A small business’ IT team is often stretched to the limits in terms of resources. Its members usually have to take on multiple roles to support both end-users and systems that are part of the IT infrastructure.
Desktop management, which is one of the components of systems management, can be particularly challenging without a formal IT service desk. In a modern IT infrastructure, it includes not only supporting desktops, but other computing devices such as laptops, servers, and mobile devices. But for most IT pros in a small organization, supporting end-users can take a variable amount of time, with some tasks easy and quick to address and other tasks requiring a deep dive.
To focus IT department’s time on critical work, some small businesses have tried a different approach: empowering end-users to take matters into their own hands. As a result, their employees have had to spend time fixing their own computers instead of working on their own tasks. Rarely does this approach work. For one thing, non-IT team members don’t have the same training and may take longer to solve technical problems. Further, from a security perspective, it is never a good idea to grant admin rights or privileged access to all end-users as it exposes the systems to exploitable vulnerabilities on a massive scale.
So how do you support your IT infrastructure with minimal disruption to the end-users, your IT team or your business? The answer is simple: implement remote support best practice and leverage remote access technology.
Avoiding Desktop Management Pitfalls
Efficient desktop management means keeping the focus on both reducing time-to-resolution (a measurement of the time it takes to fix a technical issue) and increasing first-time-resolution (the ability to fix an issue the first time around). Thus, it is important to understand which factors create friction within IT management processes and how they can be eliminated.
1. Asking End-Users to Provide Technical Information
If you ever worked at an IT service desk and you had to ask your end-users to find their computer name, their IP address, or the version of a software they are using, you must know how difficult it is for them to get it right on the first try.
The truth is that more often than not, end-users are confused about where to find that type of information on their computer. This can be a source of frustration on both ends – and this process is more time consuming than what is necessary.
2. Systematic Use of Remote Control to Fix an Issue
Remote control software is popular among IT pros. As its name suggests, it is a tool that allows an IT professional to take control of a host machine’s desktop, keyboard, and mouse from a remote location. When a technician initiates a remote control session, the end-user usually has to sit idly and cannot do any work until the session is over.
While remote control was once the only option, remote support software feature sets have come a long way, and nowadays there are a lot more tools available for troubleshooting and performing systems management tasks, including some that will minimize end-user interruption.
3. Juggling Too Many Tools
Support technicians usually have to perform different types of systems management tasks to re-mediate an issue or close a ticket. If they have to use one tool for troubleshooting, one for Active Directory management, another one to repair a software or dispatch an update, It makes their job more tedious.
4. Siloed Techs With Not Enough Cross Training
Some organizations silo their techs by specific job functions. There is a person in charge of active directory management and another takes care of software deployment or systems updates. While it is important to have a person in charge of overseeing those areas of IT management, he or she shouldn’t be the only one allowed to perform such tasks. He or she should delegate the basic work to the other members of the IT team. Otherwise, solving a simple ticket requires to involve too many technicians. This will greatly increase the time-to-resolution. Obviously, delegation without proper training doesn’t make sense either. But there must be a happy middle.
How Remote IT Support Software Simplifies Remote Desktop Management
One of the benefits of remote support software is that it greatly reduces the frictions between tech staff and end-users, improves their productivity without jeopardizing security. Furthermore, It aligns with a more modern and fluid method of providing IT support by leveraging data.
The right remote support software makes accessing a computer and troubleshooting a lot easier. There is no more asking an end-user for his or her computer name or IP address. The more advanced platforms provide a search tool that detects the user logged-in workstation in real-time. A good IT software will have a User Interface that provides a 360-degree view of the end-user IT profile, including details about hardware, systems, Active Directory, software, along with performance statistics such as CPU and memory usage.
Remote support software should also feature background system management tools, which enable a technician to troubleshoot or work on a computer behind-the-scenes without having recourse to a remote control session.
Most remote support platforms now consolidate a broad tool-set that can be used to manage, users, systems, devices, Active Directory, patches, and software. They are a great alternative for IT departments who are currently using a series of fragmented tools.
Finally, the top remote support software features a more advanced remote control. They usually include a set of collaborative tools, so a console operator can invite other technicians to join a session and collaborate on resolution.
IT Process Automation: Streamline Desktop Management & Keep Infrastructure Clean
Taking it a step further, automation of IT support processes can significantly streamline desktop management and maintain a more up-to-date and secure IT infrastructure.
It does this in the following ways:
- Keeping systems up-to-date through regular patching.
- Automating user provisioning and de-provisioning.
- Monitoring compliance and quickly detecting problems and issues.
- Tracking inventory to better manage the asset life cycle.
The best thing about it is that those automations run in the background.
Desktop Management Does Not Need Have to Be a Nightmare
For small businesses struggling with tech support challenges, a better solution may be available. It may require a small investment in remote IT support technology, but they are guaranteed to see a ROI in the form of increased productivity and security.