The Key Differences Between a Help Desk and a Service Desk

SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

By SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog


Today’s blog post is a guest blog from Sri Ravindranath, SADA’s Service Desk Manager. SADA’s Service Desk provides support across all of SADA’s solutions and services, and can be reached at [email protected]

For many organizations, their IT help desk plays an essential role to in everyday operations, providing clients with the information and support needed to ensure the successful adoption of a company’s services or solutions. In general, the IT help desk is staffed by individuals who receive emails or calls from users that require assistance. These requests then propel the help desk staff into a “fire-fighting” mode, as they work to resolve the user’s issues. And while help desk operations are beneficial and sometimes necessary, I thought it was important to announce my team’s transition from being called a help desk, to our recent rebranding as SADA’s Service Desk.

There are a few differences between a help desk and a service desk that I’d like to go over, as these reasons are the foundation of our rebranding. The first is that a service desk ideally moves away from more inefficient and reactive help desk processes, to a proactive, highly productive and efficient service, which has the benefit of becoming more cost-effective over time.

A service desk designed with ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) initiatives uses a standard set of best practices for lowering costs and improving the quality of IT service delivery. The aim of a service desk is to act as the operational interface between the IT organization and its clients, in order to achieve the client’s goals.

Whereas a help desk consists of a single, or very few processes, a service desk usually involves a number of processes that are highly integrated and work together seamlessly. Service desk operations includes request, incident, problem, change and knowledge management, while a help desk provides simple ticketing at the low end. Help desks also provide limited workflows and basic service level agreements.

SADA’s Service Desk is concerned with not only with taking and responding to our client calls, but managing the entire lifecycle of the request as it evolves through other relevant processes. For instance, a call may originate as a simple incident which may then evolve into a problem that can be related to several other incidents. This problem may subsequently require a physical change in the environment for our Service Desk team to resolve, at which point it will trigger a change request. This change request will then need to be assessed and actioned and eventually get rolled into a release which requires testing and deployment. At each stage of its evolution any one of our Service Desk team members has complete process visibility, where they can see the underlying request hierarchy. Throughout the entire process, information with the knowledge base is scanned, together with the properties and attributes of the Configuration Item (CI). This simple example demonstrates how different business units or groups can be involved and how they can work together very easily, ultimately improving the efficiency of the entire process, rather than using a single isolated Incident Management process.

Our Service Desk team looks forward to the ways that we can provide our current and future clients with the multi-varied support that our new title entails. If you have any questions about our Service Desk, please feel free to visit our website.

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