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Forrester: Employees Losing it with IT Support

Imagine this scenario: you’re having computer problems, you call up your company’s help desk, explain the situation and then they tell you to reboot your computer. Your computer’s rebooted and you’re still having problems.

That example and many others are causing such frustration that the help desk was at the bottom of the list in a Forrester Research study measuring employees’ opinions of their IT organizations and the technologies that are deployed. The research firm compiled information from more than 2,000 business IT users.

Overall, users agree that desktop technologies, including e-mail and office productivity software, are the most important in value and satisfaction. They were also generally pleased with their intranets and their ability to access systems remotely.

Forrester found that the low ratings for internal help desk support, IT communications and IT’s support for key business initiatives show that business users aren’t satisfied with their IT departments.

The more frequently employees use the help desk, the less likely they are satisfied. The ability to resolve issues on the first try and timeliness of updates causes the most problems—not the courtesy of the help desk.

Communication also needs improvement, according to the study. Less than half the respondents were satisfied with IT’s communication efforts regarding changes in the organization and new technology releases.

Good luck trying to find what information on a company’s intranet caused ire with employees. Forty-four percent of users thought that it’s easy to find results on their companies’ intranet, and human resource information was the easiest information to find. Improving search capabilities—with 61 percent—ranks as the most important need.

However, employees in different industries say desktop technologies perform well; 94 percent of users rank them as the most important aspect of their job, and 75 percent are satisfied with their companies’ capabilities.

Other desktop findings include:

  • Software usability and PC reliability rank the tops in terms of satisfaction within the desktop area.
  • Half the users are on the fence or dissatisfied with the complexity of managing user IDs and passwords.
  • Three-quarters are pleased with their e-mail and calendaring software, while Outlook users are the most satisfied.

According to Forrester, business applications were less important, but met most users’ needs. Although users are generally pleased with these applications, integration and training of these applications need the most improvement. The one-half of respondents who use custom applications are less satisfied than the employees who use packaged applications.

Lastly, the research firm surveyed business users in U.S. companies across a variety of industries and across different job functions, including professional, managerial and technical/operational. These findings include:

  • 32 percent are tech influencers who directly impact IT budgets and purchases.
  • 91 percent are from firms with 1,000 or more employees.
  • A majority of businesses are Dell and Microsoft users; 65 percent use Microsoft Outlook for e-mail and calendaring, 21 percent use Microsoft business applications and 49 percent use Dell computers as their primary PCs.

About the Author

Kathleen Ohlson is senior editor at Application Development Trends magazine.

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