IT helpdesks suffering user password hell

Swamped by calls from forgetful staff. Which isn't ideal really...
Written by Graham Hayday, Contributor

Swamped by calls from forgetful staff. Which isn't ideal really...

Up to 80 per cent of calls received by helpdesk staff are from end users who've forgotten their passwords - and with each support call costing organisations around £15, the problem is not as trivial as it may sound. Over 35 per cent of respondents to a survey carried out by service management software specialist Axios Systems said that password queries accounted for between 40 and 60 per cent of all calls received by their company's IT helpdesk. Some 22.5 per cent said password issues represented between 20 and 40 per cent of helpdesk calls, with 6.5 per cent putting the figure at 60 to 80 per cent. Research group Meta has calculated that every support call costs organisations approximately $25 (£15). Ailsa Symeonides, sales and marketing director of Axios Systems, said: "The results show the central importance of having a system for rapid resetting of passwords. Many helpdesks are becoming clogged with problems caused by staff forgetting or mis-keying their passwords." The 2002 NTA Monitor Password Survey recently found that the typical intensive IT user now has 21 passwords, with some heavy users maintaining up to 70 passwords. The Axios survey was conducted at the annual conference of the UK IT Service Management Forum in Brighton last month. Over 200 delegates were polled - predominantly IT support professionals working for a wide range of private and public sector organisations.
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