Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), a leading IT management research and consulting firm, today released its latest research report entitled, “The Aging Help Desk: Migrating to a Modern Service Desk.” The study found that the help desk has evolved beyond its role of simply recording and responding to IT user issues.
While that responsibility persists, today’s help/service desk is at the core of IT Service Management (ITSM) including ITIL domains such as asset management, Configuration Management Systems, change management, knowledge management, service catalog and more.
“EMA has long believed that the service desk represents an area of investment for the enterprise,” states Lisa Erickson-Harris, EMA research director and study leader. “Our research confirmed that – even in this down economy – companies view the help/service desk as a place where spending can drive returns through technology automation, the introduction of self-service and consolidation in operations.”
For this study, EMA surveyed 158 IT professionals with help/service desk responsibility and familiarity with their organization’s ITSM initiatives. This quantitative data was complemented by 14 in-depth telephone interviews. The research examined major initiatives taking place in corporate help/service desk operations and explored topics such as best practices, operational metrics, management priorities and integration needs.
Some of the key findings include:
- Service Desk Part of Overarching ITSM Strategy: 62 percent of participants are either already making the help/service desk part of the company’s overarching ITSM solution or are planning to move in this direction.
- Use of Multiple Help/Service Desk Tools: 56 percent of respondents from large enterprises are managing or planning to manage multiple help desks. The vast majority of organizations managing multiple help/service desks will consolidate their operations.
- Consolidating Service Desk with Corporate Customer Service: Integrating customer service operations with the IT service desk promises financial savings as both groups require similar training, toolsets, processes and automation capabilities. 30 percent of respondents have been able to take advantage of this opportunity.
- ITIL Disciplines Identified as Important: 64 percent of respondents have deployed or are planning to deploy ITILv3. Incident, problem and change management are the most frequently-deployed ITIL disciplines and remain the most critical for help/service desk operations.
- Service Catalog a Key Growth Area: 56 percent of respondents have already deployed or are planning to deploy a service catalog. Clearly, there is value in putting IT service offerings front and center in the hands of managers and users via the service catalog.
- Self-Service a Top Priority: Self-service is a strong area of investment because of its ability to lower call volume and resolution time at the service desk. Surprisingly, only 32 percent of respondents indicated that they had already implemented password reset technology while 41 percent are planning to do so.
“While the help/service desk has a lot on its plate,” Erickson-Harris continues. “There are clear opportunities for significant operational cost savings. EMA believes that efforts to expand the footprint of the service desk will also improve the user experience and raise the credibility of IT throughout the organization.”
Erickson-Harris will share additional highlights from the study during a free 45-minute Webinar on April 23. To further support enterprises looking to evolve their help desk into a modern service desk, EMA also offers a free Service Desk/Help Desk Solutions Center that profiles 17 leading products.
The complete research report is available for purchase online at the special price of $395 through May 8, 2009.