Automating the IT helpdesk

A lot has been said about automation replacing jobs in the near future. Around 5.7 million jobs in South Africa will be at risk over the next six years, according to Accenture, but are members of the tech team also at risk?

20 June 2019

Since personal computers started appearing on the desks of employees, the IT helpdesk has been a thriving hub for many organisations. Providing technical assistance and support either in person, over the phone or email, the helpdesk has long been a place where bewildered and frustrated users come to air their grievances and hope to find resolutions to their problems. And, from time to time, the more proactive first line support team member could also be found providing computer users with some training. However, with automation gaining ground and some of these functions slowly diminishing – does the IT helpdesk, and those working on it, have a future?

Roy Westfehling, CEO of Johannesburg-based IT support services company Westech, says that although automation is fantastic for eliminating menial tasks, as well as speeding up business processes, it can sometimes prevent fast resolutions and add frustration to real problems.

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