Trends in Help Desk


    HDI, an association for help desk professionals, released a few results from its latest survey on help desk practices and salaries. Here are some key trends:

    The cost of support hasn’t changed much since the last survey:

    • Phone: $20 per incident

    • Email: $16 per incident

    • Self-service: $5 per incident (wonder if that includes the cost of the downtime for the person doing the self-service)

    The average number of applications supported by respondents is 314. The median is 61. (The press release doesn’t say whether this includes respondents who offer support for multiple clients or a single organization.)

    Those respondents providing 24×7 support increase 5% last year to 41%, up from 22% in 2003.

    The adoption of ITIL processes is gradually growing. Plans to become ITIL-certified has increased from 18% in 2003 to 32% in 2005.

    The top five vendor problem tracking systems are BMC Remedy Action Request System (ARS), FrontRange Solutions’ HEAT, Peregrine, Remedy Magic and homegrown systems.

    Outsourcing of the help desk function remained stable from 2004. Two areas where outsourcing was increasing was on after-hour support (from 7% to 9%) and during peak call load periods (from 2% to 5%).

    HDI collected its data from 790 companies. You can purchase a copy of the full survey for $79 from HDI here:


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