Blogging AllianceIT GovernanceRyan Ogilvie

The Evolution of the Service Desk: A Better Help Experience


Is your Service Desk still relevant? Pretty bold question when we are talking about how we provide support and services for our business needs? For the most part IT organizations have set up a ‘help desk’ to address their business challenges with regards to IT. Over time this may have transitioned to a Service Desk. The challenge is whether this has been a transformation in name only.

The first thing you need to understand is the way that the business consumes IT services is always changing. Think about the way your business works today compared to even just a few years ago. People have become mobile and may be leveraging an ever increasing wealth of external services from the cloud. Has your Service Desk changed to meet this demand?

There is quite a bit to consider and this is not likely a simple answer. What the question does do is to get you to start thinking about the big picture in regards to service delivery and support. Think about the journey your Service Desk has already taken. In doing this, take these thoughts into consideration:

Ways you received escalations

When you started out you may have only received emails and phone calls to escalate issues. Does this still remain true? Remember that your business, whose needs continue to evolve, may find these avenues inadequate. Your business may be looking to leverage information and modes of escalations to include messaging, social media, as well as portals that have self-help knowledge articles. The other component of evolution is that the people in your business are far better-equipped to help themselves with the introduction of tools that are far more “user-friendly” than they were in the past.

Ways you assisted your customers

A challenge that the business faced in the past was that interactions with IT were very tech-centric. Typical dealings with IT may have been with someone who seemed to almost speak another language. While IT was seen as people who fixed things, the business may not have been in a position to really know how to interact with them. Now, as our exposure to technology has increased, the business has more confidence in the way it communicates the issues or requests it has. The technology has also improved in terms of simplicity regarding user experience, so some of the magic on who these things work in the back-end are starting to disappear. Because of this evolution the business prefers a more business-centric approach to facilitate the escalation. It is from there, when applicable, that the issue is routed to the appropriate technical support resources.

Customer expectations

Your business is working in an economic climate that drives them to work as effectively and efficiently as possible. In the environment where “time is money,” being results-oriented for the business objectives is critical. If the business does not get what they are looking for, they will look elsewhere for the answers they need. This is primarily where the term ‘shadow IT’ comes into frame. In my opinion shadow IT is not a good or bad thing, but it is a reality, so getting over this fact and addressing it within your organization is a must.

It’s never too late to consider how you are interacting with your business. IT needs to better understand the way in which the business works, not the other way around. Start by opening the dialogue to see where improvements can and should be made. Ensure that you measure how well you are doing in this regard and have a strategy to review this regularly, to ensure a continued evolution to strategic partnership with the business.


For more brilliant insights, check out Ryan’s blog: Service Management Journey

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