What is an IT Service Desk?The service desk, specifically within IT, represents the support that IT provides to employees, or end users, for its products and services. According to ITIL, the service desk is an element of the overall service management structure that serves as a single point of contact between employees and IT technicians. Essentially, the IT service desk is the place your employees go when they have questions about (or issues with) the tools and software they need to do their jobs.
History of the IT Service DeskThe IT service desk (or help desk) of the past was fundamentally different than its present-day iteration. Initially established as a function to support and fix IT issues, it was much more focused on the technology involved rather than the people using the technology. The function of the IT service desk began to evolve with the introduction of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) in the 1990s. ITIL set out to establish a universal framework of best practices around the concept of IT providing services to support end users rather than the technology itself, introducing elements like service level agreements (SLAs). With the release of ITIL v2 in the early 2000s, the service desk function continued to mature, taking on a prominent the role in incident and request management. Globalization and the transition from on-premise to cloud-based services in the technology landscape have created a ripe environment for the development of comprehensive IT service management (ITSM) platforms. These ITSM platforms can now serve as a centralized management system for the entire IT function. As the convergence of technology, customer and user experience, and business processes continues to evolve through Digital Transformation, the IT service desk is becoming a key element of the overall business process. This will continue to be the case as the best practices honed in IT over the last few decades makes its way into other departments within the organization that also function as service providers like HR, facilities, and more.
What an IT Service Desk DoesThe IT service desk is primarily responsible for managing incidents, responding to and resolving user (employee) issues and requests, and facilitating communication across all departments and employees.
Other areas the service desk can support include:
- Employee Onboarding / Offboarding
- Contract and PO Management
- License Compliance Management
- Risk Management
- Vendor Management
- Internationalization & Globalization
Benefits of an IT Service Desk
A robust and mature IT service desk helps your organization simplify and automate service requests from your employees, reduce support workload, and provide your employees with an exceptional service experience.