In response to the AXELOS The Future ITSM Professional report, AXELOS associate Toby Moore and Dr Tuuli Bell, partner manager at Tasktop Technologies, explore emerging issues in a key function of IT: The Service Desk
An effective Service Desk is key to a successful IT department, but as IT continues to evolve over the next decade will the parameters move?
The impact of 'shift left thinking' on the service desk
“We’re seeing a move to ‘shift-left’ or zero level support in this area,” explains Tuuli. “Traditionally, Service Desk teams would answer lots of simple questions such as ‘why won’t my computer do this or that’. Previously, the customer wouldn’t have tried basic things. But now, people call the Service Desk and have tried a few things, even if it’s just switching their computer off and on again, asking a colleague for help or looking online. This is shift-left thinking.”
As the customer has increasing knowledge and capability in IT, it has had a knock-on effect for the Service Desk to ensure customer satisfaction and the right level of support.
The need for a service-oriented approach
“Take a typical issue in a traditional IT department like a problem with someone’s virtual machine,” said Toby. “Often this kind of issue is unresolvable on the first line due to access privileges or knowledge. However, with the right knowledge and access – the type usually held by the third line – it could be fixed in 30 seconds. Instead, this type of issue is passed to the third line and could take up to three days to be fixed.
“This is why we need a service-oriented approach,” Tuuli added. “We need to understand the importance of that person not having access. For example, if they are producing quotes for a piece of work that is a business-impacting service it should be prioritized accordingly. Service Desks should be moving away from traditional first line, second line structures.”
The emergence of new communication channels and automated platforms
Toby agrees. “Previously it was the high profile, sensitive or fragile issues that would sit with third line who hold more of the knowledge, but this creates issues. Yes, we should put highly skilled people on these problems but also need to capture knowledge and processes and get this into the hands of the people solving the issues on the first line.”
Alongside the trend to shift-left and re-prioritization of issues, the Service Desk is also seeing a change in the use of different communications channels.
“Twitter is one platform being used by customers to ask questions,” said Tuuli. “Artificial Intelligence is another emerging area. Businesses are beginning to use automated processes and things like chat bots for example.”
“This is definitely an emerging area,” Toby added. “It’s not long before things adopted in the consumer space move into the commercial and the Service Desk needs to consider what interaction looks like with the arrival of these new channels.”
Read Parts one and two of Tuuli and Toby's discussion
Part one: The importance of collaboration in the evolution of ITSM
Part two: Is it the end of the road for IT?
Download the Future ITSM Professional Report
To hear more of Tuuli and Toby’s discussion listen to the full webinar, Putting service before IT: Exploring the Future of ITSM.