When an organization is small, technology issues are frequently fixed on a case-by-case basis and then forgotten (unless the same thing breaks again). As an organization grows, it becomes more important to track technology issues on a formal basis.
For starters, keeping a technology trouble ticketing system can help you track direct versus indirect costs of your organization’s technology. You may think you are saving money by keeping that old peer-to-peer network with Windows 98 computers in place, but are you really? How much time is spent (between staff and vendors) in fixing things and “working around” other things? With a ticketing system that is consistently used, you can get a better sense of your costs and make more informed decisions on keeping versus upgrading.
Another reason for tracking technology issues is increased efficiency in handling technology issues. When there is a (good) procedure in place to deal with issues, the process tends to lend itself to decreased time spent fixing things. A ticketing system can help with this. In addition, keep in mind that not all technology issues are technology-related. Tracking trouble tickets may uncover some staff technology training issues that are really at the heart of some issues and allows you to address those on a separate basis.
While many ticketing systems are costly to purchase and implement, there is an open source option that is free to use: www.OSticket.com. OSTicket claims to be “the web’s best open source support ticket solution.” With it, your organization can send support requests from email, phone, and/or web form into a single web-based system that multiple people can access and administer if desired. OSTicket will allow you to manage and organize your support tickets and has an archive feature so you can keep them for future analysis and decision-making.
To install OSTicket, you’ll need a web server (either in-house or with your website hosting provider) that has PHP 4.3 (or better) and MySQL 4.1 (or better) installed. Your website hosting provider or webmaster should be able to advise you on these requirements and help you upgrade your account if necessary.
Learn more at: http://www.osticket.com.