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Service Desk Vs Help Desk: What Are The Differences?

We will start by explaining the definitions that are used most widely when it comes to service desks and help desks, including a few tips and examples. This will help you to select the right product for your business.

What Is The Help Desk?

The IT Help Desk is regarded as a lot more tactical. The main goal involves helping to rapidly resolve the end users’ urgent or immediate technical issues, needs, and incidents. The Help Desk can be explained as reactive, but it is also speedy and efficient. The IT Help Desk can either form a part of or be separate from a large service-desk system UK operation, designed to improve the organisation’s customer services overall.

Help desk key traits:

– Acts as a SPOC (single point of contact) for IT support
– Uses tracking solutions for every incoming incident
– Automates routing, email notifications, and ticket tracking
– Offers basic service request and incident management
– Some applications/areas supported by one or more specialty groups that fall outside the Help Desk
– Some limited integrating with other types of ITSM practices, including knowledge management and configuration – management
– Provides Levels 1 and 2 support, followed by passing incident ownership when escalation is required
– Displays basic self-service options for the end-users

Who Should Be Choosing The Help Desk?

The toolset designed for Help Desks will likely offer support for service and incident request management along with basic-change enablement-functionality. For less complex and smaller organisations, that have less reliance on IT, this would be a cost-effective and sensible option.

I have worked alongside many small organisations to help them improve and enhance their capabilities when it comes to IT service management. With most of these businesses, I have found that they are barely touching the surface when it comes to using the capabilities and uses of these toolsets they have invested in and implemented. These companies would have saved a lot of money while reaping similar rewards from the basic Help Desk solution. The full-blown service management solutions are not suitable for everyone.

What Is The Service Desk?

The IT Service Desk typically involves broader functions that are more cross-organisational and strategic. The Service Desk focuses on the wider context and needs of the business rather than only focusing on resolving the needs of the user, as the Help Desk does.

The ITIL definition of service operation or service desk is a single “point of contact” between the users and a service provider. In most cases, these service desks will manage service requests and incidents and handle communication with all the users. A service desk also usually has a Help Desk component, but the main goal involves being proactive to improve business processes and IT across an organisation. Premium service desks will always be looking for an opportunity to run and handle all IT processes more efficiently, and this includes the Help Desk.

Service Desk traits:

– Acts as SPOC for all business processes, IT areas, and applications
– Provides self-service capabilities for service and incident requests, using a service catalog that is integrated
– Tracks compliance with SLAs (service level agreements)
– Communicates and integrates with the CMDB (configuration management database)

The more mature organisations with a complex IT system that integrates with third-party vendors or relies heavily on their IT infrastructure will usually require a full-blown ITSM solution that comes with a built-in Service Desk function.

The Practices To Use For Choosing The Correct Tools

If you visit the forums and groups on LinkedIn, you will find many debates and arguments on this specific subject. The conversations will often cover the differences in the software type that you might use for facilitating work conducted on the desk that you choose. From my experience, I will share with you a few of the better practices to use to choose the right service or help desk tools to suit your organisation.