Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
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What do Dinosaurs, Dodos and Service Desks have in Common?

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blog-service-desk-extinctionIt is understood that dinosaurs and dodos are extinct because they couldn’t adapt quickly enough to changes. We don’t want our service desks to follow in their footsteps. In the dinosaurs case, they weren’t able to cope with alternations to their environment. In the dodo’s case, they were oblivious to the threat of people who had begun to settle in their territories. Service desks need to make sure they are constantly evaluating initiatives and strategies, which will allow them to evolve with their organisation and not at the expense of it.

Traditionally, the service desk has been seen as more of a help desk. It’s viewed as being IT orientated and simply works to fix or resolve IT issues once notified by a customer of a problem. This is a risky way for a service desk to operate with customers having more modern requirements. The modern service desk needs to be customer focused and not just be reactive. It should be a single point of contact for the customer regarding IT and fulfil a service.

A 2013 survey undertaken by a leading industry analyst stated that 86% of board directors believe IT is strategic to their organisation and necessary to drive business growth and to provide a competitive edge. Yet during a poll carried out during a webinar with Tony Probert, the majority of participants responded saying their budget for 2014 had been either reduced or frozen.

There are 5 identified forces driving service desk change:

  1. Customer expectation – If IT doesn’t meet customers’ expectations, customers will find someone who will meet their expectations. You need to be able to say “yes” to the demands of your customers.
  2. Need to demonstrate business value – Showing your worth to the company is important. Metrics are useful here, but it is more beneficial to show how the business would be effected by specific services being lost. Not showing value means it is unlikely to be funded.
  3. Agile service delivery – Today, people require solutions in hours and days not weeks and months. The service desk needs to be able to provide quick solutions. It needs to be a close partner to the business and to also show ROI.
  4. Delivery of service automation – This improves the availability of services overall, which in turn, leads to increased productivity. It can also help with measuring and improving performance. This can create some breathing space while service desk staff work on more complex issues.
  5. Proactive service management – this means service desks need to look beyond just supplying traditional IT services, to become change agents. The result should be the delivery of new and improved customer focused business services.

Of course, there are many other strategies or initiatives you could consider, but the above items are some core things that can begin to make a difference and potentially deliver some quick wins.

Service desks need to have a shift of focus. IT traditionally sees itself at the centre with the service desk on the peripheral. Ideally, it should utilise the service desk as the single point of contact and a part of the heart of the organisation. This is how you will thrive and secure the future of your service desk. Merely surviving puts you constantly under threat. Evolution with the business means, unlike the dinosaurs and the dodos, your service desk will not become extinct.