Understanding  Service Desk

In the world of IT, a Service Desk is an essential part of ensuring that systems and infrastructure run smoothly. It is a centralized point of contact for IT helpdesk services that enables businesses to maintain their technology systems' performance. As such, it plays a vital role in supporting business operations by ensuring that end-users receive the necessary assistance to complete their daily work.

What is a Service Desk?

A Service Desk is a single point of contact between the end-users and the IT department. It assists end-users with remote desktop support for hardware, software, and network issues. The primary objective of a service desk is to provide quality customer service by ensuring that all incidents or service requests are logged, tracked, resolved, and reported promptly.

What are the Functions of Service Desk?

The functions of a service desk include incident management process, resolving issues related to software or hardware failures, service request management, support for remote desktop access, maintaining inventory control for hardware and software components used by end-users, and escalation procedures.

Incident Management Process

Incident management is the process of restoring normal service operation as quickly as possible when an unexpected disruption occurs in business operations. A Service Desk ensures that incidents are logged promptly and resolved with agreed timescales defined by Service Level Agreements (SLA).

Resolving Issues related to Software or Hardware Failures

Service Desks ensure timely resolution of issues related to software or hardware components used by end-users. They use remote desktop support tools to diagnose problems on user’s computers or laptops and provide solutions.

Service Request Management

Service request management is the process of fulfilling users’ requests for services such as application installation, configuration requests, password resets, etc. Service Desks manage all types of user requests resulting in quicker problem resolution.

Support for Remote Desktop Access

Service Desks also provide remote desktop support services that allow technicians to solve problems accessing users' computers and laptops from a centralized location. It avoids the need for an on-site visit by a technician that saves both time and money.

Maintaining Inventory Control for Hardware and Software Components Used by End-users

Service Desks maintain inventory control by recording all hardware and software components used by end-users. It helps detect the causes of common issues such as software incompatibilities or hardware problems and provides insights to reduce them.

Escalation Procedures

Service desks have escalation procedures to manage more complex incidents or service requests that require specialized support teams or management approval. They ensure prompt resolution of such issues.

Why is a Service Desk Essential?

A service desk is essential because it ensures that IT-related problems are resolved quickly, minimizing the impact of downtime on business operations. Moreover, it enables businesses to optimize their IT infrastructure constantly, ensuring increased productivity for end-users, which translates into increased profitability.

What Qualities are Required for Service Desk Technicians?

Service desk technicians must possess excellent communication skills, technical knowledge, problem-solving skills, multitasking abilities, and customer service skills.

What Types of Service Desks Exist?

Three types of Service Desks exist:

  1. Local Service Desk - staffed with IT professionals at a physical location
  2. Centralized Service Desk - provides services to multiple locations from one central point
  3. Virtual Service Desk - provides services remotely through phone or chat with no physical location


A Service Desk is an essential component of any IT department that ensures the smooth running of business operations through incident management process, resolving software/hardware issues, service request management, remote desktop support, maintaining inventory control tools and escalation procedures. It boosts productivity while providing high-quality customer support services to end-users remotely. Therefore it is critical to have professionally managed service desks to help businesses achieve their objectives efficiently.


  1. Information Systems Today: Managing in a Digital World 8th edition (2019) - by Joseph S. Valacich, Christoph Schneider, and Melissa A. H. Sassi.
  2. Service Management Principles for Business and Information Technology 2nd edition (2019) - by Jan van Bon, Ivanka Menken and Mark Smalley.
  3. IT Service Management: A Guide for ITIL Foundation Exam Candidates 4th edition (2018) - by Ernest Brewster, Richard Griffiths, Aidan Lawes and John Sansbury.
  4. IT Service Management: An Introduction (2012) - by Jan van Bon.
  5. IT Service Management Complete Self-Assessment Guide (2018) - by Gerardus Blokdyk.
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