What is an IT Service Desk?

Organisations everywhere are reliant on technology and software. Businesses couldn’t function without a robust stack of apps and IT services that support operational areas.

Behind these systems is the IT service desk, which could be an in-house or an outsourced provider. It supports everyone in an organisation and in many cases customers too. What is a service desk? Basically it’s the people you call when you need technical help.

To find out how much outsourcing your service desk could cost, click here >

Service desks manage everything from incidents to implementation requests. Typical IT service desks evolve around the needs of an organisation: monitoring and maintaining the technology that makes work possible. As companies grow, the IT services they need to operate become more complex. More can go wrong, and looking after a wide range of technology involves multiple updates and upgrades that require the most effective service desks to take a proactive approach.

Why do companies need IT service desks?

In the 1990s, during the first technology boom, service desks started to make an appearance. It was a specialised area, focused on the software and hardware, not the end-user. Service desks were needed to fix and maintain the systems and computers companies started using as technology adoption became commonplace in workplaces around the world.

Back then, service desks didn’t operate with timescales to resolve problems. The user, or customer experience, wasn’t a high priority.

Over time, as the sector evolved, service desks started to put the user first. IT went from reactive to proactive. It is no longer just about troubleshooting. The most effective service desks find ways to make organisations more efficient, reduce operational costs and improve how staff work and the way companies support their customers. A great service desk is a strategic resource as much as it is an operational necessity.

What do service desk analysts do? 

First and foremost, a service desk team is the single point of contact for technical issues that need to be fixed. With organisations more reliant on technology than ever, downtime is something that we all want to avoid. IT service desk analysts work hard to resolve problems within an agreed timescale (SLA), minimising downtime to ensure that staff can get on with their work.

Alongside reactive support, service desk analysts implement changes organisations need, keep third-party software updated and working effectively, and can play an active role in improving operational efficiency.

The IT support team also provide tools and systems that make it easier for users to resolve some simple problems themselves. As technology has evolved, self-serve has become a useful option that automates some service desk functions. Staff can fix problems themselves and get on with work quicker, which means IT teams can focus on more complex challenges.

A great service desk, whether in-house, a hybrid solution or managed by an outsource provider, can also be a strategic resource. If your organisation wants to scale or enter markets, the service desk is an important factor in many successful business plans. Ensuring that the business has capacity, that staff working from different sites can access systems and data, and that all of your company’s IT assets are secure, is essential.

Organisational benefits of outsourcing your IT service desk 

  • Save costs, stay scalable. With the right level of IT support, companies can scale service desk requirements as workloads require. When organisations outsource some or all of this function to a trusted partner, you’ve got more control of costs and outcomes. Taking a hybrid approach – working with an internal and external team – can make an organisation more agile and drive forward innovation.
  • Improve efficiency. With the right systems and software, staff can work more efficiently. Organisations can do more with less. Collaborative and remote work is easier to manage safely, and operational risks reduce when you’ve got IT security measures in place to protect against threats to the business such as disruption and downtime, cyber attacks and human error. 
  • Stay aware of staff sentiment. Support tickets don’t just highlight problems with technology. IT service desks also get an impression for how staff are feeling about work. If your systems or processes are causing difficulties, making it harder for staff to work, then a responsive service desk can recommend and implement ways to improve those processes with new software and solutions.

Service desks play important roles in many organisations. IT systems function better when specialists keep everything working. Companies are also more effective and efficient when they have IT support that understands their goals and objectives, then finds solutions that help them achieve those. 

If you have any questions about outsourcing your IT support requirements, please get in touch. For a quote, click on the link below.

Service desk quote
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