IT Help Desk or Service Desk: What’s the Difference and Does it Really Matter?

    Jul 5, 2019 7:46:01 PM Keeran Networks Help Desk, Service Desk

    Working with professional IT services, you get bombarded with several technical jargons. Most of the times, you are left wondering, “What is What.” 

    Today, we are taking up one of the most enquired question to IT organizations, “What’s the difference between IT help desk and service desk.” Are these terms just the same, or do they point to different aspects? Let’s find out.

    Beginning to Disparate

    Let’s trace back on when and how these terms originated. 

    In the 1980s, help desks emerged as support capabilities to fix IT issues quickly. They were designed to focus more on troubleshooting of IT problems. This new department converged on providing help to the IT teams but not the actual end-users. But the question which emerged hard was if there would be no cap on the deadlines. 

    Also, no one provided urgency or defined priorities to the matters, and subsequently in 2011, ITIL released its glossary and defined service desk as “The single point of contact between the service provider and users. A typical service desk manages incidents and service requests and handles communication with the users”.

    But can we possibly describe the help desk as the subset to the service desk? 

    Help Desk Vs Service Desk 

    As 2000 came, the terms help desk and service desk were often used interchangeably. However, let's supplement a little more thought on these terms –

    • As pointed by the ITSM glossary, service desk was born out of the need to connect IT services to the end-users.  This means the help desk is just a part of a service desk with a core focus on solving/easing tasks for the IT teams.
    • Help desks were explicitly designed to solve “incidents” or perform immediate/infrequent fixes; however, service desk converged on service requests from the very beginning. It now also includes providing self-help resources and better communication channels for IT teams and end-users. 
    • A help desk can enhance and improve existing IT activities. However, service desk remains part of a service-based IT support ecosystem. The service desk has a defined timeline with “service lifecycle” consisting of 28 processes.

    Nevertheless, one thing that we need to bear in mind is – though help desk is mentioned as a subset to the service desk, it’ll never be limited in scope. Help desks can tie service desk solutions with messaging, system management, mobile device management, single sign-on, and financial tools.

    Help Desk or Service Desk: Should We Care? 

    The obvious question would be – Should you care if there is any difference or is there a need for creating a distinction? Well! It depends on your considerations and demands from your IT support. 

    The distinction between the help desk and service desk is pretty fluid. So, it will vary on the diverse nature of your organization, the services offered by the IT support and, also how the organizations interpret them in words.   

    Basically, there is no hard rule, definition or mandate on the best practices, and the difference merely arrives on the organization’s standpoint. 

    What Can We Discern?

    We believe IT help desk and service desk integrations emerge victorious to both IT professionals and end-users. It’s high time that we stop splitting hair and talk about capabilities in our IT support. It is more useful for your organization to evaluate the maturity of the IT support and consider what service management strategies offered by them can be most valuable to your business.   

    At Keeran Networks, we make sure that our clients discern our services better, employing more transparency in our approach. Additionally, our professionals keep expounding on the user queries, directing discussions and growing our tactics from the feedback. 

    We proffer a thoroughly documented IT support from an experienced team with proactive help desk and hands-on-technical services. Our support staff understand our customers as well as their unique business requirements. 

    Extend your capabilities, get in touch with Keeran Networks today

    Keeran Networks

    Written by Keeran Networks