3 Big Picture Considerations to Make When Choosing a Service Desk

We talk a great deal about what goes into service desk decisions because we know what the right service desk solution can do for a business and we encourage more organizations to find the best solution for their specific needs. With this in mind, we often discuss the nuances that go into an IT service desk purchase decision. However, today we'd like to focus instead on some of the big picture items you need to think about before buying into a solution. Here are three key big picture issues to keep in mind when purchasing a service desk:

1. Where do you want to be in five years?
The great thing about today's modern service desk offerings is that they often aren't limited in their ability to grow with the scale of your organization. You can add new modules, enhance capabilities and invest in your core platform over time to meet the changing needs of your business. If you take the time to stop and think about where your company wants to be in five years, you can identify how you need to invest now to put yourself on a path to be ready for the future.

For example, if you know that you want to ramp up proprietary app development within the next few years, you'll want to put yourself in a good position to get change and release management solutions in place before getting too deep in the development process. Having a clear understanding of your long-term plans can help you set the right baseline for your current service desk investment so that you are building from the right foundation.

2. How are you building up your staff?
Many organizations have reached a point of having such severe financial limitations and busy everyday operations that they have stopped putting resources into growing and improving their staff. You can't afford to do this in the service desk. You need to continually train workers to deal with more sophisticated issues, give them a better understanding of customer service best practices and increase their knowledge and understanding of the tools. Deciding on how you want to build your staff can help you when choosing the right service desk.

Many IT service desk modules are focused on improving efficiency so support teams can get more done in less time. If you look at the big picture of your support organization and realize that you lack succession plans, need more level 2 and level 3 engineers and have skilled team members who are not engaged because they aren't being challenged, you may want to focus heavily on efficiency focused modules so that you can give workers more time for training and development.

3. What is your tech culture?
Every business has a slightly different culture about technology. Some organizations want to micro-manage IT departments and limit employee freedom due to the complexity of the technology systems. Other businesses take a more hands-off approach in order to empower workers and make them feel comfortable enough to handle basic processes on their own. The bottom line is that your organizational culture can have a huge impact on the service desk.

If you want IT to control everything, you may need to lean heavily on solutions like incident and problem management because support teams will be dealing with a lot of tickets, especially as trends like the Internet of Things take hold. If you like to give workers more responsibility over tech, or know that they are tech-savvy in general, then you can focus on investing in self-service portals and line-of-business modules to empower the end-user.

There are many detailed, nuanced issues to consider when establishing a service desk, but be sure to step back and consider the big picture implications so that you can guide your entire process.

[Image via Flickr by cblue98]

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