Why the Service Help Desk is Changing, and What It Looks Like


Why the Service Help Desk is Changing, and What It Looks Like

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  August 17, 2015

As Hollis “Terry” Bradwell III, executive vice president and CIO at AARP, noted in his keynote speech at last year’s ITEXPO (News - Alert), IT staffs have traditionally served as supports teams, but now they are moving into a more central role at their companies, as businesses work to transform themselves in light of the digital revolution.

“It seems nearly every company in every industry, geography, and size is actively thinking about how to become a digitally-oriented business,” Robin Purohit, president of ITSM for BMC software, notes in a May blog. “Every customer I meet with is now looking for a path to embrace the digital service revolution.”

That is driving CIOs and IT staff members to look for better solutions both for their businesses in general, and to help them more efficiently address the help desks they have in the past and need to continue to support. As an infographic from Randstad Technologies illustrates, service desks offered by IT departments are increasing leveraging self service to reduce calls to the service desk. They are delivering mobile applications that can be used to handle such basic tasks as scheduling appointments, searching for a solution, delivering maintenance or network alerts via text, logging support requests, and enable users and IT staff to check the status of support ticket. Some companies are standing up virtual assistants to support users with instant chats. And some are employing crowd sourcing to help find answers. Many of these solutions leverage the power of the cloud to make these capabilities more affordable, flexible, and scalable.

"As IT environments become ever more hybrid, service desk management solutions that offer advanced integration with both on-premises and cloud-based technologies will increasingly gain traction in the enterprise,” says Robert Young, IDC (News - Alert) research manager of client device and IT service management software. “Likewise, the need for better change control, discovery, software license management, and compliance tracking is also helping drive demand in this market. In addition, service desk software delivered through SaaS (News - Alert) will also continue to be a growth driver as customers continue to seek solutions that reduce up-front capital expenditures as well as ongoing maintenance costs. What's more, SaaS-based solutions can often offer faster procurement and delivery time frames than on-premises implementations.”

Among the products that address some of the above trends is BMC’s Control-M Application Integrator. Unveiled in June, this self-service web design tool allows any application to be easily and quickly integrated into the company’s Control-M Workload Automation offering to help organizations deliver new capabilities to their business users and customers quickly and shrink time to market times. Included with this solution is an open community Application Hub through which customers and partners can find, share and submit their application integrations. The company says this is a first for the workload automation industry.

BMC and ServiceNow are the worldwide service desk management software leaders, according to IDC. Other leaders in this space, according to IDC, are Cherwell Software, CA (News - Alert) Technologies, IBM, and HP.

Awesomative, Desk.com, Freshdesk, LANDESK, Zendesk, and Zoho are also players in the service help desk management arena, as is Samanage, which recently attracted $16 million in new funding.

Nathan Riley of Samanage recently wrote about how the growing mobile workforce and global operations are best addressed with cloud-based help desk solutions that can more easily respond to a variety of time zones and users on mobile devices without having to do round-the-clock staffing and worrying about compatibility issues.

Sheila Jordan, CIO of Symantec (News - Alert), in a January blog and video commented “employees are consumers, and they come into work and expect to have the same experience.” Services must be consumerized to ultimately make them successful, she said, adding that visibility “across the organization” is essential to “make decisions and drive efficiency.”

ServiceNow’s Dave Wright in a March blog discusses how most organizations lack a defined process to request work to be performance, so a flurry of untraceable emails and spreadsheets are floating around without priority or measurement. However, new solution solutions, he says, can help organizations automate marketing, financial, legal, and other services.

“Service management delivers organizations a massive shift in efficiency,” Wright said. “Instead of just keeping the lights on, organizations can focus on generating many more bright ideas.”

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino
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