The IT Service Desk is thought of as a broader term that is more strategic and cross organizational (sometimes referred to as internally or organizationally focused). This looks at the business needs rather than solely focused on resolving the user’s needs and takes into account the broader business context. The ITIL 3 definition of the Service Desk (Service Operation) is the Single Point of Contact between the Service Provider and the Users.
A typical Service Desk manages Incidents and Service Requests, and also handles communication with the Users. The Service Desk typically has a help desk component and should have an overall goal of improving IT and business processes across the organization looking for opportunities for all IT processes (including the Help Desk) to run more efficiently.
There are no specific rules and there are instances where a company does not require or may not be ready for the processes and service offerings of the broader Service Desk. In that situation a Help Desk is perfectly fine to meet these tactical needs. The Help Desk provides business users a place to contact when they are having specific IT issues. The goal here is to have that initial point of contact to reduce the wait time and get the issues resolved quickly to get the user working and productive. The Service Desk looks at the overall IT processes and the individual components that function and interact with each other on both a software and process level. One area that is a must in any IT service offering is the ability to manage specific end user problems and issues. A Service Desk either has to have Help Desk functionality embedded as part of the Service Desk infrastructure or has the ability to link into a Help Desk offering for the end user. The Service Desk is typically focused on corporate strategy and ensuring all the IT functions are currently working and will work in the future, they must also have the ability to ensure all end users up and functioning.
Some additional and important capabilities for a Help Desk and Service Desk deployment:
Enabling a Mobile IT user solution provides more self-service and user enabled capabilities in your business user’s hands and reduces the resource burden on the Service Desk and Help Desk
Providing an Intuitive User Experience that empowers your business users by making it easy for them to get service, support, information and apps, no matter where they are.
Enabling Business or Process Automation to help drive greater responsiveness, efficiency, and standardization in your service management operations allowing you to respond to the growing challenges of scale and new demands from the business by automating repetitive and time consuming tasks.
Better decision-support capabilities with Actionable Intelligence to help your IT Service Management organization manage the evolving challenges of delivering effective service in increasingly complex environments. Provide your teams with a detailed view of your infrastructure and its dependencies with diagnostic data, performance information, and actionable knowledge.