BLOG – The evolution of the Service Desk

Ben O'Loghlin

Service Desks, or Help Desks as we used to call them, have been around for years. If we look back to the early 1980's we had the early vendors like Peregrine and BMC who gave IT support the ability to log trouble tickets and track their lifecycle.

In the late 1980’s client service architectures become the order of the day so we shifted  from mainframe green screens to windows based client server technologies.

Products like HP Openview Service Desk or commonly referred to as OVSD entered the market, provide a richer user experience for the Service Desk agents. At around the same time the Helpdesk become known as the Service Desk as the focus shifted from simply helping “users” fix issues to actually viewing these users/employees as customers of the services provided by IT. The Service Desk became shop front to IT as the level of reliance on technology increased across the business. As more technology began driving business it was necessary to have clearly defined processes and SLA’s on how to support this rapidly growing mix of technologies used to support the business. it become clear we needed a process framework and so ITIL was born.

Organisations across the globe invested heavily to employ process consultants to help define and document best practice processes aligned to the ITIl Framework. With  process swim lanes in place and roles and responsibilities defined we needed to educate IT staff to use a common taxonomy and understood and Incident was not a Request. Vendors acknowledged the adoption of ITIL and importance of supporting it and so  to ITIL verified was introduced with Pink Verify able to assist in verifying.

So now we had processes defined according to a framework we had people educated on Incident vs Request vs Problem and we had a tools to drive the process which relied on people – people, process, technology.

What we failed to achieve is how do we improve the service experience for our employees, call wait times increased, call resolution times increased and scaling the Service Desk was expensive, more calls resulted in more Service Desk staff. And so the inevitable happened, service experience declined with an overloaded Service Desk, employees waited days for their issues to be resolved and business productivity was impacted resulting in “we can outsource the service desk for less expense”. This has  it’s own challenges if not done correctly which I will talk in in a future blog.

Software vendors being the innovative crowd they are continued to innovate and SaaS was born with products like ServiceNow where Opex vs Capex being the discussion of the day. While SaaS certainly removed the operational overhead for the IT department of having to manage yet another application, it did little to solve the employees service experience when dealign with the Service Desk, which research shows the important factors are:

  1. How quickly can you solve my issue
  2. Can you solve it on first contact
  3. Can you keep me updated on the progress if you cant solve it on first contact

Instead we moved to solve only part of the problem – the load on the Service Desk and having to do more with less. We invested in self-service portals and asked users to try and solve their issues themselves with Knowledge Article before contacting the Sevrice Desk and so the phrase “shift left” was coined.

And so we usher in a new era, and era where Artificial Intelligence (AI) enables IT to deliver a rich service experience to the employees by solving their issues quickly and on first contact. An era where AI is embedded in the enterprise application an abstracts the complexity of AI through Observe | Learn | Augment | Automate. An era where doing more with less is possible. An era where we can do more with less and deliver the best possible service experience for our employees.

Don’t be stuck in the NOW. the Smart | Simple | Better way to run your Service Desk

Get our latest news

Get our latest news
By signing up you agree to Servicely's privacy policy