Market Matures for Help Desk Automation Tools

July, 2009

As companies look to wring the most from their support efforts, IT organizations are investing at a high rate in service desk support tools and applications.

Every aspect of business has been enhanced by the use of information technology, from back-office applications to sophisticated supply chain systems, from corporate desktops to executive PDAs. As the implementation and potential benefits of IT have percolated throughout the business environment, the IT service desk has emerged as a critical element in ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of technology operations.

This Research Byte is a summary of our full report, Service Desk Software Prime Focus for IT Investment Activity.

The IT service desk–more commonly referred to as the help desk–has benefited from the use of technology. Indeed, service desk management software is a mature market: There have been help-desk tools for 20 years and the market today is estimated at more than a billion dollars. Still, as IT budgets are tightened, demand for help-desk services continues to escalate and the bottom-line benefits of automated, efficiency-enhancing tools have become increasingly attractive.

Fortunately, there is no shortage of vendors offering service desk software systems. Those vendors include some of the most familiar names in the IT industry, as well as focused players and online-oriented start-ups.  The evolution of the delivery methods of service desk support tools is mirroring the evolution of IT services in general: the move to utility computing and the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model are affecting how service desks tools are priced and provisioned by vendors and implemented and upgraded by customers.

Savvy CIOs are looking to integrate their help desks into their overall IT operations in a way that adds value to both the technology organization and the business as a whole. Service desk software is evolving to help that integration effort by facilitating knowledge management on a wide scale.

There is almost universal interest in the use of software tools in support of IT service desk management. The maturity of the market is reflected in the pattern of adoption, as shown in Figure 1, where the majority already has the software installed.

HelpDeskTools Fig1 - Market Matures for Help Desk Automation Tools

The full version of this report examines adoption trends and current investment activity for service desk software for the composite sample, by organization size, and industry sector. It also discusses types of service desk software and provides an assessment on key factors IT organizations should consider when investing in service desk automation tools.

The IT service desk is an integral part of a company’s IT organization and should not be relegated to minority status when it comes to the IT budget. Just as it has in every other area of business, technology can drive efficiencies that will pay dividends in the effectiveness of the help-desk operation.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Service Desk Software Prime Focus for IT Investment Activity. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).

Attention Help Desk Managers: this report is included in our special publication, Read more and download the first few pages of the report, free.