5 Steps to Choosing a New Service Desk

Investing in a new service desk is a huge commitment for any organization, and maximizing the value of this purchase is critical to positioning your support team for short- and long-term success. Buying a service desk is different than it was just a few years ago, when large, on-premise solutions were among the only real options in the market and, as a result, you had to consider a huge implementation process as part of your investment. You still have the option of a on-premise solution if that is what makes the most sense for your organization, but a cloud-based IT service desk solution gives you more leg room by creating some flexibility in how you purchase a service desk.

In particular, emerging service desk models are focused on creating an operational climate in which organizations can focus on getting what they need now and creating a roadmap for future investments. With that emphasis on flexibility in mind, here are five steps organizations should follow when making a new service desk purchase:

Step 1: Identify your core needs
The first thing you need to do is figure out exactly what you need the service desk to accomplish. Don't worry too much about the secondary functionalities at this point. Instead, figure out the primary capabilities you expect from your service desk solution, the scale that the system will need to be able to operate at and how much you can afford to spend on the project. Understanding these three core requirements will help to guide you in figuring out the primary group of solutions you should consider.

Step 2: Decide on a deployment model
Do you want to install the solution on site or use the cloud? Understanding the nuances between these two deployment models and how this decision will impact your long-term strategies is key. In general, cloud computing is cheaper and easier to adjust the solution over time without making infrastructure changes. On-premise solutions require a much more complex technology investment, but they can also give you more direct control over your system.

Step 3: Think about secondary features
Now is the time to start thinking about those extra bells and whistles you want out of your service desk functionality. If you treat secondary considerations as a priority from the start, you could easily be spending too much on a solution that is too bloated for your organization. Conversely, waiting too long can make it difficult to roll out a solution in a timely fashion. By looking at core competencies of the service desk and choosing a deployment model, you should be able to narrow down your options to a few key providers. From there, you can start looking at secondary capabilities and use those features to narrow down your prospects further.

Step 4: Get your support workers involved
Now that you have a big corporate vision for your service desk, ask the people who will be using it every day if you have your priorities in the right order. They can offer advice on how different solutions will impact their everyday operations that executive teams may not think of. Waiting until deployment to get your support workers involved can leave them feeling separated from the process and more frustrated as they deal with any problems that arise. Getting support teams involved before the final purchase can help them to feel more engaged in the transition.

Step 5: Run a pilot
Every service desk will interact with your IT systems in a slightly different way. A small-scale pilot project can be invaluable in helping you to avoid major problems during deployment and ensure a smooth migration to the new solution.

Investing in a new service desk may be a major commitment, but following these steps will put you on the right path toward finding the best fitting solution for your organization.

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