Where will service and support head in the future?

For many organisations their service desk is the face of IT to the business. It’s where problems get raised, requests for new assets are made and issues are fixed. However, while service desk professionals provide a valuable service back to the business, it does mean that the most common point of association for IT activities is around things going wrong.

PC or printer not working? Ask IT. Need report data that has not come through? Ask IT. Require a software update? Ask IT.

The role of the service desk is changing, though; much more emphasis is being placed on the quality of service that IT can provide back to the business, rather than the plain “break/fix” offering that is currently in place. At the Service Desk and IT Support Show 2013, the main talking points were around how the wider changes in IT would positively affect the role of the service desk, particularly as individuals become more “IT literate” and social IT tools become commonplace.

The old method of taking a ticket and getting to the back of the support line is changing as users opt for more self-support and self-service. In response to the changes in how IT assets are being used, the service desk will become more collaborative in its approach. This will include increased use of chat and social media tools to interact with users, but also amongst the support profession in general.

Collaboration in general is a big theme as it points to the future for IT support and service. As the kinds of problems that the support team has to deal with change from simple things like password requests over to more involved calls for assistance, each call will potentially become more complex.

Dealing with these issues will require a new approach - bringing experts into the same call and solving issues ‘there and then’. This avoids problems being relegated into queues to be dealt with, and also makes it easier for users to know what the status of their issue is.

This emphasis on the quality of the service that IT provides is part of an overall shift in attitudes around the service desk in general. Alongside the focus on cost control, security and efficiency of support, service desk teams have a chance to evaluate what kinds of service models they can provide to the business in future, what kind of culture needs to be in place across a service desk and where people, tools and processes can be combined to create more value.

About the author

Stuart Facey has written this post following his visit to the Service Desk and IT Support Show 2013, the UK’s leading IT service management and support event.