Why automation is the best answer for help desk optimisation

Help desks are overwhelmed, it’s no secret, often by mundane and repeated tasks that can, or should, be automated. By taking steps, that are usually simple and financially efficient, much time can be saved for employees and organisations managing this process.

By automating processes that have remained manual and out of date, technology leaders within their organisations are able to take steps to help their teams and their departments – like the help desk – focus on more press technology matters than resetting forgotten passwords, for example, by allowing employees the ability to do so themselves.

According to recent survey, IT and help desk employees often are required to address an overwhelming number of calls each day, with more than half of the 110 respondents indicating that their help desk receives more than 100 calls a week.

The survey also shows that more than 56 per cent of respondents said the number of passwords required of employees to access their systems directly affects the number of calls the help desk receives. Complex password management typically leads to employees needing to reset their passwords on an ongoing basis, making it difficult for employees to easily access their systems and information.

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Many continue to say that their employers require complex passwords in conjunction with requirements to change their passwords every month or at varying pre-determined times. Of course, all of these factors lead to a great deal of time wasted on password resets, which could easily have been done by end users with access to tools that allow them to answer a few quick verification questions with a self-service reset password management tool.

What’s also not surprising is that most of these issues are critical, because they mean users cannot access their computers or any additional applications to get their work done. From experience, 70 per cent or more of those I work with say these issues are often time-critical to those affected.

Finally, organisational help desks can save a great deal of time if end users could reset their own passwords. According to this survey and what I see on a daily basis, as end users are able to safely and securely reset their own passwords without having to contact the help desk, self-service password reset solutions also can save a great deal of money, as well as increase the level of service for end users.

These IT solutions, self-service reset password managers, allow end-users the ability to reset their password on the basis of a number of simple, predefined questions, commonly accessed through a “forgot my password” button on their profile setting, which they use to provide answers to a series of security questions.

Employees and employers both can reap the benefits and time savings associated with such automated solutions when it comes to forgotten passwords. While password resets are one of the easiest IT tasks to manage, they also are one of the most distracting and time-consuming tasks IT professionals face.

Dean Wiech is managing director of Tools4ever, a global provider of identity and access management solutions.