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Paying Less for Passwords

By Kevin Fogarty  |  Posted 2004-12-10 Print this article Print

Can using password-automation software save your company's dollars?

Lost or forgotten passwords account for about 17% of all calls to the help desk, according to a 2004 survey from The Help Desk Institute (HDI) , a professional organization for support staffers. That's up 2% from the previous year, indicating that either corporate employees are getting more clueless or, more likely, that tighter security is forcing them to use more passwords and change them more often.

Why do technology staffers, who could be doing more productive tasks, have to spend time on the help desk reassigning passwords when most sizable e-commerce sites have software to help customers change or retrieve their own passwords when necessary?

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No particular reason, it turns out.

Password-recovery automation software, which employees typically access from an internal Web site or from the log-in screens of their various networked applications, can fix password problems at about one-third the cost-per-incident of human intervention, according to surveys from HDI and Forrester Research's Giga Information Group.

That can save a huge amount of time for your company's technical support staff, whose expensive skills are better employed troubleshooting problems that don't result from faulty memories.

Of course, password automation won't fix all the password-related problems, let alone issues with employees who stick smiley-face magnets on their monitors, or who left "the black-box thingy" they plug into their docking station at home, but would like their "computer" to work anyway.

But it will, at least, reduce some of the load, if not the headaches.

To see the details behind this calculator and fill in your own estimates, click on the About the Tool icon above to find out more download the interactive worksheet.

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