IT Service Desk Trends for 2021

Here are the Key Service Desk Trends for 2021
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Hello 2021! Let’s hope it’s a better year for us all, both personally and professionally, with this reflected in the IT service desk trends for 2021. In terms of IT service management (ITSM), the global pandemic made 2020 a year of unprecedented change that impacted the role and business needs of the IT service desk in particular. In some ways, 2020 has allowed the corporate IT department and the IT service desk, in particular, to reassert their value to the organization and its employees.

It was great to see that many IT service desks were a vital part of organizational resilience during 2020. But what happens next as we enter 2021? Here are 4 predictions from @LiliGary. #servicedesk #ITSM Click To Tweet

First, when the IT service desk, and its people, helped with the migration of office workers to remote working, therefore playing a key role in organizations’ business continuity responses to the pandemic. Then second, via new and amended services and the support of them. It was great to see that many IT service desks were a vital part of organizational resilience during 2020. 

But what happens next as we enter 2021? To help, here are my four predictions for the key IT service desk trends for 2021. 

1. IT service desk optimization will be key to IT-support success 

Given the commercial and operational impact of the global pandemic on businesses, there’s a need for optimization. Not only to change the traditional ways of working related to IT service delivery and support but also to reflect the need for “better, faster, cheaper” IT support operations and outcomes. This makes the required optimization about more than efficiency and cost savings. Employees, thanks to their remote working, have a greater reliance on technology that consistently works when needed. The same’s true for customer engagements – from customer acquisition through to ongoing support.

This will be the primary 2021 IT service desk trend, with it facilitated by the other three I list below. 

IT service desk optimization will be key to IT-support success in 2021 – @LiliGary. #servicedesk #ITsupport Click To Tweet

2. Digital workflows will replace manual processes 

Our customers have been doing this for years. Although we, like many, have been calling it “enterprise service management” and other names.

The “distributed working” arrangements caused by the pandemic have highlighted the many failures of the current manually-reliant processes of business functions – such as human resources (HR), facilities, and finance. As a result, there’ll continue to be significant growth in service management capabilities and the corporate ITSM tool being used to digitally transform business function operations and outcomes across the enterprise. 

It’s a key enabler of the required optimization called out in trend #1. Importantly, it’s not just the technology. It relates to people and process best practices too. 

Digital workflows will replace manual processes – @LiliGary #servicedesk #esm Click To Tweet

3. Employee experience will drive IT service desk change 

The importance of employee experience in IT support has consistently grown over the last five years. And now that this 2021 ITSM trend‘s focus has centered on the importance of employee productivity, in particular, it fits well with the need to optimize IT service desk operations and outcomes.  

So, IT service desk optimization efforts will also need to focus on employee productivity and the wider employee experience. In particular, understanding that simply being cheaper will not work for an employee base that’s:

  1. Experiencing superior service experience in consumer-world interactions
  2. More dependent on technology availability (at work) than ever.   
Employee experience will drive IT service desk change in 2021 – @LiliGary #servicedesk Click To Tweet

4. The IT service desk’s value will need demonstrating

Value definition and demonstration has long been difficult for IT departments, let alone IT service desks. But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it can be ignored. 

If you like, you can test the waters with your IT service desk. Ask a service desk analyst, or even a service desk manager, the question “What’s the value of your IT service desk?” Would they reply, “We fix things and provide new things”? If they do, then there’s a disconnect between the IT service desk and it’s real “reason for being” and value.

For example, if an IT issue is fixed but the affected employee, employees, or customers still can’t do what they need to do, then where’s the value? It’s like the saying “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it still make a sound?” Well, sort of. 

Instead, look for your service desk’s value in terms of business-related benefits such as: 

  • End users are highly productive
  • Corporate back-office operations work efficiently and effectively 
  • Customers can consistently engage with your organization when they want, how they want, and from wherever they want 
  • The adverse impact of technology-related issues on business operations and outcomes is minimized. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the value question though. You’ll need to find out what your different stakeholders value, then focus on what’s most important, and measure your performance with one eye on further improvement. 

Value definition and demonstration has long been difficult for IT departments, let alone IT service desks. But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it can be ignored in 2021 – @LiliGary #ITSM Click To Tweet

So, that’s my four IT service desk trends for 2021. What else would you add? Please let me know in the comments.

Liliana is Invgate's CEO and the mother of a beautiful young girl. Originally trained as a Corporate Lawyer, her career twisted into different business areas driven by her passion to make things happen and to help others. Her role at InvGate is to serve her people to be in the right place maximizing their capabilities in order to be happy and successful. That is also exactly what everybody at InvGate does for its customers and stakeholders.

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