An Evolution of the IT Help Desk
October 30, 2015
Many companies deliver their IT help desk in the same way they always have year in and year out without innovation or change. They see the help desk as less strategic than their other IT investments and treat it accordingly.
Companies embracing the ITIL service desk see things differently. These companies focus on this touch point as a way to impact user productivity, and they see the strategic value in improving these interactions.
What is the ITIL Service Desk?
At the heart of ITIL is the belief that IT is a service for internal clients- that the purpose of IT is to make those clients more productive. IT isn’t about technology but rather the business and the people who provide value to that business.
The ITIL Service Desk is a central component of this approach. It differs from a traditional IT help desk in several big ways. In the ITIL Service Desk model:
- Every need is met– The service desk has a much wider scope than the traditional IT Help Desk. An ITIL service desk is the central location users can go for any type of support. Users needing help with Technology, AV, Facilities, HR, or Administration go to the service desk for that support. It is the central point of contact for everything.
- Issues are seen through to conclusion– Users in companies with more traditional IT help desks may have to contact several departments to get support on a single issue. The ITIL service desk takes control of the entire request to keep the user focused on their work.
- More accessible support– Whenever, however, and where ever a user has an issue, they need to be able to contact support. ITIL delivers this support through phone, texting, email, portals, or in person.
- The service desk communicates issues and incidents to end users– The ITIL service desk is the client facing part of the IT department. They are responsible for communicating outages and other news to their internal clients and coworkers.
The ITIL service desk and the ITIL methodology positions the IT department at the center of the effort to make end users more productive and effective. This reorients the company’s technology investments and refocuses the department on their clients.
Outsourcing the Service Desk
While many companies are able to deliver help desks with internal resources, the Service Desk is much more challenging. Staffing a full service desk internally presents several challenges:
- Career planning for service desk employees– Internal service desk employees often feel that they have to leave the company to progress their careers. This turnover is an unwelcome disruption to companies trying to focus on more strategic work. Outsourcing the service desk offloads the problem to a company that can create a career path for these employees.
- 24 hour support– Companies with 24 hour day needs often struggle to support users during the night. Putting high level internal employees “On Call” creates burnout in key positions, and isn’t a real solution. ITIL Service Desk companies can more easily overcome this challenge.
- Expertise– Staffing or training ITIL certified employees increases the investment in what is likely a high turnover position.
While limitations define the traditional IT help desk, the ITIL service desk is defined by access – access to answers and support in whatever form the user prefers.
Need advice on outsourcing your Service Desk? Employees demand the fast, effective end user experience, are you really delivering?
Is the service currently provided to your users the “right model”? Long View would like to offer you a 2 hour free working session to learn your strategies and to show you what over 100 clients and the market is providing as the “right model”…from staffing, to location, to hours of operations, type of staff and support.