10 Essential IT Support and Service Desk Tools

IT support and service desks require tools just like any other business function. IT support tools can assist the help desk with a multitude of tasks including managing remote connections, incident logging, report building, feedback management and pretty much everything else you can think of.

Providing technical support to users who might not have any knowledge about IT can be an extremely frustrating task. Just ask any service desk representative. However, making good use of the right tools can definitely make IT headaches far less painful. However, most tools are built for individuals who have a decent understanding of IT programming languages like C++.

The following are tools which can assist IT teams with their problem resolution:

1. VirtualBox

Virtual Box is a free virtual machine software that can be easily installed on any system. IT support can use the virtual box to simulate the OS and software running in the client’s computer. This can be used to isolate problems and find solutions without using the “broken” PC. Besides simulating the computer, it can also be used to run virtualized environments on a local machine or server.

2. Ultimate BootCD

There have been several variations of the Ultimate BootCD, including FalconFour and Hiren’s BootCD. The Ultimate BootCD boots from a CD (or flash drive) and allows the IT personnel to gain access to the computer. It can repair disk drives and partitions, as well as recover deleted files. It can also run an anti-virus on the affected disk, without any fear of damaging the boot CD or flash drive. When it comes to recovering a hard disk, regardless of the operating system, the Ultimate BootCD can be used effectively as a frontline tool.

3. Gedit or Notepad++

Gedit is a text editor which can be used on Windows, Mac, and Linux machines. It has color context features depending on the type of file extension. Notepad++ is an extension of Windows Notepad that allows multiple file editing. A text editor is a small file which can be used to take down notes, copy and paste text, and other small code or data snippets.

4. Bugzilla

Any organization with an IT support team, especially if there is a programming and development team needs to have Bugzilla. This is a bug tracking and reporting software, which is easy to use and can be accessed across the entire network.

5. osTicket

This is a trouble ticketing software which can be configured per department, topic basis, or any other filter. It can also be set up for overdue actions and calls. Among others, the customer portal allows tracking of the report calls.

6. UserVoice

This is great for customer feedback on existing software. It can be used to keep track of suggestions on improving the software. It sorts out the requests and filters these for look-alike requests.

7. Microsoft RDCMan

The Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan) allows the help desk to access multiple desktops at the same time. The connections can also be grouped for quick access.

8. Evernote or Microsoft OneNote

Evernote and Microsoft OneNote are note-taking tools which are great for collaboration since information is instantly shared across multiple users.

9. Wiki

Having an office or department wiki can help the IT group keep track of the documentation. This is very helpful in maintaining a thread for the calls. It can also be useful as a continuous documentation tool for succeeding new members of the team. Wikis can store not only text but also graphics, images, and audio.

10. Terminals

This is an alternative to MS RDCMan that allows multiple remote connections. Besides RDC, it can also connect via VNC, SSH, Telnet, and Citrix.

IT support tools do not have to be expensive nor too technical. It all depends on the level of sophistication and nature of the support call requirements. Most of the above tools are open source or freely licensed software. They are available free for download.

These tools are designed to help with computer issues and problems, and also, allow quick resolution of support calls, whether on-site or remote. An IT department should have these tools or a corresponding set of tools, which can address similar needs.

If you haven’t already, make use of the tools provided today and you will be amazed at how much easier it can be for your service desk to resolve a whole bunch of issues.

Adel Zsurzsan

Adel Zsurzsan started as a Service Desk Analyst at transcosmos Information System. Currently based in transcosmos Hungary office, she now serves as the company's Business Development Advisor, helping the company grow and explore partnerships and opportunities. She speaks fluent English, Dutch, Romanian, Hungarian, German, French and Spanish.