Have you ever been frustrated with your company¿s IT help desk because it didn¿t have an answer to your problem? According to a new Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) survey of more than 2,000 business users of information technology (IT), you are not alone. Help desk was at the bottom of the list, in terms of satisfaction, in the evaluation that measured employees¿ opinions of their IT organizations and the technologies that they deploy.

How did the other technologies rate? Overall, tech users agree that desktop technologies, such as email, PC, and office productivity software, are the most important, in terms of value and user satisfaction. Respondents are also generally satisfied with their intranets and their ability to access systems while remote.

Attention IT: Users Are Not Satisfied

Low ratings for internal help desk support, IT communications, and IT¿s support for key business initiatives indicate that business users are less than satisfied with their relationships with their IT departments.

  • Help desk support is at the bottom of the list. Not only are users dissatisfied with help desk support, but they also rank it last when asked about the importance of these technologies to their jobs. The more frequently employees use the help desk, the less likely they are to be satisfied. The ability to resolve requests on the first try and the timeliness of updates cause the most issues — not the courtesy of the help desk.
  • Communication needs improvement. Less than half of the respondents report satisfaction with IT¿s communication efforts about changes in the organization and new technology releases.
  • It¿s not easy to find what you want on the company intranet. Only 44 percent of users surveyed feel that it¿s easy to find what they¿re looking for on the intranet, and HR information was the easiest to find. Improved search capabilities rank as the area that needs the most improvement — with 61 percent of the vote.

High Marks For Desktop Technologies

Employees across industries agree that desktop technologies are performing well — 94 percent of respondents rank them first in terms of importance to job, and 75 percent are satisfied with their companies¿ capabilities. Overall, they indicate the following:

  • Software usability and PC reliability rank highest in terms of satisfaction within the desktop category.
  • Half of respondents are on the fence or are dissatisfied with the complexity of managing user IDs and passwords.
  • Three-quarters are satisfied with their email and calendaring software, and Outlook users are the most satisfied.

Forrester also collected employees¿ opinions on business applications and found the applications were of lesser importance but meet users¿ needs. While users are generally satisfied with these applications, integration with and training on the applications needs the most improvement. The one-half of respondents who use custom applications are less satisfied than the users of packaged applications.

Forrester spoke with business users in US companies across a variety of industries and across a mix of job functions, such as professional, managerial, or technical/operational positions. The breakdown reveals:

  • Thirty-two percent are tech influencers who directly influence IT budgets and purchases.
  • Ninety-one percent are from firms with 1,000 or more employees.
  • A majority are Dell and Microsoft users — 65 percent use Microsoft Outlook for email and calendaring, 21 percent use Microsoft business applications, and 49 percent use Dell as the primary PC.

More information on the respondents¿ profiles and user satisfaction by industry, including opinions from tech influencers, is available in the research, “How Do Users Feel About Technology?” It is available to WholeView 2™ clients and can be found at www.forrester.com.