Help Desk vs. Service Desk: Which one is right for your Organization?

HelpDesk vs ServiceDesk

Help Desk vs. Service Desk 

 

When it comes to IT ticketing and workflow, some teams use the terms ‘help desk’ and ‘service desk’ interchangeably. However, there are important differences between these two forms of  technical support.

 

These differences mostly stem from the terms’ origins. The service desk is a more recently introduced concept. It focuses heavily on the rising need for excellent customer service. The help desk, by contrast, has been around for as long as there have been internal IT problems to resolve.

 

To help you decide which one is right for your organization, we’ll dig a little deeper into the functions of each option.

What is a Help Desk?

A help desk, also called a HelpDesk or IT help desk, typically focuses on incident management and problem resolution. The help desk team isn’t necessarily antisocial. However, it is often more invested in solving problems quickly rather than providing friendly service to end-users.

 

Many modern help desks in fact don’t interact with customers. Instead, they focus only on supporting internal IT needs. The help desk tracks incidents, solves problems, performs routing, and generally manages IT ticket workflow. It often is limited to Level 1 & 2 support in enterprise companies with the ability to manage service levels.


 

Help desks handle incidents, which are unplanned interruptions to, or reduced quality of, IT service. This includes things like computers not booting up, trouble logging in, or issues with a network connection. A help desk can provide a quick fix to resolve these issues.

 

When it comes to service requests, such as user requests for information or advice, IT help desks usually don’t have the capacity to meet customer demands. Yet, organizations can’t solely focus on minimizing employee downtime. To ensure positive customer experiences, they must make it easy for users to report issues and provide great customer service while resolving them. This calls for a service desk.

 

What is a Service Desk?

Sometimes called ServiceDesk, this support focuses more heavily on providing high-quality care when handling service requests. A service desk communicates directly with end-users such as customers and can also resolve internal incidents. The service desk handles service delivery by walking users through onboarding or provisioning access to software like Office 365, for example.

 

A service desk considers the big picture and the user experience of technical support. It may provide self-service options like articles explaining how to perform certain functions. Some service desk teams even manage online communities and forums where users ask questions and report incidents.

 

The service desk likely uses a help desk to close tickets and perform service request management. It also does much more. The team works proactively across an organization to improve IT management. If an opportunity to increase technical efficiency arises, you can trust the service desk to pursue it.

 

Ultimately, a service desk is more powerful than a help desk and more valuable for organizations with a growing customer base.

What About ITSM and ITIL?

While learning about help desks and service desks, you may have come across the terms ‘ITSM’ and ‘ITIL’.

 

  • ITSM stands for IT Service Management. This concept goes beyond even the service desk. ITSM includes everything IT in an organization and the planning and development of new IT services.

 

  • ITIL stands for IT Infrastructure Library. The ITIL describes a detailed framework for IT service best practices. It acts as an industry standard in IT, guides organizations in their pursuit to deliver quality services, and increases user satisfaction. Interested individuals can seek ITIL certification through qualified providers.

 

Especially large organizations like enterprise companies may require robust ITSM to manage their complex needs. They may also seek ITIL-certified individuals to include on their IT team.

 

Do You Need a Service Desk or Help Desk?

For a new organization, a Help Desk meets internal IT needs.

 

However, as a company grows, it will need a Service Desk. IT is becoming a business enabler that does far more than just resolving technical issues. This is especially true with the increased need to support users who are working remotely. Dependence on integration to third-party tools has also increased.

 

Management teams recognize that it’s more important than ever to enhance the user experience and improve the quality of services with the help of a service desk. If you’re dealing with rapidly growing demand on IT, a service desk is likely the best option.

 

Identifying a solution helps you build ITSM that enables organization-wide efficiency and increases user satisfaction. A solution that helps you get started quickly and easily make changes or improvements as needed lets you implement best practices without costing an arm and a leg.

Find the Best Service Desk For Your Organization

There are many service desk options available on the market today. However, you don’t want to pay for a system with features that don’t meet your needs. To identify the strongest solutions, here are some key things you’ll want to look for in a modern service desk:

 

  • Management. Be sure your solution manages everything: incidents, assets, problems, changes, contracts, and purchases.
  • Compatibility. Ideal service desks are accessible and usable across devices, including tablets and mobile phones for easily tagging and scanning assets.
  • Security. Check to make sure your service desk provider is compliant with IT security and other requirements.
  • Visibility. Robust solutions offer dashboards, reporting, real-time data, and business intelligence you can use to help make better decisions for your company.
  • Versatility. Service desk technology should be able to handle individual accounts as well as make bulk updates and changes when needed, like auto-resolving related requests.
  • Integrations. Does your organization already use warranty check software and other third-party solutions? A service desk that integrates with them means smoother implementation.
  • ITIL Practices. A service desk that uses best practices can be trusted.
  • ITSM Capability. This especially goes for large or growing companies.

Whether your organization is small or large, we have the right Help Desk/ Service Desk with advanced capabilities that can grow with your organization . BOSSDesk is a highly-ranked integrated ITIL service solution noted for its ease of use and customizability. With U.S.-based support and affordable pricing, organizations can meet all their Help desk, Service desk, and ITSM needs in one place.

          Get a free Demo of BOSSDesk Cloud or On Premise today! 

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Why Service Request Management (SRM) Matters

Service Request Mgt Blog2

Service Request Management (SRM) - Why IT Matters

A laptop computer - by itself - provides little value.

Think about it.  At the risk of stating the obvious, without an operating system, productivity software, network connectivity, anti-virus and security software, web browser, user account, and other enablers, a laptop computer is little more than an expensive paper-weight.

But let’s take this one step further.

Unless you are purchasing a laptop computer for your personal use, you likely aren’t thinking of all of the various individual enablers that might be needed to make the use of that laptop valuable to you when making a service request.  All you have to do is register a service request with your service provider and ask for a laptop computer.  As part of fulfilling that request, all of the needed enablers are included.  

This above scenario is a simple, but great illustration of why Service Request Management (SRM) matters.  SRM is all about delivering products and performing service actions that enable service consumers to get things done.

Why is good Service Request Management so important?

Service Request Management is one of the most visible service management practices within an organization.  And whether the SRM practice is formally defined or not, every organization is practicing SRM.  The question is “how well is SRM being done?”

Done well, SRM is a “satisfier” and drives positive user and employee experiences.  Improves efficiency and efficacy, 

Done poorly, SRM is a source of cost-overruns, unmet expectations, needless bureaucracy, and damaged reputations.

Yet, in many organizations, SRM is taken for granted

Seven good reasons why good SRM matters

In many organizations, SRM could be considered the “store front” for a service provider. Many organizations develop self-service portals that are inviting, well-organized, and simple to use. But good SRM is much more than just a self-service portal.  

SRM provides a standard, consistent channel through which service consumers and service providers interact. The SRM practice provides a means for accessing and realizing value for both service consumers and service providers.

Here are seven good reasons why good SRM matters:

  • Captures and measures the demand for IT products and services.  Is IT providing the right kind of products, support, and service actions at the right levels and at the right times?  What are the trends in service requests?  Are there opportunities for improvement? Good SRM provides the means for finding the answers to these questions and more.
  • Provides the key pillar for automation.  Many organizations would like to automate routine actions, but often fall short because of a lack of understanding what needs to be automated in the first place.  Simply put, you can’t automate what you don’t understand.  Defining request models – the repeatable and consistent steps involved in fulfilling service requests – is a critical first step for enabling automation and orchestration of service requests.  
  • Provides the operational fulfillment of organizational strategy.   Senior management defines the strategy and the budget for the use of technology within the organization. This strategy then becomes the basis for the design of services and the associated service actions and products for consuming those services.  It is the SRM that provides the tangible, day-to-day means for delivering those products and service actions by which the organization realizes achievement of its business strategy.  
  • Enables positive user and employee experiences.  When users can easily and effectively request and receive the products and service actions that they need to do their jobs, that leads to positive user (UX) and employee experiences (EX).  
  • Sets good expectations – and then delivers on those expectations.  Often the source of frustration for both service consumers and service providers is that sometimes neither party is clear in regards to what they should expect when it come to service requests.  Good SRM practices clearly articulate and publicize what both the service consumer and service provider should expect with every service request. 
  • Provides the ability to demonstrate adherence to or compliance with policies.  By using the standard products and service actions delivered by the SRM practice, consumers within an organization can be assured that they will be following applicable organizational policies.  So, whether it’s a password reset, delivery of a new smartphone or laptop, or any other request, the products and service actions delivered as part of the SRM practice are designed to comply with organizational policies. 
  • Provides the basis for effective self-service.  Most service requests are well-known and occur frequently.  These kinds of service requests are ideal candidates for requesting and fulfilling via self-service – and it delivers a win-win.  Not only are consumers empowered to work at their own pace and schedule, but the service provider is also freed up to spend more time and resources on more complex issues or work on other business initiatives. 
     
    Used right your ITIL Service Desk can really simplify Service Request Management

Does your Service Request Management matter?

Service Request Management (SRM), done well, makes a huge positive impact on organizations.  But if SRM isn’t making a difference in your organization, here are three things to do. 

  • Talk to stakeholders.  The people interacting with SRM – both from the provider and consumer perspectives – are the best source of information for how SRM can be improved.  What is their experience with SRM?  Where does friction exist within SRM?  Are there any bottlenecks or gaps that providers or consumers are having to work through? 
  • Take a look at service requests from the “outside in” perspective.  Often, service providers design SRM practices from the “inside out” – only considering what is required for the provider to capture and fulfill requests.  Start with the most frequently-occurring requests from the perspective of the requester – and ensure that they are intuitive to use and reflective of the work that needs to be done.
  • Review your SRM measures – Are you measuring the parameters that indicate that SRM matters?  Yes, there are the foundational SRM measures common to all organizations (time to fulfil, number of requests, etc.), but are you measuring (and publicizing) the parameters that make SRM matter to your organization?  For example, are you capturing the measures that indicate realization of organizational strategy, policy compliance, or positive UX/EX?  

    BOSSDesk provides a great user experience making it very easy for users to manage Service Requests


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About Doug Tedder: Doug Tedder is the principal consultant of Tedder Consulting LLC, a service management and IT governance consultancy. He is a recognized ITSM thought leader and holds numerous industry certifications ranging from ITIL®, COBIT®, Lean IT, DevOps, KCS™, VeriSM™, and Organizational Change Management. Doug is an author, blogger, and frequent speaker at local industry meetings and national conventions.  

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