Holidays cause major headaches for the IT service desk with demanding employees and security at the top of the list, according to Hornbill's latest survey
August 18th, 2009 -- Most 'memorable' holiday-related IT requests reveal dedication of service desk staff when faced with users' outrageous demands
Almost one third (32%) of IT executives say most of their users choose to stay connected to the workplace during their well-earned break, which can create significant issues for the IT service desk. The following holiday-related headaches topped the list:
1. Keeping company information secure (47%)
2. Wasted time that could be spent on larger organisational or business issues (24%)
3. Replacing lost equipment quickly (22%)
4. Insurance claims (7%)
When IT executives were asked for their most memorable holiday-related IT request, their answers revealed the high expectations that employees have of the service desk and the patience of the IT department when supporting often outrageous demands or technically incompetent colleagues.
One IT executive recalled having to visit an employee, while abroad on holiday himself, to install software for a digital camera that the employee had bought in a duty-free shop, for personal use, on a company laptop.
Another employee expected the IT department to loan his son a company mobile phone and laptop during the annual family get-away.
Other stories involve employees asking the IT department to:
• improve the mobile network coverage in mountainous areas or on tropical islands;
• translate error messages from international service providers;
• come up with miracle cures for equipment run over by airport buses.
More outrageous demands include people crashing their hard disk drives by storing hundreds of holiday pictures on company laptops and even asking the IT department to download their holiday snaps for them!
The most common requests received by the IT service desk during the holiday period fall into four distinct categories:
• Forgetfulness: more than one quarter (27%) of respondents commonly receive requests relating to users forgetting passwords or forgetting to set their email 'out-of-office' notification before they go away (20%);
• Remote access: 18% of enquiries concern the use of mobile phones abroad or how to access email if employees don't have their laptops with them (9%) with a further 15% of requests coming from employees left behind in the office who require access to their colleagues' email while they are on holiday;
• Carelessness: 6% of IT related requests result from employees dropping mobile phones or PDAs in swimming pools/in the sea or leaving equipment on aeroplanes/trains;
• Organisation: the remaining 5% of incidents revolve around employees' requests to hire temporary staff to cover them in their absence or for the IT department to provide employees with a power adaptor suitable to their end destination.
According to the respondents of the survey, the majority of employees (79%) favour either a mobile phone or a PDA such as a BlackBerry as their favourite means of keeping in touch, followed by 21% who rely on their laptop or another device.
Gerry Sweeney, CEO of Hornbill Systems commented: "Our survey highlights some interesting trends in employee behaviour. The minority of employees who are desperate to stay in touch with the workplace more than compensate for their more chilled out colleagues by adding to the burdens of the service desk. Our respondents cited several extreme requests that reveal the high expectations that employees have of their IT department, for example, having someone to fly over just to install a printer or shipping out a brand new BlackBerry to Kenya just because the employee forgot the charger. The survey also demonstrated the dedication of the IT department to supporting employees all the time, whether during work or personal time, at home and abroad. One might have expected the number of IT executives who would prefer employees to leave company equipment behind them (55%) to be a lot higher, especially when the second biggest challenge they cited was wasting the IT department's time that could be spent on larger organisational or business issues."
Hornbill's IT Service Management solutions empower Service Delivery Teams to deliver truly customer-centric service and drive greater operational efficiency, enabling them to increase customer satisfaction and do more with the same resources.
Supportworks applications can be deployed as a cloud-based solution using myservicedesk.com or On-Premise. Ease of use for both service desk analysts and business users ensures customers are able to quickly deliver business value through rapid deployment and adoption of Self-Service, automation, proactive problem management and innovative knowledge management features. Unique 'Human Touch' features improve the service experience, putting people at the heart of the Service Desk.
Hornbill solutions include ITIL-compatible IT Service Management (ITSM), IT Helpdesk, Human Resources, Facilities Management and Customer Services, with the flexibility to build additional service desks at minimal extra cost.
Customers include: Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Camelot, Greggs, Kent County Council, Knight Frank, London Borough of Merton, London School of Economics, Natural History Museum, The National Archives, Toyota Motorsport and University of Portsmouth.
Hornbill was founded in 1995 and has its Head Office in London. For more information about Hornbill's service management solutions please visit www.hornbill.com.