When looking at ITSM (Information Technology Service Management) from a high level, it seems as though a help desk and a service desk are the same entity, just using a different name. But is this really the case? Is one service offering more suitable for your organization compared to the other? Let’s take a look at some common differences between the two and how your company may benefit more from one over the other.

What is a Help Desk?

A help desk provides timely assistance to end users, assisting them in resolving issues they are currently experiencing. More formally put, “The main goal of the help desk is to quickly resolve problems and solve the immediate needs of end users as promptly and efficiently as possible.” This service provides basic IT problem management capabilities to the staff of the company using it, responding or reacting to current issues at hand. It serves as a single point of contact for end users who are experiencing problems such as viruses, connectivity issues, network issues, email issues and more.

What is a Service Desk?

A service desk supports and analyzes a broader level of the entire business rather than focusing solely on single end user problems. Service desks improve the overall IT strategy of a company in addition to providing end user support and are fully integrated with all other IT service management processes. This helps to improve important aspects of the company like infrastructure, efficiency, productivity, etc. Actually, help desks are often included within service desks.

The main goal of a service desk is to handle incidents and service requests along with handling the communications with end users. It acts as single point of contact for all technology applications and business processes, ultimately having a large impact on business operations.

What are the major differences between a help desk and a service desk?

  1. Where help desks are focused on end users, service desks are more business-centric. This means that help desks provide single solutions to end users, while service desks are fully integrated and analyze at issues holistically throughout an entire organization, helping to solve larger, more complex problems and create new strategies.

  2. Help desks are reactive to end user issues while service desks leverage powerful technology like AI and machine learning to proactively solve potential incidents and problems, sometimes before they have any impact on business operations.

  3. Help desks are solely focused on end users while service desks focus on both end users and technicians.

How can a service desk benefit a growing organization?

The main goal of a service desk is to improve operational processes, strategies and business operations.Service desks utilize advanced technology in order to optimize the systems they’re integrated with, to solve problems, and to minimize downtime. Businesses that take advantage of using a service desk allow their IT personnel to concentrate on important business initiatives instead of having to deal with tasks like common incidents, the optimization of systems, and the overall strategy of IT operations.

Ultimately, help desks assist the end users of a business, helping them solve issues they are experiencing. They don’t, however, offer strategies and operational improvements for organizations. Service desks also assist end users with issues, but more importantly they concentrate on a company's overall business operations, promoting a higher level of efficiency and productivity.

If your business is at the point where you are considering an IT service management solution, or if your current managed service provider isn’t meeting your expectations, give us a call today. Our experts will walk you through how our different service desk levels operate as well as how we are able to make a major impact on your business.