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The One Thing You Need to Know About the Service Desk - It's All About Fit

12/09/2013 by: The SunView Team

Service Desk/Help Desk

The IT service desk can make positive contributions to many aspects of service management, meaning there are plenty of things to consider when making solution decisions. However, all of these points for evaluation eventually boil down to a single point that every IT decision maker should be aware of - the IT service desk must be the right match for operational needs and be flexible enough to grow as requirements change.

This represents a significant mindset change for companies that have long been depending on homegrown help desks or monolithic solutions that far exceed operational needs. An IT service desk is like a suit, if it fits well it can make a person look amazing, if the fit is off, it often does more bad than good.

Looking at the problem of ill-fitting service desks
Buying a service desk that is too big for a company's needs can be incredibly wasteful and even become shelfware. You can't afford to have a new service desk sit on a shelf for three years while you try to get your processes and systems in order to support the solution. By the time the service desk is finally put into place, it may not even meet your needs anymore because the IT department has changed.

Shelfware may be an extreme example, but an expansive service desk that is too big for a company can also create waste by forcing the organization to deploy a team of specialty consultants to help them update their system to support the solution. All that cost, and the service desk is still left with modules and functions that are under-utilized because the company doesn't really need them.

It is also possible, and just as damaging, to under-buy on a service desk. A solution that is too big will create direct and immediate waste. A platform that is too small will do its damage in subtler ways - by limiting IT functionality and service efficiency - creating considerable problems over time that can get in the way of operational innovation and IT service management success.

Either of these extremes can handcuff an organization by preventing it from properly aligning its service desk with its business needs. Having an inefficient service desk is not an option in an era when emerging technologies are transforming how corporate and IT goals intersect. Instead, companies must carefully analyze their needs and compare those requirements with the solutions available to find the option that best meets their capacity and operational requirements.

While finding the best fit is critical, IT purchasers must also be sure that the service desk they are considering is flexible enough to adapt to shifting IT needs.

Getting a service desk that can handle the future
One reason many organizations overbuy with the service desk is that they do not want to have to scrap their current solution when it comes time for an upgrade. This is a major problem as many solutions are built with a specific audience in mind and incapable of flexing to meet shifting requirements. There are, however, some systems built for scalability. These platforms feature interoperable modules that can be added or taken from the service desk based on changing needs.

If you need an incident management system, but are not worried about change at this point, you still have options. Solutions like ChangeGear feature interoperable modules, allowing you to start out with an incident management system built into a help desk, but easily upgrade to include change management as your needs evolve over time.

Contemporary IT departments are constantly evolving, they are not stagnant background facilitators. As such, companies benefit substantially from a service desk that offers the right fit and can change with them over time.