Service Desk vs Help Desk: How Do They Differ?

What is the difference between a Service Desk and Help Desk? Know how the difference matters a lot to your organization and how important they become with the corresponding growth of your organization.

You may have heard the terms service desk and help desk and wondered how the two terms differ from each other. In some cases, you hear them use the terms interchangeably, which can make it even more confusing. Today's business world leaves much of it to interpretation, but how you might define them will depend on the company's size.

What is a Service Desk?

This form of IT support will set you up with a single point of contact between the users and the service provider. This will manage requests and incidents and handle the communication with users. It focuses on the overall business. Ultimately, the goal behind it is to eliminate barriers to employee support services as you will find help from the provider and fulfil your requests regardless of the need. Always the goal with this IT support will be to deliver timely assistance to employees to keep the business running at its best. Usually, this links itself to problem and change management processes. Anyone who wants a fast resolution will find this one a good choice. They will provide you with robust and service-focused assistance that centers around guiding people.

What is a Help Desk?

On the other hand, this form of IT support will provide information and support for electronic and computer problems that occur. You may look at that definition and wonder to yourself how does that differ from the other one? The difference comes from how the two focus their services. A help desk focuses itself solely on assistance and resolving issues, whereas a service desk orients itself around serving the customer. Customer centricity is what differentiates the two. The basic version usually limits itself to the break-fix process or incident management. The other one will cover a vast array of topics and problems that a user might encounter. Keep in mind, all of this takes the terms from a nitpicky angle, and you can probably simplify it with less differentiation. Some might even argue that the two don't have much difference at all. As early as the 2000s, they began to use the terms interchangeably. Think of the upper-tier IT support, however, as a more complete version.

Which Should You Choose?

Mature organizations with complex IT systems should choose the service desk because it offers you a full-blown ITSM solution. You will need it if you're a larger company compared to a small startup. While the basic version offers a more general solution, it tends to cost a little less than the other one because of how it isn't as comprehensive. To find the right solution, keep it simple. Look at the needs of your organization, and if you have greater IT needs than the average company, you will want to choose the more comprehensive IT support. If you don't have as many needs and still want to save money, you might choose the more basic solution. You may not need all the information that the higher version can offer you, and it may be more complex than what you want. Think of it as more doesn't always equal better.

Gain a Tool That Grows with You

If you're still a small company, start small and grow the tools as your organization grows. The basic services can still resolve dozens of everyday issues. Implement the basic modules that you need the most and prioritize them. Gradually, you will expand your capabilities as new things become more valuable to your business. The more that you use, the more you need to improve your practices. The tool continues to grow as part of the improvement program.

IT Help Desk Benefits

You can resolve a customer inquiry almost instantly with this one. Ticket tracking gets improved here, and you can choose which tickets to prioritize. At the same time, they still provide you with insights into the user's perspective. Some examples of things that it can aid you with include product-specific problems, software-related employee problems, hardware-related employee problems and IT-related customer problems.

Service Desk Benefits

The big advantage comes from a fast resolution. It feels seamless to get to the finishing point, and you can manage your IT assets at the same time. That's one thing that you can't do with the more basic version. You can choose from long-term support decisions and implement the changes as you go along. Incident tickets get resolved in real-time. A few examples of this ITSM include problem management queries, administration queries, change management queries, customer queries and employee queries.

How to Get the Most from Your ITSM

First, don't make it too complicated. You don't need to buy the most advanced technology on the market if it has capabilities that you will never use. Save your money. The complexity of the system could even drag your business down. You want to choose something that will be user-friendly because it will make your business more productive. Consider the needs of your company before you choose a system. You want an IT support solution that will meet your specific needs. The only thing that matters with whichever one you choose is that it will meet the demands of your business.

Does the Difference Matter?

Every IT professional will give you a different response to that. However, you may want to look for a solution that meets your needs, rather than focusing too much on the terminology. The distinction could be important in some cases, but your requirements matter the most. Help desks mostly focus on short-term solutions, while the other was made more for a long-term solution, and they built it for the business overall. While all companies will require some form of IT support, not all companies require the more complex version of support. Consider the requirements that you need for a software tool when making the decision. From a business perspective, you may want to know how they differ to receive the right solution, but be aware of how some people will use the terms interchangeably.


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