Help Desk and Service Desk are terms that do not mean the same thing, although many still tend to believe the opposite. Indeed, they are often used interchangeably to describe a team of IT professionals providing support to end-users. However, if the Help Desk is a term that appeared in the 80s to designate a service intended to solve IT problems, the Service Desk is defined by ITIL or Information Technology Infrastructure Library. So these are two different services and for a variety of reasons which we will detail below.
Help Desk or IT Support Service
The term Help Desk has its origins in the late 80s and designates a concept whose objective is the resolution of computer problems encountered by end-users. In general, its task is limited to solving the needs of end-users in the fastest and most efficient way possible.
In IT, the IT Help Desk is often considered a tactical service, with the main aim of providing quick solutions to a technical problem or incident. The IT Help Desk can be outsourced to an ESN or integrated into the internal IT department. The main objective is to offer the most efficient and quickest solutions to implement.
Service Desk or IT Support Service
The service desk or IT support service is a more organizational and strategic concept focused on the end-user. Its objective is to improve IT processes by helping users to connect to the appropriate support when they encounter a problem (need for troubleshooting, service interruption, management of data access, etc. ). In other words, the service desk is a single outsourcing and IT assistance solution for all business processes, apps, and IT domains. This service is a point of contact: it can be a web page, a chatbot, a human agent, etc.
The Service Desk focuses more specifically on the needs of the business rather than those of the users, taking into account the wider business context. The IT Service Desk usually has a help desk component, and its purpose is to improve the company’s IT and business processes by taking advantage of opportunities that allow all IT processes, including the help desk, to run as efficiently as possible.
What are the differences between a Help desk and service desk?
The Help desk aims to help end-users solve their problems quickly and efficiently (in tasks like resetting passwords or messaging problems, for example). The service desk, for its part, is made up of a full-service team providing a single point of contact between a service provider and users. Thus, the help desk is intended to manage IT problems only, and the service desk is a kind of one-stop-shop for all IT problems. As such, the help desk can be seen as a key element of a strong service desk team.