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Is BYOD Killing The Helpdesk?

     The B-word has been discussed with consternation among IT circles. IT security has been forever concerned about the risks it poses, while the end-user services has been worried about what it will do to the call volumes at the helpdesk. BYOD was supposed to have flooded the IT helpdesk with calls from users that it was unable to address. However, the reality is that the call volumes have dropped, and so has the helpdesk staff. This is indeed a puzzling trend which needs investigation.

The reduction in call volumes at the helpdesk should not be perceived as reduction in complexity or a great job done by IT. The fact of the matter is that IT helpdesk is becoming irrelevant to the users. While not the only one, BYOD is a major reason for this shift among others.

Millennial workforce – the tech savvy, millennial workers do not need the help of the techies as much as their ‘outdated’ counterparts. It is highly unlikely that they will pick up the phone and call John from tech services as soon as their device malfunctions. They are cloud enabled Google enthusiasts folks who can fend for themselves when faced with a problem of technical genre.

BYOS (Bring your own support) – Another reason for the ‘how may I help you’ chanting folks to feel left out is the approach most organizations took towards the B-crowd when they allowed them to carry their dream gadgets to work. They basically asked them to learn to swim on their own if they wanted to use the pool. Therefore, while the techies were sharpening their swords for the battle of device proliferation, the users learnt the tricks of the trade, and turned out to be better gladiators than them. By the time IT rose to the challenge of BYOD, the war was already won, and they were left as mere spectators.

Social, collaboration and knowledge management – A trend parallel to the user’s attainment of technical nirvana was the push from the business to go ‘social’, collaborate more, and manage their knowledge better. This played a significant role in diminishing the importance of the helpdesk. The irony of the situation is palpable, because the tech support teams created the weapons for their own destruction.

Unable to call the samurais to fight the evil, the townsfolk opened their own dojos and taught each other the art of war. The users used the new and evolved intranets for sharing tips and tricks, and helping each other with technology related issues. These knowledge-bases grew into sophisticated self-help portals where the technology novices cold look for help in times of distress. This changed the culture from ‘call for help’ to one of ‘browse for help’

So can the HD be revived?

The big question is – can this be undone? The answer is no. So is all hope lost for the technical assistant? Maybe not. While the technology self-sufficiency trend is a positive among business users, the helpdesk must survive, if only to control the user behavior. After all, it is the face of IT. Even though its revival is difficult, if not impossible, the only way to resurrect the service desk is for it to be reborn as a business productivity team. This team has to be like an apple genius bar or a BestBuy Geek Squad. It has to be local, preferably walk-up, to give the face-to-face experience. It has to be focused on fostering relations and user's productivity improvement.

The new SD has to leverage the changed user behavior to its advantage, and become a techno-advisor rather than an be an agent.

Article Source:

The author is associated with one of the top mobile application development provider, mobile app developer Dallas Texas and iPad apps developer

Posted on 2013-05-17, By: *

* Click on the author's name to view their profile and articles!!!

Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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