Listen to IT administrators when they vent about their least-favorite aspects of the job and you’ll hear common themes: the long hours, time spent on-call, the thankless nature of the job, and the “this would be a great job if it weren’t for our users…” Dig deeper though, and just about every IT admin, if offered the chance to change one thing about their job, would change the same thing: spend less time on break-fix and more time implementing new projects.

 

Viewed in that light, the Help Desk can seem like part of the problem. It’s a never-ending source of trouble tickets that keep the admins too busy to get to the fun parts of the job.

 

I invite admins to view your Help Desk differently: it’s a source of invaluable feedback on how your department is doing. For example:

  • Have you set up alerts to proactively monitor your infrastructure? Problem reports from Help Desk will quickly let you know what you left off your list.
  • Did you roll out an upgrade or patch recently? A lack of any update-related problem reports over the next couple days lets you know you did it well.
  • Has there been an increase in complaints about network performance? Perhaps that network Quality of Service tool you’re using isn’t configured correctly to meet current need.
  • Has there been a noticeable decrease in reports of out-of-space errors? You must be doing an excellent job of capacity management and planning.


If you can view your Help Desk as a feedback tool, it will help you to serve your customers better. (I encourage you to consider them to be “customers” and not “users” – it will elevate the quality of personal service that you offer.) Better service to your customers leads to less time spent on break-fix, freeing you up for the fun parts of the job.


Administrators, how do you view your Help Desk? What’s the most valuable piece of feedback you’ve received through your Help Desk?