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Using the Service Desk as a Single Point of Contact

Jul 10, 2009

George Spafford

Routing and Workflow - Tickets can be routed to the correct parties based on rules thus ensuring the right department(s) are engaged, not to mention the correct personnel in those departments and then utilize the correct workflow once there.

Self-Service - Portals can be implemented for employees to enter requests, log incidents and so on.

Accountability - The service desk can “own” tickets to make sure that they are addressed to the user’s satisfaction and not left unaddressed or not handled in a manner that resolves the need.

There is a strong business case to make this evolution from an IT-centric service desk to a shared services desk. What is needed to get moving, first and foremost, is a business unit that recognizes that they need to improve how they take calls, manage incidents, problems and service requests for their business processes. Taking the shared services desk concept to the whole organization and to try and force a management mandate is very likely to result in abject failure due to political turf battles where groups perceive this suggestion as mission creep from IT.

By piloting the concept, IT can stay focused and deliver the solution faster and at a lower cost. In addition, as other business units see the successes generated in the pilot they will be far more receptive to pursuing similar courses of action in their areas.

In closing, in this climate of cost reductions and the need to still create and protect value, IT needs to look for innovative opportunities to enable the business. Leveraging the service desk and the resolution processes to help enable business units presents such an opportunity.

George Spafford is a principal consultant with Pepperweed Consulting and a long-time IT professional. George's professional focus is on compliance, security, management and overall process improvement.