Service Desk

How a Service desk works from logging to resolving?

In the world of software service management, the service desk is a very important field to learn about. According to Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), the service desk is a point where end-users and technology specialists work together to get things work smoothly.

A service desk has a broader scope of work starting from business process integration facilitation, maintenance of service infrastructure through maintaining routine activities and issue resolving. It has a complete lifecycle which starts from the end user and ends with a resolution provided by the IT organization that is responsible for managing the services. With the increased managed IT Services in Hong Kong, it is evident for the organizations to look forward to improving IT Service Desk scenario, as quickly as possible.


What is the difference between “help desk” and “service desk”?

There are terms like “help desk” that are used along with service desk often. Now the question is, is there any difference between the two or they are just synonyms?

The answer is: Both are possible.

It depends on some factors like – the type of service that an organization is using, the end users and most importantly, the process and agreement have decided between the provider and the user.

However, as per the definitions of ITIL, we can say, a help desk is a subset of the service desk. Let’s take a look at how both works.


 IT Helpdesk:

  • The primary goal of IT help desk is typically seen as a quick solution provider to the immediate issues and requests from the end users
  • Helpdesk provides incident(tickets) management with L1 and L2 level of support
  • Escalation of issues if required is done by IT Help Desk
  • Stick to the Service Level Agreements

IT Service Desk:

  • A complete set of a managed IT services is the key responsibility of IT Service Desk.
  • Can be included support level from L1, L2, L3, L4, and SMEs.
  • Integrate with the other services like Change Management, Release Management, Problem Management or Configuration Management to support them with information flow.
  • Advanced solutions and resolution of the escalation requests, made by the Help Desk team. Implementations, client management, downtime management etc are also part of the IT Service Desk Team.

How does an IT Service Desk work?

IT Service Desk works typically on the incident management system. An incident is an issue/request generated or logged by the end user in the system that needs to be resolved by the IT Service Desk and the provider. Service desk acts as a single point of contact for the end user to log an issue/request to the support staffs of the service provider. It follows a complete workflow to get the jobs done.

Here is the flowchart of the issues/incidents from logging to resolving by a service desk

Here is the flowchart of the issues/incidents from logging to resolving by a service desk.

Image Source:

Let’s explain the process to you now:

  • End-user raises an incident through phone call/incident management platform/Phone call.
  • The L1 and L2 staffs read and start working on the incident according to the priority.
  • Incident priority is decided on the basis of SLA signed by the service provider and the user organization.
  • Next, the L1 staff identifies the incident and check if it an incident at all.
  • If user request gets identified as an incident, it is logged into the system with complete information. It then becomes a ticket.
  • Then, the ticket is assigned, in which, category and sub-category of the issue are defined.
  • If the ticket is of high priority and if it needs any special permission to resolve, needs outage, or big change/upgrade/installation, it goes to the next level support.
  • After the thorough initial diagnosis, the incident gets escalated to the concert team/person or authority.
  • Most of the incidents are resolved by the support team. They provide a resolution.
  • Incident is marked as “resolved” by the team.
  • If the end user is happy with the results, he marks the ticket as “Closed”
  • If the user is not happy with the solution, he can reopen/escalate it with remarks in it.

There are few statuses that a ticket or incident can have –

  • New
  • Assigned
  • In-Progress
  • Resolved
  • Closed
  • Reopened

These statuses are assigned to the tickets according to their current status.

The main benefit of a managed IT service is to give the organization a smooth flow to achieve the desired solutions to each of the end users. IT does more than that too. The final output of all the incidents is – data. This data determines the trends of issues coming, trends of finding a solution, scope of improvement in the quality of services to decrease the similar type of issues reported etc. These are determined through the dashboards and metrics created by the data.

The complete flow and process of the service desk data let the organization make better business decisions. Isn’t what you want?