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3 Scale Considerations When Choosing a Service Desk

02/06/2014 by: The SunView Team

Functionality matters a great deal when you are choosing an IT service management solution, but scale is also an incredibly important consideration. It doesn't matter if you want a solid, effective help desk, a robust IT service desk or a fully-featured IT service management solution, you need to be sure that whichever platform type you select is deployed at the necessary scale to support your user base. Scale issues can have a major impact on support efficiency if a solution does not meet a company's size requirements.

When it comes to finding a solution that is the best size for your operational needs, keep the following considerations in mind:

1. Staffing requirements
How many people are working the help desk right now? How many do you plan on hiring during the next few years? Will your solution be able to scale to those expectations, or do you need to purchase a platform with anticipated requirements in mind? These questions are critical when figuring out the scale of your service desk deployment. The cost of having to refresh your service desk can be significant, so properly projecting scale based on your staffing requirements can lead to considerable cost savings over time as the organization is able to continue expanding its service desk staff without having to invest in a new solution to meet the new challenges created by a large-scale operation.

2. Locations
Branch offices are a common theme for businesses as operating solely in one location can limit an organization's access to skilled workers and lead to high real estate costs for large office buildings. Turning to a branch model spreads out the expenses and can open up new recruiting channels. However, it also means that the service desk needs to be deployed in a way that supports the needs of multiple operating locations. In many cases, businesses find that they are best off having a dedicated help or service desk staff at each location, or at least one central staff setup for each region that the company operates in.

The service desk needs to be able to handle the scale of operations in multiple locations while also being able to connect incident, problem and change management tasks that may cross boundaries between different branches. Scalability is a major challenge in this area because functionality and capacity issues intersect, but organizations that are proactive about anticipating their operational needs can obtain significant gains from a service desk capable of handling a wide range of tasks.

3. Cost
Pricing is a major consideration when finding a solution that meets your needs for issues relating to the size of operations in the service desk. Sometimes, purchasing a solution that meets current needs and replacing it over time may make sense, but only if you anticipate making major technological changes that make an entirely new platform necessary regardless of scale concerns. Finding the right price point depends on weighing functionality, features and capacity issues beside one another to find the ideal fit for your operational needs.

This balancing act is critical to maximizing the fiscal efficiency of your service desk, and it becomes much easier to deal with if you invest in a scalable solution you can more freely add new modules, features or users at any time. This can help you control costs by avoiding large projects. It also pays dividends if a business changes in unexpected ways, as a scalable service desk can be adjusted accordingly, helping organizations avoid a complete refresh.

Scale is a major issue with the service desk and while the ability to support a large number of users may not be as important as other features, it can have a major impact on pricing and efficiency.