Best IT Helpdesk Software Shortlist
Here’s a shortlist of the very best IT helpdesk platforms I'll go over in detail, and there are some more options below:
- Spiceworks - Best free IT help desk software
- HubSpot - Best for small businesses
- SolarWinds - Best for growing teams
- Vision Helpdesk - Best for gamification features
- Help Scout - Best for startups
- ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus - Best for on-premise use
- Hiver - Best IT help desk to use with Gmail
- HappyFox - Best for integrations
- LiveAgent - Best feature-rich IT help desk platform
- HaloITSM - Best for advanced help desk users
- Freshworks - Best unified service management
- Atlassian - Best cloud IT help desk software
IT help desk software is a powerful tool for organizations looking to track and resolve IT-related issues in an organized manner. I’ve covered my top 12 options in this article, drawing from experience and extensive research. I’ve evaluated each tool’s features, pricing, and other benefits to help you choose the right tool for your organization. I’ll also share the reasons behind my choices so you get a clear understanding of what each tool offers.
What Is IT Helpdesk Software?
IT help desk software is a comprehensive solution to manage IT service requests, incidents, and problems. It provides a centralized platform that helps track, prioritize, escalate, and resolve issues based on their urgency and impact. Features include ticket management, knowledge base management, improved collaboration between staff and employees, and enhanced visibility into IT issues.
Overviews of the 12 Best IT Helpdesk Software
Here’s a brief description of each IT help desk software solution, its best use case, noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the dashboard.
1. Spiceworks - Best free IT helpdesk software
Spiceworks IT help desk is a free, cloud-based help desk system designed to help IT professionals manage their tickets and assets.
Why I picked Spiceworks: I picked Spiceworks for this list because though it’s free, it has powerful features that teams of any size can benefit from. It’s easy to set up and doesn’t require any technical expertise. Tickets come into the dashboard via phone, user portal, emails, and mobile app. The dashboard is neatly organized with attributes like assignee, priority, and categories, so no ticket is missed.
Spiceworks Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that impressed me during my evaluation are that you can accept tickets, respond to them, write private notes, and add custom fields — all from a central place. You can auto-assign tickets and use role-based views so each team member can see what they have to resolve. You can also create multiple sites for clients with multiple locations so you can manage their IT issues in the same place.
Integrations are pre-built and include Inventory and IP Scanner, which lets you monitor devices and store your actions related to those devices, as well as Power BI and Active Directory for end-user authentication.
- Support portal so that users can troubleshoot their own issues
- Filters to get at-a-glance insights into various details
- Can auto-set due dates and priorities of tickets
- Not HIPAA compliant
- Limited customization options
2. HubSpot - Best for small businesses
HubSpot’s ticketing system keeps track of all IT tickets in a centralized dashboard and helps provide personalized services to end-users.
Why I picked HubSpot: Though HubSpot is primarily a sales CRM, its powerful ticketing system is why I have put this tool on the list. It helps you store, manage, and monitor support tickets from multiple communication channels in an intuitive interface. If you use the HubSpot CRM, it’s easier to get information on customer or employee history, service issues, and other details.
HubSpot Standout Features and Integrations:
Features I would recommend for small businesses are its ability to reduce manual data entry with automated ticket routing and a live chat widget. Teams with only one or two agents can find these features valuable. You can also track support metrics like response times and ticket volumes to optimize support operations.
Integrations include native ones like Gmail, Google Calendar, Outlook, Zoom, Mailchimp, WhatsApp, and Salesforce. Zapier connections are also possible.
Pricing: From $18/month (billed annually)
Trial: Free plan available + 30-day free trial
- Built-in feedback surveys
- Integrated knowledge base
- Simple interface
- Free plan doesn’t offer technical support
- Paid plans pricey compared to other providers
3. SolarWinds Web Help Desk - Best for growing teams
SolarWinds Web Help Desk (WHD) provides comprehensive IT support with features like network and system monitoring, asset management, and IT service desk management.
Why I picked SolarWinds: I chose SolarWinds WHD because it offers scalability options for growing businesses. SolarWinds can support multiple departments, projects, and even companies while maintaining the same efficiency. With customizable workflows and automation, you can adapt to the changing needs to match your support goals.
SolarWinds Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that I found useful during my evaluation are that SolarWinds converts all the alerts and service requests into tickets automatically. Plus, since it’s already connected to SolarWinds network and server monitoring tools, you can convert all performance issues into tickets and reduce dependencies on multiple platforms. It can also auto-assign and escalate tickets to relevant agents, ensuring timely resolution.
Integrations include native options like Dameware Remote Everywhere, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Active Directory, GoToAssist, Harvest, Jira, and Zendesk. Zapier and APIs are also available.
Pricing: From $376/tech/year
Trial: Free plan available + 14-day free trial
- Built-in knowledge base with the free plan
- In-depth performance reporting
- Service Level Agreement (SLA) management
- Difficult to learn
- Occasional glitches in the software
4. Vision Helpdesk - Best for gamification features
Vision Helpdesk is a robust ticketing platform designed to streamline IT support activities. Its user-friendly help desk software solution lets you easily create, track, and resolve tickets.
Why I picked Vision Helpdesk: Though Vision Helpdesk has all the standard features of a help desk platform, what stands out for me is its gamification features. You can encourage healthy competition by setting achievement levels, adding goals, and creating quests. Leaderboard and quest reports let you monitor staff performances. Agents can also put up achievement badges on their profiles.
Vision Helpdesk Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that I feel you may like apart from the gamification features are its omnichannel ticket management, ticket merging and splitting, and time-based automation. You can also create a multi-brand help desk and incorporate live chats.
Integrations are natively available for Active Directory, Google Hosted Emails, Live Chat Inc, GoToMeeting, Twilio, and Facebook.
Pricing: From $12/agent/month
Trial: 30-day free trial
- Built-in agent collaboration tool called Blabby
- Real-time reports
- iOS and Android mobile apps
- Limited integrations with other software
- Steep learning curve
5. Help Scout - Best for startups
Help Scout’s service desk software offers helpful features like a shared inbox, automation workflows, and reporting and analytics to keep track of IT queries.
Why I picked Help Scout: I picked HelpScout because it offers a 6-month free support program for startups without any feature limits. You get a shared inbox to manage IT request emails, chat messages, and social media conversations in one place. You can even add custom fields to capture additional user data.
Help Scout Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that I have loved are its customizable email templates that allow startups to create pre-written responses to common customer inquiries. It lets you connect multiple mailboxes (like info@, support@, and request@) into one dashboard. You can also custom-brand your help desk.
Integrations include native ones like Slack, Freshbooks, Mailchimp, Messenger, Google Apps, Highrise, Constant Contact, Jira, Salesforce, and Trello. Zapier and APIs are also available.
Trial: 15-day free trial
- Can classify and tag tickets
- Help widget called Beacon that you can put up on your application or website
- Mobile apps available
- Limited customization options for the knowledge base
- Needs more in-depth reporting
6. ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus - Best for on-premise use
ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is an end-to-end IT help desk software that provides essential features like incident management, problem management, change management, and self-service options.
Why I picked ManageEngine: I like how ManageEngine is still offering an on-premise option along with its cloud option, even when many vendors are choosing to end their on-prem help desk solutions. It offers ticket automation that converts all incoming emails into tickets, and you also get multi-site support if you have offices in different places.
ManageEngine Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that I found useful during my evaluation are that it offers a self-service portal where users can submit their requests and track the progress of the ticket on their own without contacting an agent. You can also create a knowledge base where users can troubleshoot their own issues hence reducing your incoming help desk tickets.
Integrations are available natively for most Zoho products like Zoho Cliq and Zoho Voice because ManageEngine is part of Zoho. There are also native integrations for Microsoft Outlook, Office 365, Microsoft Teams, and Atlassian Jira. There are APIs to connect to custom integrations as well.
Trial: 30-day free trial period
- Offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices
- Provides integration with other ManageEngine products for enhanced functionality
- Offers a robust knowledge management and community forum for users to seek help
- May have a learning curve to utilize its features fully
- May not be suitable for businesses that need advanced reporting and analytics features
7. Hiver - Best IT help desk to use with Gmail
Hiver is an IT help desk designed for support teams that primarily work out of their Gmail inbox to provide resolutions.
Why I picked Hiver: I picked Hiver because of its simplicity. Hiver sits on top of your existing Gmail account and adds shared inbox management functionality to it. Every incoming email has a status — open, pending, or closed. This ensures that your team doesn’t miss any emails. Plus, agents can exchange notes right on the ticket asking for clarification, and these notes stay hidden from the end user.
Hiver Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that I loved are collision detection which prevents multiple agents from replying to the same ticket. You can automate ticket assignments with the round-robin method and save email templates so that agents don’t have to type the same emails repeatedly.
Integrations are available natively for QuickBooks, Slack, Okta, Asana, Jira, Slack, and Salesforce. Zapier connectors are available.
Pricing: From $15/user/month
Trial: 7-day free trial
- Easy to use
- Android and iOS apps
- Can use Hiver’s AI bot Harvey to automate certain conversations
- Need Gmail accounts to use Hiver
- Limited customizations
8. HappyFox - Best for integrations
HappyFox is a cloud-based IT help desk tool that offers advanced features like automation rules, social media add-ons, and asset management solutions.
Why I picked HappyFox: What impresses me about HappyFox is that it offers plenty of integrations across categories like accounting, business intelligence, CRM, ecommerce, and project management. This helps to automate and streamline support operations. In addition, it also boasts a powerful ticketing system that has multi-channel capabilities. You can add categories and filter tickets for better organization.
HappyFox Standout Features and Integrations:
Features, in my opinion, are quite similar to other IT help desks, like canned responses, performance metric reports, and knowledge base. Where it shines is its task management features, where you can put a due date and time for every task and set deadlines. Help desk agents can view their pending tasks and get notifications on overdue issues.
Integrations are available natively for Slack, Jira, Microsoft Teams, Okta, Wrike, WhatsApp, Asana, PagerDuty, Facebook, and Zapier triggers.
Pricing: From $29/user/month
Trial: 14-day free trial + Free demo
- Track and report SLAs
- Multilingual agent portal
- Can view tickets in Kanban format
- Pricey compared to other solutions
- Steep learning curve for advanced features
9. LiveAgent - Best feature-rich IT help desk platform
LiveAgent is a powerful omnichannel help desk and live chat software that centralizes your tickets from emails, phone, SMS, and chats in a single location.
Why I picked LiveAgent: During my analysis, I found that LiveAgent is a comprehensive IT help desk solution. To help resolve IT problems productively, it comes with a universal inbox to organize tickets better, live chat with real-time typing view and chat templates, and a call center to work on issues over the phone.
LiveAgent Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that I feel are helpful are its ability to connect to social media channels which agents can access from LiveAgent’s platform. You can also build multiple knowledge bases for internal and external use, create automation rules like “transfer connectivity tickets to a specific agent,” and reduce repetitive tasks.
Integrations are available natively for Twilio, Instagram, Gmail, PipeDrive, ActiveCampaign, Jira, Zapier, and WhatsApp.
Pricing: From $9/agent/month
Trial: 30-day free trial (with a company email)
- Supports 43 languages
- In-depth analytics
- iOS and Android mobile help desk available
- May not suit small and medium businesses
- Takes time to learn
10. HaloITSM - Best for advanced help desk users
HaloITSM provides a centralized portal for IT teams to track and manage tickets, as well as powerful reporting and analytics tools to help organizations make informed decisions.
Why I picked HaloITSM: What impresses me about HaloITSM is that it is an all-in-one tool for advanced help desk users. If you are a large organization and want other tools along with an IT help desk, like incident management, problem management, change management, release management, and asset management, then HaloITSM is a great choice.
HaloITSM Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that impressed me are customizable workflows and automation rules. I also liked that it had an integrated self-service portal for end-users to submit and track tickets, automated ticket escalation and assignment, and complete visibility of all assets with asset management capabilities.
Integrations include native options like Office365, Azure DevOps, PowerBI, TeamViewer, ChatGPT, Microsoft Teams, Lansweeper, Active Directory, and Azure.
Pricing: From $49/user/month
Trial: 30-day free trial
- Comprehensive knowledge base
- Powerful service level agreement (SLA) management system
- Change impact analysis to assess the potential impact of changes before implementation
- Steep learning curve due to the complexity and depth of features
- Slow system performance during peak usage times
11. Freshworks - Best unified service management
Freshworks help desk is cloud-based help desk software that makes it easy to manage incoming requests and IT support inquiries.
Why I picked Freshworks: During my evaluation, I found Freshworks offers a unified service experience that allows IT teams to manage all their support needs efficiently. This includes IT request management, operations management, workload management, change management, and asset management, making it easier to manage all internal service requests in one place.
Freshworks Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that I want to highlight are its drag-and-drop widgets to create custom reports. You can also use their AI feature called “Ask Freddy,” where you can post questions about key metrics for quick answers. There’s also a mobile app to manage incidents, assets, and requests on the go.
Integrations are natively built for options like TeamViewer, Office 365, G Suite, Document 360, and SecPod SanerNow. It also has a developer app to develop and publish your own apps.
Pricing: From $19/user/month
Trial: 21-day free trial
- Collaboration features like comments and mentions
- Automated ticket routing, prioritization, and escalation
- Shared knowledge base
- Can get expensive as your team grows
- Support agents may require time to adapt to the UI
12. Atlassian - Best cloud IT help desk software
Atlassian’s IT help desk offers a range of features like intelligent routing and escalation, customizable service desk workflows, and powerful analytics tools to resolve requests and improve agent performance.
Why I picked Atlassian
I chose Atlassian because it offers a complete solution for IT teams, with integrated tools for issue tracking, project management, and collaboration. Atlassian’s IT help desk is called Jira Service Management, which is a cloud-based platform that is easy to set up and use, with a user-friendly interface and intuitive workflows. You can use Jira Service Management to set up help desks not only for IT but also for HR, finance, and infrastructure.
Atlassian Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that I find valuable are the ability to label various support requests, prioritize them so that you don’t miss any requests, and manage issues across verticals and geography. With their reporting, you can see whether teams are fulfilling deadlines, how many P0 incidents you had, and the average time it took to solve an incident.
Integrations include pre-built options with other Atlassian products like Trello and Confluence and native ones with Todoist, Google Drive, PowerBI, Git, Microsoft 365, and Jenkins.
Pricing: From $7.75/user/month
Trial: 7-day free trial + Always free plan for 3 agents
- Multi-language support
- Alert notifications via email and SMS
- Post-incident reviews
- Can be hard for first-time users
- Cost can be prohibitive for some teams
Other IT Helpdesk Software Options
Here are some additional options to pick from. They didn’t make it to the top 12 list, but you can consider them as your next helpdesk tool:
- Hesk - Best lightweight help desk for new IT helpdesk teams
- osTicket - Best free self-hosted IT helpdesk software
- Zendesk - Best for its customizable ticket management system
- Salesforce Service Cloud - Best for Salesforce-specific integrations for a smoother workflow
- SysAid - Best for automation features
- Oracle Fusion Service - Best for its comprehensive reporting abilities
- InvGate - Best for agile organizations
- FocalScope - Best for phone-based IT support
- Freshchat - Best for live chat and AI-based messaging
- JitBit - Best mobile IT helpdesk
Selection Criteria For IT Helpdesk Software
To pick the best IT helpdesk software, I first researched the most popular software by its reviews and user interface. Then, I used my own personal experience with help desk software to inform my reviews. Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
I believe these are the core functionalities an IT helpdesk must have:
- Incident management, asset management, and problem management
- Reporting and analytics
- Intelligent routing and escalation to eliminate manual work and save time
- Integration with other IT management tools for improved efficiency and visibility into IT operations
I evaluated IT helpdesk tools for features like:
- Centralized ticketing dashboard
- Automation and rules
- Customizable workflows
- Multi-channel abilities
- Self-service and integrated knowledge base
- SLA management
For tools on this list, I checked if the interface is user-friendly. For those tools that have a steep learning curve, I ensured that they have proper documentation and video tutorials.
What is the role of an IT help desk?
What is the difference between IT support and help desk?
Is the IT help desk a part of ITIL?
Whether you prioritize customization options, user-friendly interfaces, or comprehensive reporting systems, an IT help desk software option on this list will work for you and your business.
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