As part of an MSP business, you surely know the difference between the definition of a help desk and the meaning of a service desk, right? No? Wait, are they one in the same? The debate of help desk versus service desk keeps popping up. Why? It’s because there are a lot of differences of opinion when it comes to this topic. To better understand the “why” behind the debate, and to get a solid answer, it’s best to break it down in an easy to understand way.
The Simple Definition of a Help Desk
An IT help desk is generally described as a service that helps to quickly help an end user with any and all technical issues they might have. The ultimate goal of each help desk is to help to fix these problems as quickly and as efficiently as they possibly can.
There are a number of tasks that a help desk might do. For instance, they might serve as the main point of contact for all IT support. The help desk also might manage the Knowledge Base. Often, the help desk is also responsible for tracking tickets, solutions, and other communication, and then routing and sending email notifications. Typically, all basic issues and incidents go through the help desk, but people working for the help desk often pass more serious issues or incidents on to other areas or levels of support.
The Simple Definition of a Service Desk
As an MSP business employee, you might know that a service desk is generally described as an entity that is much broader than a help desk. In fact, a help desk is often part of a greater service desk. A help desk, for instance, is the first point of communication for each user. The service desk’s concerns, however, is to focus on the business as a whole. Yes, a service desk might help to manage incidents and other service requests, but this usually falls to the help desk part of the broader service desk.
Where the goal of a help desk is to help the end user solve IT problems, the goal of a service desk is to improve business and IT processes. Indirectly, of course, a service desk also improves IT problems across the whole of the organization.
Some of the main tasks that the service desk takes on include integrating all IT processes, ensuring compliance, serving as a point of contact for all IT processes, integrating all branches of IT management while integrating other different processes.
Can a Company Work with One or the Other?
At this point, many people wonder if a company can work with only a help desk or only a service desk. The answer is a resounding “maybe.” You see, there are no rules or regulations about help desks or service desks and each company is very different from the next. A smaller company, for instance, might only require a small help desk because they would never need the help that a service desk would provide. Now, there’s a small catch here. Just because a company can get away with only having access to a help desk, a service desk must offer the assistance of a help desk in some capacity.
So, you can have a help desk without offering any type of service desk, and you can easily cope with that. However, if you offer a service desk, you must have a way to either offer a help desk or connect with a help desk.
So, as you can see, the designation between a help desk and a service desk can be a bit cloudy. Knowing the difference between the two is important for anyone who works in any type of IT capacity. In fact, as part of an MSP business, it’s extremely important to understand the differences and similarities between the two and to understand what you offer to your clients.
At Technology Resource Advisors, we help you find the best approach to your business processes through your service desk.