Don’t let user support issues put priority projects on hold

It’s time to prep and launch new servers, but for every inch of headway you’re hit with a random helpdesk ticket. Tickets like password resets and printer issues are small on their own, but when you account for volume and frequency, they can start to seriously eat away at your team’s productivity. What if you just sent all those issues to one specific team?

How level 1 is holding you back

There’s a certain class of support that IT teams are faced with on a regular basis—low-complexity, high resolution issues. Some folks refer to it as “level 1,” and you know the drill—user account access, data access, printing problems, network performance.

Level 1 support issues are simple on paper, but when you consider the volume of these issues, you’ll see 3 key areas that hold IT teams back. They’re also the reason we created our own Level 1 Helpdesk solution.

Time

A 2012 Quocirca study claims that the average in-house IT staff spend 30% of their time dealing with these low-level tasks. Take antivirus updates for instance—not a huge task in itself, but when you’re looking at a network of 200 computers, those become an enormous time expense.

“An individual on our team spends as much as 32 hours a week focusing on level 1 support—because we rotate those duties between team members, we spend an average of 66 hours (and as much as 80 hours) every week week on those tasks.”
—James Loiselle, Greenleaf Hospitality Group

When you sink time into level 1, you’re not just putting off time for more important projects. You’re shifting mental gears to an entirely different kind of job—when you’re constantly switching back and forth, you lose even more time and focus. How much time is your IT team losing?

Budget

Losing 30% of a workweek is hard enough, but when you’re delegating these tasks to highly qualified specialists, then you’re coming back at an even bigger loss. Even for larger organizations with the bandwidth to dedicate an internal helpdesk, this poses a major expense:

“For 3 full-time level 1 service desk employees plus a service desk manager and ancillary tools, we spend around .6% of total annual revenue on running our service desk.” —Michael Cross, CIO of Greenleaf Hospitality Group

Value

IT managers responding to the same Quocirca study estimated that their IT staff members only use about 50% of their qualifications and those skilled workers are resigned to performing tasks below their skill level. When you’re coordinating your team, you want specialists bringing the best value that they can to your company—not wasting away on general tasks.

“Before Newmind came in, there was no service desk—we had people assigned as a ‘help desk,’ but really it was just an email list, and anybody who happened to see a support issue would respond when they had time.” —Harry Vijayakumar, VP of IT at Lutheran Social Services of Michigan

To give you an idea, the Newmind Group helpdesk now tackles >1,000 service desk tickets every month, and 750 of those come from just the Lutheran Social Services of Michigan.

“Since Newmind took on most of the bulk level 1 issues, we’ve gotten to take on many new projects—encryption with social safeguard, overdue patches for inventory management solution, upgrading from Microsoft Exchange and Link, and the sheer number of tickets and time spent problem-solving for us—it’s easy to see the savings.”

 

Find ways to isolate level 1 tasks strategically, and you can win more time for big projects, more effective use of your budget, and most importantly, the focus to start adding value. Still interested? Download our free guide, Helpdesk Mastery: Don’t let support tickets run your IT team, and empower your team with productivity to stem level 1 fatigue!

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About

Luke manages Help Desk operations at Newmind Group and entertains daughters at home. Playing music and nerd games take up any spare time he can find!