HDI Founder and Strategic Advisory Board Members Identify Latest Industry Trends and Outline Roadmap for IT Support Center Success

LAS VEGAS, NEV. – May 2, 2007 – The state of the IT service and support Industry was addressed at the 2007 HDI Conference & Expo (http://www.thinkhdi.com/hdi2007), which is being held this week at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. HDI (http://www.thinkhdi.com) is the world's largest membership association for help desk, IT service and support professionals and the premier certification body for the industry. The HDI Annual Conference & Expo is the world's largest and most respected industry event for IT help desk and service and support professionals dedicated to achieving greater productivity, establishing and maintaining best practices and integrating the support function more effectively with the business overall.

HDI’s founder and CEO Ron Muns was joined by members of the Strategic Advisory Boards of HDI and its sister organization, the IT Infrastructure Management Association, to discuss the support industry’s latest and most important trends. “Today, I have gathered some industry experts to talk about the state of the industry and trends that we all must face,” began Muns. “We have worked closely with HDI's Strategic Advisory Board to short-list a number of industry trends and changes that impact IT service and support. Today, we will address the future of the U.S. IT workforce; the growing need and impact of self service tools; IT business alignment; social networking, new media and new communication tools as they affect support and the impact of new mobile and wireless devices, web-based solutions and open source software.

HDI Strategic Advisory Board member Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director, Robert Half Technology, focused on the current IT hiring landscape, the future of the IT workforce and the issues and challenges associated with “brain drain,” training, knowledge transfer/management and an increasingly virtual work environment.

Spencer Lee reported, “According to the U. S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer support specialists is expected to increase by 18% to 26% through 2014, but the difficulty in finding and retaining qualified workers is going to continue. Fewer college students are choosing to major in computer science, engineering and mathematics. UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute reported that the number of incoming freshmen who majored in computer science fell by 70% between 2000 and 2005. This crunch for workers is not unique to the US. In the coming years, China and India will be scrambling for IT professionals to meet their own technology demands, not just the needs of U.S. companies who outsource support. This talent crunch will be further exacerbated as baby boomers face retirement.” She concluded, “This changing landscape is going to create a completely different environment for technical support operations, and an entirely new set of operational circumstances and new opportunities.”

Bob Barnes, global vice president, JPMorgan Chase and chair of HDI’s Strategic Advisory Board talked about best practices, process management, knowledge-centered support (KCS) and self-service. “The most recent HDI Practices and Salary Survey indicates that 67% of support organizations understand the importance of the concept of business alignment,” reported Barnes. “More and more support organizations are measuring all their support channels and reporting them up through executive management.” He acknowledged that the industry still struggles with successful deployment of self-service support, and predicted that multimedia support will continue to grow and expand along with self healing technologies.

Peter McGarahan, president, McGarahan & Associates and chair of the ITIM Association Strategic Advisory Board stated, “From a support perspective – you have to look at technology two ways: the technology you support and the technology that supports you.” He focused on the impact of wireless and mobile devices, self-service and collaboration technologies, virtualization, Web 2.0 and social networks, open source, VoIP and security. McGarahan advised attendees to “always invest in technology wisely. A bad technology decision has potential for negative impact on IT’s credibility, user productivity and the company’s financial performance.”

Muns concluded by outlining a roadmap for success for support organizations that includes the following ten steps.
  1. Run your support organization like a service organization within a business.
  2. Acquire business acumen, leadership skills and communication skills.
  3. Reduce targeted call volume by 10-15% yearly by leveraging Root Cause Analysis.
  4. Broaden the support role and services portfolio to have larger organizational impact.
  5. Create and articulate an aligned support strategy and a continuous improvement.
  6. Identify what best practices/frameworks must be implemented to address the gaps to realize your goals.
  7. Challenge conventional wisdom and lead the cultural change – be ITIL advocates.
  8. Know all the details of your support operations.
  9. Know your cost structure.
  10. Create and sell the business case for investing in the Service Desk.
The HDI Annual Conference & Expo (http://www.thinkhdi.com/hdi2007) is being held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev. April 30 – May 3, 2007. Note to reporters and editors: A full transcript of the presenters’ remarks in available at http://www.thinkhdi.com/hdi2007/files/StateOfIndustrySpeakerRemarksHDI2007.doc

About HDI
HDI is the world's largest IT service and support membership association and the industry's premier training and certification body. Guided by an international panel of industry experts, HDI is the leading resource for help desk/support center emerging trends and best practices. HDI provides members with a vast repository of resources, networking opportunities and the largest industry event -- the HDI Annual Conference and Expo. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA, HDI offers training and certification in multiple languages and countries. For more information, visit http://www.thinkhdi.com or call +1 719.268.0174.

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Allison Wroe
HDI
(719) 785-5535
awroe@thinkhdi.com