Service Desk

This is an excerpt, you will find more detailed descriptions in the book.

Service Desk is an important part of the IT organization as it is the primary contact with the business’s users. As well as managing incidents and orders, Service Desk acts as the interface between IT and the users for all types of issues.

A well-functioning Service Desk can often compensate for other shortcomings within the IT organization, but a poorly functioning Service Desk can result in a poor reputation throughout the business, even if the rest of the IT organization is functioning effectively. The function is the IT organization’s outward face towards the business and is thus often what the users perceive as the IT department.

Purpose

The purpose of Service Desk is to provide an effective and clear communication channel between the IT organization and the business’s users. This means that information from the IT organization to the users .should also go via Service Desk. The users will thus naturally turn to Service Desk when they have questions, and moreover the staff on Service Desk will always be familiar with the information that is provided.

Service Desk also functions as a hub for internal ticket management within the IT organization. The Coordination process is managed by Service Desk and includes all issues that are to be implemented within the IT organization. Suggestions for improvement from users must be registered and forwarded to the function concerned. Incidents and orders that are dealt with by an external partner are managed by Service Desk. The user will receive feedback trough Service Desk. Having control of the flow of issues is a cornerstone in the IT organization and all other functions are dependent on statistics and reports on how this functions.

Responsibility

Service Desk is responsible for all contact with the users, regardless of which part of the IT organization is handling the issue. Naturally, all staff within the IT organization occasionally have direct contact with users. However, it is the function’s responsibility that contact takes place according to set procedures.

The function also has overall responsibility for and coordination of all issues within Operation. The coordination entails having control of and distributing ongoing issues, as well as regulating the workload placed on resources within Technical Management and Application Management.

Service Desk’s responsibility comprises, but is not limited to:

  • Registration of all issues received from the users
  • Performing initial diagnosis and support
  • Resolving incidents when possible
  • Executing documented orders from users
  • Escalating issues that cannot be resolved within agreed time parameters
  • Finalizing and checking all resolved incidents and service requests
  • Conducting surveys as agreed
  • Communication with the users – keeping them informed about ongoing issues, notifying them of forthcoming changes or agreed stoppages etc.
  • Updating existing documentation such as known errors and temporary solutions
  • Coordination of resources within Technical Management and Application Management

Organization and working method

The core of a Service Desk is that it should be the single point of contact (SPOC) between IT and users. Many organizations choose to use smaller groupings or individual users with local responsibility for support (super users), who have specialist expertise in certain systems or parts of the business.

How this is structured, whether it is one or several groupings, doesn’t really matter. What is important is that Service Desk acts as a single function where all groups use the same ticket management system, the same documentation sources and the same procedures. A Service Desk can thus include staff who are not organizationally employed within the IT organization.

Users should not need to wonder about where they should address a question or report an Incident. It is therefore important that the Service Desk function is structured so that all groupings with which the user first comes into contact can register and manage all types of issues. This section is called first line support and is usually managed by a central Service Desk grouping.

If the person who takes the issue in the first line cannot resolve the issue, it is passed to more specialized groups. These groups are called second line support. It is here it becomes important that all groups use the same system for ticket management so that it is simple to send tickets between different groupings. Examples of second line support can be more advanced technical expertise or hands-on application support.

Issues which are really tricky to resolve or where the IT organization does not have its own advanced expertise are passed on one level to third line support. This level is not counted as a part of the Service Desk and is made up of, for example, other functions within the IT organization or external suppliers.

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