Thursday, September 19, 2013

Can your business really afford to just keep on fixing IT?

Departmental budgets across most industries in our current economic climate are at best - static or at worst - shrinking. While it is obvious that IT must function efficiently, business leaders need to question whether they are actually using IT to enhance operations and to enable the acquisition of new business.

[Karl Groenewald] One key area that can have an incredible influence on your operation is the IT Service Desk, but there is some confusion about whether an IT Help Desk is the same as an IT Service Desk. In one instance, you are merely getting a 'fixer of stuff' which costs you money because it doesn't solve long term or repeated issues, whereas in the other, you could be capitalising on your IT spend to enhance efficiency and your business objectives overall.

Help Desk / IT Service Desk - So they aren't the same thing?

The short answer is: No!

Here's why.

Helpdesks, call centres and contact centres are all individual components of the comprehensive IT Service Desk.

Whereas the Help Desk is technically focused and designed to fix problems, the IT Service Desk is focused more on service delivery and aligning IT processes with overall business processes. The IT Service Desk also provides end-users with a single point of contact (SPOC) for all technology based business solutions. The integrated functions of the help desk, call centre and contact centre are just one aspect of that complete solution.

Why is the IT Service Desk preferable?

Service Oriented - The IT Service Desk offers a comprehensive range of IT services. Typically it enhances the IT service function, as it will follow calls through to resolution and will ensure that the end-user is satisfied with the resolution.

Focused on Efficiency - Because the IT Service Desk is focused on enhancing business efficiencies, it solves more problems in fewer steps and enables the integration of business processes into the IT service management infrastructure.

Aligns Strategies - Using the Information IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) v3 best practices, the IT Service Desk delivers solutions based on streamlined business processes and long-term business strategies. The IT Service Desk constantly evaluates current methodologies and defines, as well as implements plans to ensure that IT is actively improving business processes and functions.

Change requests, maintenance contracts, software licenses, service-level management, configuration management, availability management, financial management and IT services continuity management are some of the additional aspects that an IT Service Desk considers in addition to end-user incident resolutions.

Ensures Compliance  - a professional IT Service Desk will align to the latest standards of best practice as set out by ITIL. The ITIL Core Service Lifecycles which are typically incorporated include:

  • Service Strategy – analyses IT services and develops plans and the business case for services
  • Service Design – encompasses the analysis of all elements that contribute to the delivery of technology services
  • Service Transition – determines how services are seamlessly delivered into the business
  • Service Operation – ensures that SLA's are adhered to and maintains ongoing high service levels
  • Continual Service Improvement – analyses and improves or re-aligns IT services to changing business needs

Manages Risk - The IT Service Desk effectively maximises uptime and the productivity of your team as it is not only responding to technology incidents, but is actively reviewing the technology trends that exist within your organisation and designing and implementing processes to enhance how technology is serving the strategic needs of your business. The IT Service Desk will ensure that you avoid the risk of unplanned downtime and loss of productivity.

Integrated IT is the Future of Business!

According to information found in a Whitepaper recently released by Symantec, help desks are replaced on average, every five years. The reason for this is because break-fix services such as the stand-alone Help Desk, are designed to fix things that go wrong when they go wrong, whereas an IT Service Desk, seeks to avoid problems through ongoing strategic analysis and planning.

In other words, Help Desks are not designed to adjust to swiftly changing and increasingly demanding technologies, whereas an IT Service Desk is designed to manage the break-fix service along with an overall flexible, strategically aligned IT solution.

It makes financial sense from virtually every possible business angle, to look at seriously considering the integration of a professional IT Service Desk as opposed to simply relying on a Help Desk solution.

PulseWare - MMC's IT Service Desk Solution

As part of our overall Managed IT solution, PulseWare enables you to deploy a full-scale, technologically current and strategic IT Service Desk solution quickly and efficiently.

If you are interested in investigating the possibilities of incorporating an IT Service Desk into your business, which will help your teams to achieve measurable results - let MMC discuss suitable options with you.

We see ourselves as part of your team and our objective, is always to leverage the technology you already have so that you maximise your existing IT investment. We then help you make the best IT choices in future so that your budget is always used in a way that realises an ongoing positive Return on Investment.

Find out more

If you have any questions regarding PulseWare or the IT Service Desk in general, or would like us to prepare an obligation free evaluation of your needs, please contact us on 021 530 1600 or email

Established in 1991, MMC provides organisations within the small to medium business sector with a variety of flexible, outsourced IT services. With solid implementation experience across a wide range of leading IT products, we provide robust, reliable solutions that are tailored specifically to the individual needs of our clients.

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