There are some important questions that should be asked of providers by organisations considering signing up for a full-equipped Service Desk solution. After all, this is an important decision with considerable ramifications.
Any organisation's Service Desk provides a single point of contact and interface for both users and IT employees: it's a window into the organisation's entire IT environment, actively monitoring incidents and user questions and it should work to maximise service availability.
The Service Desk performance is a clear demonstration of competency, efficiency and professionalism. If it doesn't leave customers satisfied, the organisation has a major problem.
Far from being a gloried help desk, the Service Desk should be measured, monitored and controlled within the discipline of IT Service Management, as defined by the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL).
Research House IDC says:" The rapid proliferation of disruptive trends such as the consumerisation of IT, BYOD, mobility, and virtualisation is driving increasingly heterogeneous and hybrid IT environments that, in turn, are adding significant complexity to IT service delivery and support within the enterprise.
"As IT environments become ever more hybrid, Service Desk management solutions that offer advanced integration with both on-premises and cloud-based technologies will increasingly gain traction in the enterprise. Likewise, the need for better change control, discovery, software license management, and compliance tracking is also helping drive demand in this market," says Robert Young, Research Manager, Client Device and IT Service Management Software.
"In addition, Service Desk software delivered through SaaS will also continue to be a growth driver as customers continue to seek solutions that reduce up-front capital expenditures as well as ongoing maintenance costs. What's more, SaaS-based solutions can often offer faster procurement and delivery time frames than on-premises implementations."
Questions to ask
- Relevant questions that should be asked of potential providers include:
- Is their Service Desk is dedicated to the task, or is it comprised on shared resources?
- Is an ITSM tool used, such as Remember or ServiceNow and are they properly configured?
- Is there a formal process in place for the Service Desk to use?
- Are any processes in place based on a methodology like ITIL?
Properly monitoring and reporting on the performance of the Service Desk is also important.
- Does the business have a clear understanding of what the Service Desk will deliver?
- Is there a Service Catalogue in place. Are there agreed service levels established and do they get regularly reported to the business?
- Do regular meetings happen with the business to discuss the Service Desk performance?
Another key indicator and predictor of Service Desk performance is staff satisfaction and contentment.
- What is the staff turnover of the Service Desk?
- Is there a career path available to the analysts?
- Do the staff receive proper on-going training in ITIL and CompTIA+?
- Does the provider have adequate strategies to cope with staff absences?
The best time to ask all these questions is before any agreement is signed, not after.
Staff turnover has a direct relationship to Service Desk user satisfaction. Does the provider do regular customer satisfaction surveys and what are the results? A high level of customer satisfaction points to a well operating Service Desk.
Organisations seeking a Service Desk now have a variety of options and flexibility available, for example, Logicalis offers on-premise Service Desks for larger customers who want it outsourced, but in-house.
Customers can opt for a leveraged, on-shore Australian based Service Desk, located in a Logicalis office, or some form of hybrid using some or all of the options. Logicalis has a record of service excellence having deliver 1,000 project over the past decade, plus more than 100 managed services customers.
As to the overall future of the Service Desk and overall customer service, Research firm Gartner predicts that "By 2016, 35% of IT operations organisations will have 75% of IT service desk contacts from the business resolved by virtual assistants."
To find out more about Logicalis' Service Desk offering, go here.