by Lorraine Cosgrove Ware

Numbers Show How Centralizing Your Help Desk Can Save You Money

Mar 01, 20022 mins
IT Leadership

Save Money: Centralize Your Help Desk

75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies are centralizing their help desks, reducing support costs by at least 20 percent, according to Jeff Rumburg, vice president of Meta Group. Here’s a snapshot of the savings you can expect.

Let the Users Come to You

Calls resolved from the help desk, rather than at the user’s desk, can reduce per-call cost by as much as 80 percent.

An average user calls the help desk 1.25 times per month: In a year, if all calls were handled at the help desk the cost would be $375. If all calls were handled at the user’s desk the cost would be $1,875.

The Cost of Calls resolved when I.S. visits the user’s desk $125
The Cost of Calls When the user calls the help desk $25
Savings per call by resolving problem VIA the help Desk $100
Source: Meta Group Consulting, 2001

How Does Your Company Compare?

Bottom Line: CentralizeThe data below is based on a company with 3,000 employees and an average call volume of 5,000 calls per month.

Cost per call Monthly costs
Decentralized Help Desk $30 $150,000
Centralized Help Desk $24 $120,000
Savings per month $30,000
Source: Meta Group Consulting, 2001

Best Practices

1 Consolidate the help desk into one location. This provides economies of scale and helps you calculate the help desk’s high- and low-volume periods more accurately, staff accordingly and minimize idle time.

2 Invest in smart technologies. These include remote support and user-enabled help tools. Software that allows the technician to take over a user’s PC remotely or self-help technologies like password reset can prevent dispatching IT staff to the user location.

3 Don’t be overstaffed. Rumburg recommends that companies target an agent utilization rate of 65 percent, which means that each agent or help desk technician is actively supporting users 65 percent of the time. This allows for 35 percent of the technician’s time to be spent training or doing administrative follow-up.