65% of IT help desk teams in the US report unsustainable levels of stress and burnout

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Over the past two years, IT departments have served on the business frontlines, helping organisations quickly implement digital transformation strategies to enable a fully remote and now distributed workforce.

According to Splashtop’s 2022 State of Remote Support Market Trends Report, that has come at a cost as 65% of IT help desk teams throughout the U.S are reporting an increase in the number of team members reporting unsustainable levels of stress

Compounding issues, 94% of respondents say that their help desk function has been impacted by hiring challenges, retention issues, and/or skill shortages over the past 12 months. As a result, 67% report challenges with maintaining IT support goals.

"With many employees working remotely on a regular basis, IT and help desk staff face higher ticket volumes, more diverse set of devices to support, and greater security challenges," said Philip Sheu, co-founder and CTO at Splashtop. "More efficient remote support workflows and tools can help alleviate the additional burden and improve satisfaction on both sides."

The report shows that post-pandemic, the need for remote IT support continues to increase and will remain dominant, according to 96% of respondents. Nearly 100% said ‘support at distance’ is required for the majority of tickets.

Sheu continued, "Efficiency can come from integrating the remote support tool into your ticketing system, configuring rules to route support requests automatically, and making it easy for technicians to collaborate. All these can reduce the time spent on resolving tickets and managing the help desk."

Key Takeaways of the State of Remote Support Report:

New obstacles supporting a distributed workforce.While there is a defined need for remote support to optimize the flexible/work from home (WFH) models, new communication and technical support challenges have emerged. In fact, 95% of respondents say supporting remote users comes with new technical and communication challenges but it is critical for effective flexible work strategies.

Hardware peripheral support, password resets, patching, and updating are common daily activities that can often be solved efficiently with good communication channels in place. IT professionals need to adapt to these challenges to both support remote workers technically and be able to do so while also working remotely.

The prevalence of bring your own device (BYOD) creates complexity via device diversity. With 94% of organisations allowing or requiring personal device usage for work, support teams need to be able to navigate a diverse device environment. In fact, 87% of organizations say the increase in BYOD was accelerated by the pandemic and as a result, IT requires tools and processes that support a wide range of device types, operating systems, and networks.

User error makes up a meaningful share of help desk tickets. User error accounts for half or more of all IT help desk tickets, according to 70% of respondents, making it essential to have processes and technologies in place to quickly identify, solve, and help the user learn from errors they have made.

Remote support sessions deliver the best efficiency and end user satisfaction. Nearly three-quarters of respondents say remote support sessions deliver the best efficiency and end user satisfaction, as they can login and directly see what the user is experiencing, troubleshoot, and quickly resolve issues. This process can streamline the help desk ticketing process, provide an ideal user experience, and identify potentially significant problems throughout the organisation including security holes and risks.

Augmented reality (AR) for support is game-changing for many organisations. Of those surveyed,42% of respondents say the ability to visualize end users’ environments via IT support leveraging AR has had a dramatic impact on resolving issues.

“Work from anywhere initiatives have increased pressure on IT staff and heighted the attention on KPIs to help support a distributed workforce. Based on our research, the majority (70%) of organisations clearly see the value in investing in remote session solutions and are achieving improved support KPIs. Organisations that are investing in remote session technologies are tracking improved KPIs that include reductions in handle time (66%), increases in throughput (59%) and accelerated total resolution times (56%),” said Mark Bowker, senior analyst, ESG.

Research Methodology

Data referenced in the report comes from a comprehensive survey conducted byESGon behalf of Splashtop on the topic of remote support trends in the first quarter of 2022. Two hundred (200) IT decision makers in North America responsible for help desk support at their organization participated in the survey. Organisations represented spanned midmarket (250 to 999 employees, 34%), midsize enterprises 1,000 to 4,999 employees, 34%) and large enterprises (5,000+ employees, 32%). The sample was composed of a horizontal mix of industry verticals. 

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