The IT service desk, to mangle a quote by Eliot, is a still point in a turning world of constant technological progress. Mobility and cloud computing are changing the entire concept of IT in the workplace, and the service desk has to be prepared to be there, dependably, for end-users and the organization as a whole as tech continues its rapid evolution.
It’s easy for the IT service desk to become so entrenched in the daily tasks of making all the computers work that everyone forgets its ultimate purpose, which is to make the entire organization run better.
Not only does the IT service desk have to spring into action to fix laptops, it has to monitor systems, track IT assets, and prevent problems, rather than simply reacting to them.
Tech is becoming more cloud-centric and more mobile, and so is the IT service desk.
Cloud Computing and the IT Service Desk
Will the cloud be as big a deal in five years? We don’t know, but the shift away from desktop hardware running applications locally is expected to continue. One benefit is that it will allow even greater stretching of geographical boundaries, because less often will IT service desk workers have to physically do things to end-user machines. Also, remote desktop control is expected to be more prevalent due to time savings and convenience.
A report by EMA/CXP titled “The Changing Role of the Service Desk in the Age of Cloud and Agile” states that the cloud will help many organizations expand service desk capability, through easier justification of costs, and increased automation. The cloud is also expected to correspond with greater self-service capabilities and a stronger role for the IT service catalog.
Mobility and the IT Service Desk
BYOD is probably not going away, so it’s incumbent upon IT service desks to actively participate in the development of strong BYOD policies. Organizations are already using several tools to overcome the security challenges of increased mobility, including:
• “Wipe and lock” security controls
• GPS tracking and fencing
• Device encryption and fingerprinting
In an age of mobility, the IT service desk will have to clearly communicate the level of support provided to employees who bring in their own devices, as well as what standards devices have to meet before employees can connect their devices to the company network. End-users need to know the level of access the organization has to personal devices and the content that’s contained on it. HR will need to be involved in the process of developing these policies to avoid potential legal problems related to issues like end-user privacy and overtime.
No Single IT Service Desk Model Will Dominate
There’s never been a single best model for the IT service desk, and there likely never will be. Some organizations are more heavily regulated than others, some are more open to communication media like social networks for submitting tickets, and still others have IT service desks that are heavily driven by security concerns.
HDI, the worldwide certification body and professional association for the technical service industry says that what’s being purchased now gives indications of what IT service desks will be like a few years down the road. In a Service Desk Institute report titled “The Service Desk 2017 & Beyond,” HDI’s Roy Atkinson says that in 2012, 52% of support centers were shopping for new self-help tools or updating existing self-help tools. Only 14% of organizations surveyed said they didn’t use self-service tools. He concludes that IT service desk support will focus more on handling complex requests while end-users handle many of their own simpler problems as mobility and the cloud become more entrenched in the enterprise.
There Will Always Be a Need for Human Contact
IT service desks themselves will increasingly use the cloud and mobility, because both make it easier and more cost-effective to provide IT services. The need for human contact with the IT service desk will continue, even as the cloud and mobility allow for better self-service options and more means of submitting help requests. Much of the simpler work that the IT service desk accomplishes can be automated in an age of cloud and mobility, but end-users still need to know they ultimately have the option to tell the IT service desk, “I’m stuck and I need to talk to someone.”
If your organization uses a true cloud solution for IT service management like Samanage, you can be confident that your IT service desk is equipped to handle the challenges of increased cloud usage and increased employee mobility. With comprehensive IT asset management, risk management, and security features, Samanage is advancing along with the rest of the tech world, so you’ll never be left stranded with an outdated or inadequate IT service desk solution.
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