The key to keeping your growing business running smoothly for both its internal employees and customers alike, is to have all of your IT functions available and operational at all times. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to maintain a smooth-running operation 100% of the time. Encountering even minor IT issues within your organization can lead to a screeching halt in productivity and a solution must be readily available 24 hours a day to overcome these issues – this solution is the service desk.
What is a Service Desk?
A service desk is a resource that has been designed to assist internal employees and consumers whenever they have a problem related to IT in your organization. Service desk staff are highly-trained in dealing with technical issues related to your companies IT systems and products. There positions have proved to be invaluable with the rise of the information age and as consumers demand to be provided solutions to their technical problems in an exponential manner.
History of the Service Desk
The service desk can trace its roots all the way back to the 1980’s. They were first used to assist users of the DOS-running IBM personal computers overcome issues that they encountered while using the very primitive system. The first service desks only had slightly better technology than what the users had, but what the staff of the service desk did have to offer, was their superior knowledge of the inner-workings of the PCs and the operation systems powering them. Although the service desks did maintain good call handling procedures and documentation protocols, they still weren’t very efficient due to the limiting lack of technology and tools that they had to work with.
Primary Roles of Service Desks
Although service desks can take on various roles and job responsibilities, there are 4 key objectives that every service desk should be taking on and executing effectively. Let’s take a look at each of them now.
Service desks have a system that helps discover current problems and previous incidents that the user has had. They use this system to help reduce the amount of time spent finding these problems and the solutions to them which leads to an increase in operational efficiency.
While dealing with incidents, a service desk should have systems in place that help them identify root problems to help reduce the number of frequently recurring incidences by capturing the information in the knowledge base.
Another primary role for the service desk is to be the keepers of user account information so that they can deal with password resets and issues dealing with logins. It is very important that a service desk can properly deal with these types of minute issues before they become a serious problem.
One last important feature of service desks is that they have a published service catalog so that they can deliver prices about products and services along with detailed information and descriptions. This key information can further assist potential customers make a final decision about buying a service or product.
Service Desk Teams
Now that you know some of the most basic roles for a service desk to properly manage, it is time to take a look at the different teams that service desks are usually broken up into. Since service desks cater to so much technical information, it is quiet impossible for one employee to know all of the ins-and-outs of the entire company. Here are the basic teams that make up the modern day service desk.
The Desk Team
This team, also known as the “desktop support”, is responsible for technical issues that deal with everyday items like desktops, laptops, cameras, and more. They are often responsible for troubleshooting, diagnosing, documenting, and resolving all technical issues that end-users are dealing with. They often deal with a wide range of products and they need to be highly-skilled at solving issues quickly. They must also have a high level of technical knowledge dealing with these types of devices.
The Network Team
The network team is responsible for all network related software, hardware, and infrastructure such as servers, firewalls, backup systems, and switches. They also deal with networking services like emails configurations, security issues, and file management. The also provide technical analysis of the networking infrastructure and help support executing, testing, and implementing solutions. In the process of doing so, they will often log in remotely to the users equipment in order to full diagnose the situation.
The Server Team
This team is responsible to deal with all of the servers within an organization. They address issues with the Domain Name System (DNS) servers, network shares, network authentication, and any other aspects of the server software. They also take on more advanced issues with databases, content management systems, and industry-specific sever-based applications.
There are also other types of service desk teams depending on the needs for the company and its clients. Some of these teams include telecom who deal with telephone infrastructure liked VOIP, modems, voice-mail, and other customer service issues.
Outsourcing Service Desk Jobs
Although there are a few roles of the service desk that have to be done in-house and is apart the company’s internal structure, there are a growing number of service desk jobs that are now being outsourced and handled from remote locations. One major factor for this is the reduction of cost and lack of resources that small businesses encounter. It is much easier to outsource service desk jobs to a third party who is fully-equipped to deal with any technological questions or issues that may arise. Outsourcing also offers flexible solutions that can be customized to fit your business needs.
To find out more about all of the features and benefits that can be gained from outsourcing service desk jobs, feel free to contact NST for a free quote. They are fully-equipped to handle your every business need.