Service Desk Success: An opportunity for differentiation
In a world of multi-media and globalization, it is a constant struggle for organizations to standout in a saturated marketplace. Be it a financial, education, healthcare or not-for-profit organization, the need to positively differentiate from competitors is the only way to gain an edge over the ever-present competition.
Promoting a culture of service management, both internally and externally, is the key to being more relevant to customers within any market vertical. This allows organization to shape its products and service based on the specific requirements of its business and customers and encourages business confidence by providing more reliable service and support.
Internally, IT service management encourages a clear understanding of actual IT capabilities, and promotes IT service continuity. In most cases, the largest percentage of the IT spend is in on the day-to-day support costs and this can be reduced by an effective service management process.
Service management ensures IT resources are aligned with business requirements, and allows the IT department to appropriately identify points of flexibility and adaptability within the services they provide. This ensures service issues and change requirements are handled efficiently and effectively, to keep organizations running at an optimum level.
Many organizations erroneously believe that the Service Desk tool is the greatest cost in providing support when it has been well proven that it only represents about 4% of the total IT budget (refer to Gartner’s IT Key Metrics Data). This means that the greatest cost in providing service is staff-related. In fact, Gartner estimates this is to be around 86%. Therefore, the efficiencies gained through the implementation of a quality service desk will dramatically decrease the cost of providing service through the decreased staffing costs alone.
The Service Desk
The point in service management where people, process and technology blend to deliver a business service is at the Service Desk. The service desk provides the essential daily contact between Customers, Users, IT service and any relevant Third-party support organization. The main objective of the service desk is to drive and improve service support to, and on behalf of an organization.
This Customer-facing support service is a single point of contact that provides advice, guidance and rapid restoration of normal services to its customers and users. It handles Requests, Incidents, Problems and Change requests. More than this, it also manages maintenance contracts, software licenses, and provides Service Level Management and Configuration Management.
The successful implementation of a service desk results in a professional service that builds business confidence and provides greater customer satisfaction. This is a result of the professional service that is positioned to provide a consolidated and fiscally positive business activity that impacts all aspects of service beyond the IT department. The key to service desk success is the employment of professional people, well-defined and repeatable processes and good tools, which in-turn makes the product or service being supported, to some degree, immaterial.
Adopting a service management approach results in benefits across all level of any business:
- Customers – obtain a sustainable, reliable, secure, quality service
- Line Management – achieve greater control over the change management process
- Senior Management – can monitor performance and adjust resources appropriately
- Boards – gain confidence from the adoption of best practices service, which in turn are mitigate personal risk
- Business Partners – provides greater control over inter-business risks.