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10 ways to maximize your help desk investment

As IT continues to become a service center instead of a necessary evil, it becomes increasingly important to create a help desk that supports the new role — and getting the most out of the oftentimes first contact help desk has become. The help desk has become a core competency, according to article author Mary Shacklett, so learning how to utilize it correctly can mean the difference between playing catch-up for the next few years or being a leader in your organization. To that end, a first step can be as easy as making sure the Help Desk isn't a dead end: Most of us, when we were cutting our teeth in IT, saw the help desk as a career dead end. If we were put on help desk, a daily goal was plotting how we could propel ourselves into being an applications developer, a project manager, or a database/network administrator. Yet believe it or not, there are people who love the help desk and would like nothing more than to make a career of it. With the growing importance of service, CIOs need to find ways to create parity between careers in the help desk or QA with equivalent positions in application development and systems programming. Creating equivalent career ladders, opportunities, and respect will encourage those who excel in an area like the help desk to make a long-term commitment to it. Other suggestions include modernizing (such as implementing mobile communication between the help desk and users), cycling key performers from other areas into the help desk, and linking help desk input into application development and enhancements. The help desk can become a foundational resource to build the rest of your IT team up; so why not use to its full potential?

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