Stephen Covey, creator of the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” often said, “As long as you think the problem is out there, that very thought is the problem.”

There’s truth to that statement. But all motivational phrases and buzzwords aside, you can expend a lot of mental energy dwelling on the fact that there are problems in your day-to-day endeavors. Of course, when your role in life is a system administrator, you are no stranger to a plethora of problems. In fact, the notion that there are problems out there in your IT world is what keeps you moving each day.

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) tells us that a problem is the unknown root cause of one or more existing or potential incidents. Furthermore, it stands to reason that an incident is an event which is not part of the normal operation of an IT service. For example, if the employees within your corporate IT network are unable to access network related services like email, printing, and Internet services, it may be a problem to them, but according to ITIL, that’s an incident. If the network access is hampered by an issue with the core router, that’s the root cause of the incident and hence, the actual problem.

Enter the help desk. Given that problems are your help desk’s reason for living, proactive problem and incident management is necessary for effective IT support and problem resolution.

Your help desk software can do a lot toward proactively managing your IT administration issues. Here are some useful features for an effective help desk solution:

  • Ability to integrate with network performance and monitoring solutions.
  • Ability to set up your help desk solution to receive and assimilate alert data and automatically assign tickets to specific technicians.
  • Automatic triggering of new alerts and note updates on existing tickets according to changes within the network parameters.
  • Configurable variables to filter alerts based on severity and location. (This can provide information about your operating system, machine type, IP address, DNS, total memory, system name, location, alert type, etc.).
  • Simplified ticketing, such as linking an unlimited number of incident tickets to a single problem.
  • The necessary tools, ITSM incident diagnostics, and ticket routing features, allowing for better integration and relationships with knowledge base articles, CMDB asset associations, service requests, known problems, change requests, and SLAs.

Getting to the root cause of incidents and resolving problems fast creates a good-to-great situation for your help desk department and staff. When customer satisfaction is key, allying yourself with an efficient help desk solution is how you achieve that.