IT is the backbone of modern enterprises and as technology infrastructure expands off of the corporate campus, helpdesk costs for mobile devices and remote workers have ballooned. In fact, according to a recent article from MetricNet, helpdesk tickets that require IT support cost an average of $104 each, but helpdesk tickets that require field support cost more than double that, at an average of $221 each. Multiply these numbers out across hundreds of workers and devices and the need to reduce these costs is glaringly apparent.

But there is good news. A few small business changes can dramatically reduce helpdesk costs and increase IT efficiency.

1) Implement Self-Service Infrastructure

A strong Knowledge Base is a core component of a self-service strategy. The Knowledge Base should include common issues/resolutions, best practices, tutorials, and help articles for low-level problems. Make the material readily available and easy-to-access and your workers will be empowered to self-resolve issues. And in a time where organizations are heavily focused on culture as a competitive advantage, this approach can be interpreted as a valuable career development initiative.

Internal support teams receive an average of 492 tickets per month.

Zendesk

Alongside the Knowledge Base, implement a ticketing system that lets technicians focus on resolving high-priority/high-impact issues first. Automating this process eliminates hours of manual labor that would otherwise be spent manually sifting through ticket queues.

2) Leverage Technicians Effectively

The exact number varies, but roughly 60% of the total cost of a helpdesk ticket is spent on the technician’s salary and benefits; so reducing the time-per-ticket should be a primary focus for every IT department as well. Improving this metric can be handled in two different ways:

  1. Increase the number of tickets handled by each technician: Create internal sub-teams to specialize on certain types of tickets.
  2. Decrease the number of technicians that handle the same amount of tickets: Implement tools that allow a reduction in workforce but maintains output.

Each tactic has merits, but the underlying success of both depends on clearly defining and optimizing the underlying processes.

3) Utilize an Operational Intelligence Tool

Increasing visibility and control of devices in the field can eliminate many of the manual tasks that would otherwise be required in diagnosing and resolving helpdesk tickets. Software solutions like operational intelligence or business insight (BI) tools can surface important opportunities for cost reduction by identifying areas of IT that are less-than-optimized.

For example, an Operational Intelligence platform can provide insights such as:

  • Real-time monitoring of network connections
  • Visibility into devices, networks, locations, and data usage
  • Alerting on irregular behaviors and potential security vulnerabilities
  • Automated end-to-end troubleshooting and root cause analysis

All of which can create data points that can be used for fact-based decision-making that reduces expenses.

The Future of Helpdesk Costs

The bad news? It is unlikely that helpdesk costs will decrease. However, these costs can be mitigated by focusing on the levers that actually impact results. Keeping these factors in consideration will go far in lowering costs well into the future.

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