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Help Desk

A typical help desk has several functions. It provides the users a central point to receive help on various computer issues. The help desk typically manages its requests via help desk software, such as an incident tracking system, that allows them to track user requests with a unique ticket number. This can also be called a "Local Bug Tracker" or LBT. The help desk software can often be an extremely beneficial tool when used to find, analyze, and eliminate common problems in an organization's computing environment. There are many software applications available to support the help desk function. Some are targeting enterprise level help desk (rather large) and some are targeting departmental needs. See Comparison of issue tracking systems.

In the mid 1990s, Middleton at Robert Gordon University found through his research that many organizations had begun to recognize that the real value of their help desk(s) derives not solely from their reactive response to users' issues but from the help desk's unique position where it communicates daily with numerous customers or employees. This gives the help desk the ability to monitor the user environment for issues from technical problems to user preferences and satisfaction. Such information gathered at the help desk can be valuable for use in planning and preparation for other units in IT.


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