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Top 5

Show Your Best Face at the IT Service Desk

by Jochen Steudle

The service desk is the voice and face of the IT Department and can become a reflection of the entire organization’s culture. In fact, the service desk is the intelligent interface and enabler for all kinds of processes related to operational Service Integration and Management (SIAM), including incident, problem, access, change and request management.

ISG has identified the following Top 5 key principles for designing an effective service desk.

1. Define the purpose of the service desk. Before you begin to design the service desk, first consider the needs and expectations of the end users. If end users are typically “consuming” IT, they will expect a fast and direct solution. If end users are knowledgeable about IT and first look for solutions themselves, they will expect fast dispatch to the real expert. Align the service desk with the culture of the organization.

2. Manage performance and perception. A service desk amounts to a minority of IT spend but the majority of the perception of IT. Knowing how the service desk should perform and managing its performance are critical to the success of the IT Department.Focus on the most important service levels: first contact resolution (FCR) rate, the average speed to answer (ASA) rate, and the related abandon rate. Today, most service desks operate in multi-sourced environments; be sure to design end-to-end solutions to avoid ticket Ping-Pong.

3. Handle demand in accordance with policies. Design an actionable service catalog with input from organizational units as a means for managing day-to-day service requests. Following clearly stated organizational policies will help service desk agents to quickly record and resolve incidents as well as service requests, making it easier to manage demand.

4. Expand on service desk interaction. Though the most common interaction with the service desk is still via phone, email and web forms are increasingly welcomed by users, and the digital native generation prefers to chat via instant messaging. Consider a social media platform like Microsoft Yammer or IBM Connection; peer-based help functionality is clearly a growing trend in solving issues. Depending on organizational culture, frequently asked questions (FAQ) and knowledge databases can build on these self-help platforms.

5. Select the appropriate service desk toolset. The service provider can use its own service management toolset or operate the toolset defined and provided by the customer.Given the market trend to perform the majority of SIAM in-house, customers now tend to use their own tool for data transparency and exchangeability of providers. When the customer uses its own tool – which can be an installed software solution or a cloud-based service – any service provider can manage it with very little extra transformation work. The provider, however, generally prefers using its own toolset to create economies of scale across customers.

ISG has the expertise and experience to help design your service desk. Contact Jochen SteudleJames Kane, ISG Global End User Computing Lead, or the SIAM practice to discuss further.

About the author

Jochen Steudle supports in all aspects of assessments of existing IT-Service to increase the value contribution of IT and to also improve their efficiency. With many years of experience, longstanding expertise and acquired skills on IT and sourcing strategies and transactions (Solution Design for Outsourcing-contracts, Selection of supplier, Business Case, Contract development and negotiation) assesses customers and their IT Services, compares them with the market and consults them with their transformation projects. In a large variety of situations he has – from the service provider point of view - with the customer defined the requirements of a successful outsourcing and based on that developed and performed successful solutions. Thereby he has created IT-Solutions and negotiated the contracts for those solutions - for both, newly agreed as well as existing outsourcing relationships. Jochen has cross-industry End User Computing knowledge and experience with large and medium size companies and their IT-Demand.