The IT service desk provides a key function in every organization as the meeting point between end users and services (or it should do when properly operated). However, it’s not just the provision of break/fix capabilities, because it also helps end users to communicate their needs to the corporate IT department. In fact, much of the information related to IT services goes through the IT service desk, but organizations don’t usually use this information for the continuous improvement of those services.
The IT service desk and technology exploitation
In terms of using this information and data, there’s currently a wide variety of available tools and techniques that allow us to work with a huge amount of information and data. These tools are highly reliable for data and information management, but sadly not implemented in a great number of companies in an IT service desk context.
Then there are communication technologies. There’s social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, or Skype, as well as instant messaging services such as WhatsApp or Telegram. Together with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities such as intelligent incident self-categorization, chatbots, or virtual agents, which all offer a great opportunity for change and modernization.
It’s important for IT organizations to modernize their communication channels with end users, because technology change is happening faster and faster and it’s key for IT service desks to be up-to-date in respect of end-user expectations (and demands).
Moreover, nowadays, there are increasingly more techniques that facilitate service desk agent performance improvements, which in turn lead to performance improvements as well. For instance, routing rules, gamification or simulation, service desk monitoring, incentive programs for agents, and agent coaching. All of which offer organizations a great opportunity for issue diagnosis and improvement, and consequently for higher levels of IT service desk success.
Collectively improving IT service desk performance
At the University of Oviedo, in Spain, we’ve developed a survey to understand the current situation and possibilities for improving the IT service desk function within IT service teams. The goal of the survey is to identify opportunities for service management improvement since we feel that, in many organizations, the function has not evolved sufficiently. And that today’s available technology offers the perfect opportunity for change.
The focus of the survey is to obtain reliable information from IT service desk personnel, with the purpose of obtaining credible data about the following aspects of operations:
• Number of requests received by IT service desks
• Number of incidents handled
• Number of specialist lines
• Number of users of the services provided by organizations
• Types of architecture in the IT service desk of organizations
• Channels of entry
• Performance improvement techniques used
• The most-valued abilities when hiring service desk agents
• Ways used to measure customer satisfaction and experience
• The social media platforms and instant messaging services used, or planned for use, as channels of entry
• Artificial intelligence techniques used, or planned for use, by IT service desk
Please take our survey
This survey is part of the research work “Current Status of Implementation and Modernization of Service Desk in IT Service Management” led by me at the University of Oviedo, where several subjects on governance and service management are taught. The work is also supported by itSMF Spain.
The survey has been designed with the purpose of being answered by organizations from all over the world in order to obtain a truly global perspective of how the IT service desk function is operated within organizations.
This survey is comprised of 24 questions of different types. Some of them are open-ended questions, so that the surveyed person can freely respond. Other questions are designed so that the surveyed person can only select one option, and others are multiple-choice questions. And finally, there’s one question that can be answered by grading different criteria.
Once all the responses are gathered, they’ll be processed and analyzed in order to obtain real and representative information about the current state of IT service desks globally. Those people, and organizations, that collaborate by completing the survey (taking an estimated 5-10 minutes) will receive a summary of the results obtained through the University’s research work.
Here’s a link to the survey: https://bit.ly/2IgU9kL. I hope that you will help.
Dr. Francisco J. Suárez
Dr. Francisco J. Suárez is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Oviedo, Spain, where he teaches IT service management and governance.
His current research focuses on the evaluation of networked multimedia systems and he has been working on several related projects as head of the Interactive Multimedia Services research team.