The IT world is full of difficult to understand terms, making it tough to keep track of the tools, processes, and frameworks used. Still, three terms stand out a bit – service and help desks, and ITSM. The term you use matters since you might not be accurately describing the capabilities if you use the wrong one for a specific aspect. Understanding each one is important to help you optimize your business processes.
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ITSM stands for IT service management, and it refers to the way an IT team manages the delivery of IT. That includes every activity or process to deliver, create, and support the various aspects. The idea is that IT is a service. It is easy to confuse ITSM as a basic support. Still, a team in this field actually oversees various technology in the workplace. They work with everything from critical software to servers to laptops. There are clear processes in ITSM, including incident management, problem-solving, and IT asset management. Some of them are about more than just regular IT support. ITSM is about all types of activities involved in effective IT delivery. Remember, the two different types of tools are only a tiny part of ITSM.
Understanding service desks
A service desk is just a contact point between the provider and users. Usually, it will manage requests, incidents, and various communication with its users. You can think of it as a type of communication center where users, such as employees, can look for help from the IT provider. The idea is to resolve issues as soon as possible. There are often several ITSM activities at these tools as well. For instance, they usually manage requests, incidents, knowledge, and reporting, among others.
The idea is to quickly and efficiently resolve incidents. At the same time, it offers a self-service portal to users, especially if their issues can be resolved swiftly and independently. It also provides metrics on the effectiveness of the team and tool. The exact features of one of these tools can vary, but all of them are focused on the end user, not just problem resolution.
About help desks
These tools consist of groups of people offering assistance or information for computer and other electronic issues. It might seem relatively similar to a service desk, but these tools do not focus as much on the customer. The goal is to fix computer issues, not necessarily focus on the users – they tend not to be customer-focused. These tools are also more limited to certain ITSM activities, such as fixing breaks or managing incidents. On the other hand, service desks tend to cover a broader range of things.
Is there a difference between the two types of desks?
Service desks have evolved from help desks, and the idea is to manage IT as more of an experience. They want to offer a great experience to users. Their goal is to solve issues and also provide information. They are part of IT delivery and built around the service lifecycle. In contrast, help desks evolve around mainframe computing and are simply designed to help with issues. They manage incidents, known as break-fixes. These tools were often simple to add on to already existing IT activities, unlike service desks.
Why using the right tools is critical
If your organization’s team decides to go with a specific type, you’ll need to think about the best software. It is the basis of all ITSM activities, so take your time when researching the right fit. They are the point of contact between your employees and the IT team. Look for a solution that offers things such as reporting and knowledge management. Simultaneously, it should not be difficult to set up and use on a regular basis. It should be adaptable to your needs so you can customize it, and it should ensure collaboration between users and the IT team.
A software with these features lets you offer much better support, offering more value. Even if you decide to go with a help desk instead, it’s still important to choose your software carefully. It will let you keep track of specific issues and figure out who is solving what. It allows the whole team to be more efficient, effective, and collaborative.