IT Governance

Why Have a Service Desk?

Those who wait on the end of the line to receive a service desk call – how vital are they? In an article for ServiceDesk360, Daniel Breston broaches the subject of service desk relevance. More than just “the place customers turn to when something breaks,” the service desk is (or ought to be) the heart and soul of IT:

…despite offering crucial services, we make service desk an entry-level role into IT.  Let me restate: the person that makes us look good, can help us see what is really happening, is the first person customers talk to and usually the last is also the person we pay the least and make it quite difficult to move into other roles. People don’t trust us because things break so let’s make sure we support their image by giving it to low cost, under-trained or informed, always changing staff is the current methodology of many organizations.

Why a Service Desk?

The tone is sarcastic but the problem Breston points to is real. The service desk was once the bastion of IT, and for good reasons. One, the service desk team knows more about what works and what doesn’t than anyone else in the whole of IT. Two, the service desk is at the front lines, solving real problems in real-time. Third, the service desk provides knowledge, collaboration, and advice. They can respond to order processing requests or track and escalate issues, and more.

The Rightful Role of Service Desk

Responding to a positive experience with “Lean” methodology, Breston reimagines the service desk as a function with the highest priority in IT, one directly empowered with business knowledge. Such a service desk would enable innovation from within the creation and design phases and would attend every change meeting as part of the service application team, not as conduits between the business and IT, but as mentors and guides to the entire IT operation.

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