Today, every industry is following the trend toward virtualization, cloud computing, and mobility. It is changing how, when, and where people do business and drastically affecting the responsibilities of IT organizations. In particular, the IT help desk is now being called upon to facilitate problems and maintain productivity with more precision and rapid response than ever. In this new role, the help desk must change from being just a place where people go to get things fixed to more of a full-service organization providing a multitude of IT services and advice. Below are five tips that will expand the role of your IT help desk to help your organization keep up with today’s rapidly changing IT environment.

1: Provide customers with easy solutions

The IT help desk works hard every day to manage and process hundreds of work orders from end users and customers. To reduce the number of calls to the help desk, end users should be provided with a set of common everyday knowledgebase solutions that they can easily reference. A simple solution shouldn’t get in the way of the vast array of other more strategic problems your help desk needs to tackle, and giving customers access to answers to help solve issues on their own saves everybody’s time.

2: Update your PCs and laptops

One of IT’s most essential tasks is keeping PC’s, laptops, and other devices up to date with the latest technology. All updates and migrations must be done quickly, without error and with data intact from device to device. That way, productivity levels remain unaffected and calls to the help desk are kept to a minimum. By preparing for and seamlessly implementing new initiatives, such as migrating to a new operating system, your entire IT infrastructure benefits from the update without skipping a beat.

3: Be secure

It may seem obvious, but with technological advancements comes risk. To avoid an IT disaster, help desk technicians must have a system in place that will prevent major damage to the infrastructure. With so much vital business being conducted on all sorts of devices, maintaining security and thwarting threats is an essential part of IT’s responsibility. The help desk must take the time to track all devices and IT assets and update security patches across the board.

4: Take advantage of communication

Not many IT professionals have the opportunity to be in constant contact with their organization’s customers. The help desk, however, is in daily contact with end users who have a lot to say about the service being provided. Feedback is essential for improving customer service and increasing productivity. Use this opportunity to solicit feedback through surveys, reports, and follow -up calls. Draw on this feedback to both make improvements and reward success. When users are pleased with their help desk experience, IT runs smoothly and loyalty is increased.

5: Help the help

Help desk technicians are an IT organization’s worker bees, responsible for fixing every problem they encounter. To save time and increase efficiencies, the help desk is always looking for ways to boost productivity. More technicians are turning to their tablets and other Internet-connected mobile devices to use as virtualized workspaces, giving them the freedom to access and manage work orders from anywhere and at any time. The help desk benefits from instant access and increased productivity, and the end user experiences less down time and fewer wait periods.

Additional resources

Elisabeth Cullivan is Numara Software’s product marketing manager for Numara FootPrints and Track-It! family of integrated IT management solutions