Research Presents an Overall Look at the State of the IT Service and Technical Support Industry and Allows Manager to Validate Practices, Benchmark and Justify Budgets

Colorado Springs, CO - January 5, 2011 - HDI, a global association for IT service and technical support professionals and the premier certification body for the industry, today announced the release of the 2010 HDI Practices & Salary Report, a comprehensive study that presents an overall look at the state of the IT support industry and allows managers to see how support centers are handling the demands of doing more with less in the 2010 economy.

“The HDI Practices & Salary Report not only provides a look at the industry as a whole, across areas such as cost per incident, salaries by level, outsourcing, tool utilization, training, social media, and performance metrics, it also allows benchmarking opportunities for all support centers, with an even closer look at the data based on your industry, type of support you provide, size, or country,” said Jenny Rains, HDI’s research analyst. “Each year, we update the survey and the report to meet the needs of the community while keeping the integrity of the data for trending purposes.”

Survey data were collected online from April through July 2010; respondents included managers, directors, and other similar positions from the United States, Canada, Australia, India, and other countries worldwide.  It represents current practices from support centers of all sizes and from organizations that range from on-site only to international, spread across more than thirty vertical industries. The report’s six sections—Incident Management, Support Tools, Process, Procedures, and Strategies, Performance Metrics, Support Staff, and Salary—are packed with tables and charts about the current practices on the most relevant topics in the IT service and support industry.

Report highlights include:

  • As support centers are continually asked to do more with less, the number of incidents continues to increase for most (67%) organizations.
  • Twenty percent of support centers are utilizing chat as a support channel and 5 percent are now receiving tickets through social media.
  • E-mail management tool use went up 5 percent, and configuration management tools are being used by 8 percent more support centers than in 2009.
  • The primary tool implementation initiative is incident management software (14%), followed by knowledge management software (10%), and self-help tools (9%).
  • Results indicate that over 80 percent of support centers are maintaining at least single service level agreements, with a rise in the percent of those maintaining multiple service level agreements.
  • Hardware support and repair is still the most outsourced support function, though down slightly from 2009. The top reasons support centers are not outsourcing more are due to concerns about control of service, service quality, and customer acceptance, then cost.
  • Telephone performance, as measured by average speed to answer, abandonment rate, and first call resolution, has seen improvement across the industry.
  • Ninety-one percent of survey respondents believe an effective support organization must have a customer satisfaction tool; however, 16 percent of support centers do not measure customer satisfaction.
  • On-the-job training (88%) is the most utilized method for training new hires to the frontline. This is followed by mentoring/coaching (78%) and call monitoring (57%), which are, in turn, followed by the more structured types of training, such as computer-based training, formal classroom training, online training, webinars, and virtual classroom training, formats that might require more resources. The primary training concern for new hires to the frontline is customer service skills.
  • Training is considered by most respondents to be the most influential factor with regard to customer satisfaction (90%), performance metrics (85%), and successful product implementation (81%).
  • Twenty-five percent of support centers are paying certified employees more than those who are not certified, a 3 percent increase from 2009.
  • The percent of support centers expecting layoffs, hiring freezes, and salary freezes is down. Over 34 percent are actually anticipating an increase in hiring in their support organizations.

For more information about the 2010 HDI Practice & Salary Report, visit
. For more information about HDI, call us at 800.248.5667 or e-mail us at [email protected].


About HDI
HDI is a global IT service and technical support membership association and the industry’s premier certification and training body. Guided by an international panel of industry experts and practitioners, HDI is the leading resource for IT service and technical support 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 & Expo. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO, HDI offers training in multiple languages and countries. For more information, visit or call +1 719.268.0174. HDI is part of UBM TechWeb, a division of United Business Media LLC.

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