What is an IT Service Desk?

A service desk is a centralized support center that provides IT services to businesses and organizations. The term “service desk” is typically used to describe the software application that helps businesses manage their IT services. However, the term can also refer to the team of people who work at the support center.

Service desks are important because they provide a single point of contact for users who need help with their IT systems. They also help businesses keep track of their IT assets and resolve problems in a timely manner. In addition, they can help businesses improve their overall customer service levels.

An effective IT service desk will have a positive impact on the overall efficiency of an organization. It can help to reduce the number of IT issues that arise, and it can also help to resolve those issues more quickly. If well run, it can also improve customer satisfaction by providing a high level of support. 

The Benefits of an IT Service Desk

There are many benefits to having an IT service desk, including:

  • Reduced downtime: When technical issues arise, they can often bring business to a standstill. By having a dedicated team in place to quickly resolve those issues, you can minimize the amount of downtime your business experiences.
  • Improved productivity: Technical issues can be frustrating and time-consuming for employees to deal with. By having a service desk in place, employees can get back to work quickly and without having to waste time troubleshooting problems.
  • Increased customer satisfaction: Poorly handled technical support requests can lead to angry customers. A service desk can help to ensure that all support requests are handled quickly and efficiently, which will lead to happier customers. 

The Power of IT Service Desks and Self-Service Portals

When it comes to IT Service Management (ITSM) – it’s important your IT service desk is supported by an equally robust knowledge base and self-service portal. Think of your service portal as the first line of defense when it comes to resolving issues, with your IT service desk there as a backup should self-service not work to resolve the problem, or if the problem is something that needs a human touch.

The main purpose of a self-service portal is to be an interface between your end-users (customers or employees) and your service provider – the IT service desk. Your portal should be connected to your knowledge base and be filled with information and tools that provide your end-users the ability to solve issues on their own, likely leading to a reduction in ticket volume for your busy IT service desk.

With a self-service portal, you can decrease the per-incident cost incurred by IT as fewer resources are used on each issue. The cost of a support call, on average, costs an organization $22, while a self-service incident costs $2.

A service portal also saves time because service desk employees don’t need to waste time addressing smaller issues that they get a call for. Rather, they can spend their time resolving more complex issues that a self-service portal is unable to fix.

Another benefit of self-service portals is higher satisfaction throughout the organization. Users like the independence and favor a “do it yourself” system over one where they need intervention from someone else.

Lastly, self-service portals lead to an enhanced overall user experience, because less of your end-users’ time is consumed by IT issues. Self-service doesn’t decrease the number of issues that arise for any single person, but it does greatly decrease the amount of time that is allotted to dealing with those issues.  

Oklahoma City IT Finds Success Using Portal, Knowledge Base to Drive Self-Service

In Oklahoma City, Business Systems Manager Dusty Borchardt credits well-defined processes and solid ITSM software for the city’s success in the modernization of its IT service desk.

With about 100 people providing IT services for more than 5,000 city employees, the IT department needs to work efficiently. TeamDynamix ITSM has allowed them to do so by streamlining the delivery of IT service through automated workflows.

“TeamDynamix has brought simplicity to our operations,” Borchardt said.

Using tools within the platform, Oklahoma City IT staff have created a self-service portal linked to an expanding knowledge base. City employees can find answers to common problems and frequently asked questions within the knowledge base, and if they can’t resolve their own issues, they can submit a service request through the portal.

Based on the nature of the problem they describe; their request is routed automatically to the appropriate IT team for a response. “Our goal is that use of the self-service portal will continue to grow, reducing our call volume and emails to the IT service desk,” Borchardt says.

Automated workflows also ensure that important tasks aren’t overlooked when IT staff are busy. For instance, when new city employees are hired there are many steps in the onboarding process. With TeamDynamix, the entire workflow can be initiated with a single service request that is routed automatically to the various departments. The same is true for requesting purchases and managing IT contracts.

“Before TeamDynamix, we had employees emailing requests directly to our administrative group within IT, and that was causing some issues,” Borchardt says. “Sometimes requests would fall through the cracks, and months would go by without anyone noticing.”

Using TeamDynamix has helped Oklahoma City’s IT support teams realize their vision for using industry best practices to improve the delivery of IT services.

“We adopted the ITIL framework more than 15 years ago. We’ve had effective processes in place for a while, but we haven’t had a decent toolset to manage them until now,” Borchardt concludes. “This is the first IT Service Management platform we’ve implemented that everyone loves to use.”

An IT service desk is a vital part of any organization’s infrastructure. It plays a crucial role in resolving technical issues and ensuring that businesses run smoothly. By investing in your IT service desk and promoting self-service, you can enjoy increased productivity, reduced downtime, and improved customer satisfaction.

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