The State of Technical Support in 2019 | HDI

by Roy Atkinson
January 3, 2019

Each year, HDI conducts research focused on finding out the status of various aspects of the service management and technical support industries. The purpose of this research is to show what is going on inside organizations across the industry so that your organization can see—in a general sense—how you are doing when compared to a broad range of others and where you might want to focus for improvement. HDI’s January 2019 webinar focuses on the results of our 2018 research, including all three editions of our well-known HDI Practices & Salary Reports.

How Is the Industry Doing?

One area we explore in the webinar is the general health of the support industry, as shown by current hiring trends and salaries as compared with last year’s (2017) results. A smaller percentage of organizations reported that they were creating and filling new positions this year, but there was a 1% decrease in the fraction of organizations who said they were cutting positions, as well as a jump of about 6% in organizations that are filling jobs as they come open together with a 1% drop in organizations where hiring is frozen. Average salaries for the “front line,” Level 1 and 2 support, declined slightly, but other positions showed increases over last year.

Taken together, these statistics indicate that the support industry is—more or less—holding steady. While this is not especially good news, it does serve to contradict the widespread belief that support is vanishing in light of advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation.

What Is Going on Out There?

For at least 10 consecutive years now, the volume of tickets (and we’ll explain why we call them that) has increased in the majority of organizations—in over 60% of organizations this year. This is an indirect indicator of industry health: When demand keeps rising for the services support provides, it’s unlikely that organizations will be drastically reducing the support workforce.

For 10 consecutive years, the volume of tickets has increased in the majority of organizations.
Tweet: For 10 consecutive years, the volume of tickets has increased in the majority of organizations. @RoyAtkinson @ThinkHDI #techsupport #servicedesk #webinar

Another takeaway from this statistic is that, despite relatively flat hiring, support has taken on more work year after year for over a decade. Support center directors and managers have been able to institute efficiencies, streamline processes, and implement new technologies to meet the growing needs of the organization at large.

Only 14% of organizations reported a decrease in ticket volume. They cited self-help and problem management among the top factors for the decrease, as well as new applications, infrastructure, and equipment.

Why We Call them “Tickets”

We use the blanket term “tickets” to cover both incidents (unplanned interruption) and service requests (something is needed) because nearly half (45%) of organizations do not measure them separately. Even though this is pretty basic to service management, many organizations don’t realize the value of being able to report on the differences.

When we ask the cohort of organizations that do measure incidents and service requests separately what that division looks like, we find that 55% of the tickets are for incidents. In other research, we’ve found that incidents are on the rise in about 56% of organizations.

We will provide more details in the webinar, which will be recorded for on-demand playback.

Join is for an in-depth look at HDI’s research results.
Watch the webinar!

 


Roy Atkinson Roy Atkinson is one of the top influencers in the service and support industry. His blogs, presentations, research reports, white papers, keynotes, and webinars have gained him an international reputation. In his role as senior writer/analyst, he acts as HDI's in-house subject matter expert, bringing his years of experience to the community. He holds a master’s certificate in advanced management strategy from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business, and he is a certified HDI Support Center Manager. Follow him on Twitter @RoyAtkinson.


Tag(s): supportworld, technical support, support center, research, automation, metrics and measurements

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