IT Help Desk Calls Up Again in 2010

Calls for IT assistance are increasing as many companies cut back on help desk personnel, surveys find.

At the same time information technology is touted as getting less complex and easier to manage, more workers than ever are turning to IT help desks for assistance, according to a study released late last year.

The HDI study, based on a survey of IT managers, directors and other personnel at some 800 businesses, government agencies and organizations, concluded that there's no single explanation for the continuing increase in calls to help desks.

Sixty-seven percent of survey respondents said that calls had increased at their organizations during 2010. In a survey a year earlier, roughly the same percentage of users reported an increase.

The membership of HDI, formerly known as the Help Desk Institute, includes some 50,000 service and technical support workers.

Roy Atkinson, an analyst at HDI, said that efforts to ease the process of contacting help desks may account for some of the increase in calls. For instance, creating a single point of contact -- and accepting queries sent via instant messaging tools, e-mail and social media -- encourages more users to seek help.

Those surveyed cited multiple reasons for the uptick in calls: 41% pointed to infrastructure or product changes, 26% blamed expanded service offerings, and 22.5% said they have more users.

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