Help! Where's Tech Support?
Employees looking for help with a frozen computer screen or a mobile application glitch may be in for a long wait. Chief information officers interviewed in a recent survey said their companies’ technical support teams are, on average, 42 percent smaller than they would like them to be.
The results are similar to a 2007 survey, in which CIOs said their support teams were an average of 40 percent smaller than their ideal.
The surveys were developed by Robert Half Technology, a provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis. They were conducted by an independent research firm and are based on interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 employees or more.
CIOs were asked, “What is the ratio of internal end users to technical support employees at your company?” The mean response was 112:1.
CIOs also were asked, “What would be the ideal ratio of internal end users to technical support employees at your company?” The mean response was 65:1.
Small firms — with 100 to 249 employees — were furthest from their ideal technical support ratio, the results show, while midsized companies — with 250 to 499 employees — were closest.
“As companies implement upgrades and invest in new technology, it becomes more challenging for technical support professionals to keep pace with end-user demands,” said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Unfortunately, the time employees spend waiting for technical help can result in lost productivity.”
Reed added that bringing in extra help desk professionals during peak workload periods can prevent requests for help from piling up. “Interim help desk professionals can fill in during employee absences or when call volume is extra heavy due to new software implementations or systems conversions,” he said.