Help Desk Software BuyerView from Software Advice

Posted on June 27, 2014 by · Posted in Uncategorized

Help Desk Software
BuyerView | 2014

Software Advice helps organizations narrow down help desk software options to find a system that best meets their needs. As a result, we have matchless insight into these buyers’ pain points with their current methods, as well as what they’re looking for in a new software solution. We recently analyzed a sample of 385 of these interactions with potential help desk software buyers. This report outlines what we found.

Key Findings:

  1. Forty percent of buyers are replacing an existing help desk software system.
  2. Most buyers are replacing their system because they require more functionality.
  3. Buyers using manual methods want to improve their efficiency and accuracy.

Most Buyers Currently Using Help Desk Software

Of the 385 interactions we analyzed, 155 help desk software buyers (40 percent) noted they were currently using some form of help desk software. Meanwhile, 139 buyers (36 percent) were using manual methods (e.g., pen and paper, Excel spreadsheets or email) or nothing at all to meet their help desk needs.

Current Methods

Current Software Users Looking for More Functionality

The most common reason current help desk software users gave for replacing their system was a need for more functionality. Many of the buyers we advised noted they were using free, beta-trial or outdated versions of help desk software systems. The next three most common reasons for seeking new software—a need to improve efficiency, to replace a complicated system or to update a clunky one—therefore come as no surprise.

Reasons for Replacing Current Software


First-Time Buyers Seeking to Improve Efficiency

For buyers who were using manual methods (or nothing at all) to meet their help desk needs, the desire to improve efficiency and accuracy was the primary motivation for purchasing software.

Reasons for Replacing Manual Methods

Most Buyers Seeking Core Help Desk Functionality

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the features most commonly requested by buyers were the abilities to create trouble tickets, and to track them from creation to resolution. Additionally, almost half (46 percent) of the buyers we advised said they would like to have IT asset management functionality—although many noted that this was a “nice-to-have” feature, and would still consider products without it (as long as they did have trouble-ticketing functionality). Escalation tracking was also mentioned among the top requested features, meaning the ability to monitor the quantity and frequency of ticket escalations.

Features Most Commonly Requested

Significantly More Buyers Prefer Web-Based Systems

Of the buyers who expressed a preference for one deployment model over another, the vast majority said they would prefer a Web-based system over an on-premise system. A Web-based deployment model allows users to access the software from any device with an Internet connection. Given that many buyers expressed an interest in a Web self-service feature for their employees and/or customers, this preference is to be expected.

Help Desk Software Deployment Preferences

Over Half of Buyers Looking to Implement in Three Months or Less

Over half of the buyers that came to us for assistance in choosing a help desk software system were looking to implement the software within three months or less. Meanwhile, almost a quarter said they would like to purchase a new system and put it to use within six months.

Buyers’ Timeframe for Help Desk Software Purchase

Buyer Demographics

The buyers in our data set worked for companies of many different sizes. However, most of the buyers in our sample set were from small- to medium-sized businesses. In fact, 70 percent worked at companies with fewer than 500 employees.

Demographics: Buyer Size by Number of Employees

When these buyers’ companies are broken down according to annual revenue, we can see that companies with extremely varied revenue streams are seeking to benefit from the functionality a help desk software solution can offer.

Demographics: Buyer Size by Annual Revenue

Finally, when buyers were broken out by industry, we found that companies in the software and technology sector were most likely to be in need of help desk software. As end users often need help from software vendors to resolve issues they may have with the technology, it follows that this industry would be most in need of help desk solutions. Next up was healthcare, followed by education: two industries that increasingly rely on technology (and IT professionals) to function smoothly.

Demographics: Help Desk Software Buyers by Industry


Software Advice analyzed a sample set of data from 385 businesses seeking to buy new help desk software. To further discuss or obtain access to any of the charts above, feel free to contact me at

Analyst, Software Advice
April 14, 2014