level of efficiency requires formal industry training and high quality benchmark qualifications like ITIL Certification. International standard ITSM certifications are rapidly becoming extremely important as the global economy and New Economy business modes impose increasing diversity and demands across the spectrum of IT functions.
Training for the future
Help Desk training is very much an investment in the future. Help Desks need to be able to deal with regular change and manage new systems and their business applications efficiently. The ITIL training, for example, provides a full suite of skills covering the entire gamut of IT operations, with an integrated approach which enhances overall IT management. This training is a long-term benefit, designed to provide much higher value operational capacity for any organization.