Service desk (ITSM)
A Service Desk is a primary IT function within the discipline of IT service management (ITSM) as defined by the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). It is intended to provide a Single Point of Contact ("SPOC") to meet the communication needs of both users and IT staff. But also to satisfy both Customer and IT Provider objectives. "User" refers to the actual user of the service, while "Customer" refers to the entity that is paying for service.
Service desk types
A significant number of organizations have implemented a central point of contact for handling customer, user and other issues. The service desk types are based on the skill level and resolution rates for service calls. The different service desk types include:
The ITIL approach considers the service desk to be the central point of contact between service providers and users/customers on a day-to-day basis. It is also a focal point for reporting incidents (disruptions or potential disruptions in service availability or quality) and for users making service requests (routine requests for services).
A service desk handles incidents and service requests, as well as providing an interface to users for other ITSM activities such as:
- Incident management
- Problem management
- Configuration management
- Change management
- Release management
- Service-level management
- Availability management
- Capacity management
- Financial management
- IT service continuity management
- Security management
Differences from a call center, contact center, help desk
ITIL regards a call center, contact center or a help desk as limited kinds of service desk which provide only a portion of what a service desk can offer. A service desk has a more broad and user-centered approach, seeking to provide the user with an informed single point of contact for all IT requirements. A service desk seeks to facilitate the integration of business processes into the service management infrastructure. In addition to actively monitoring and owning Incidents and user questions, and providing the communications channel for other service management disciplines with the user community, a service desk also provides an interface for other activities such as customer change requests, third parties (e.g. maintenance contracts), and software licensing.
- ITIL Service Design (2011), p. 22.