An IT service desk is an integral part of an organization’s IT operations. It’s relevant for entities of all sizes, and plays a key role in making sure that IT services meet key business objectives.

In an organization, a service desk also acts as a catalyst for digital transformation, which is a major trend affecting almost every industry. In a recent report from Forturum, 41.4% of their respondents (companies) had a dedicated digital transformation team.

Now let’s break down IT services by asking some fundamental questions like:

What is an IT Service Desk?

An IT service desk is a single point of contact for internal customers (employees) to get services from their IT department.

In a service desk, requests are registered as tickets, which is why it’s also called a ticket management system.

ITIL, a standard framework for implementing a service desk, has identified 26 processes and 4 functions that can be mapped on to service lifecycle stages. You can read more about ITIL approach to Service Desk here.

Functions of a Service Desk?

The primary role of a service desk is to deliver services. Apart from that, it captures major incidents in an organization.

In most organizations, the service desk is not just limited to IT. It is integrated into other business processes like:

  • Travel booking.
  • Onboarding of new employees.
  • Infrastructure management.
  • Onboarding of new vendors and their management.
  • Data and reporting.
  • Documentation Management.

In our ITSM solution, we provide predefined templates to take care of common use cases like New Employee On-boarding.

What are the common types of Services Desk?

ITIL has clearly stated that there are four types of service desk. They are as follows:

  • Local Service Desk: Such a service desk is generally situated inside the premise of an organization and caters to the demands of users in close proximity. The capacity of such a service desk is limited and suitable for small and medium-size enterprises.
  • Centralize Service Desk: A central service desk eliminates the requirement of maintaining multiple service desks across several locations. It allows greater efficiency and results in significant cost reduction.
  • Virtual Service Desk: When a service desk delivers services through online, and gives the sense of a central service desk even though it might be distributed across multiple locations, then it is a virtual service desk. Most modern service desks are virtual service desk.
  • Follow the Sun: This kind of service desk runs 24 hours. This is achieved by combining two or more service desks situated across multiple geographical locations.

What are the benefits of having an IT service desk?

  • Most modern service desks leverage a cloud architecture to give services anytime anywhere. With service desk, people can report their issues/service from a portal, via email or a mobile app anytime.
  • A service desk ensures, services are delivered in a standardized way and that there are no gaps in the expectations of the end-users.
  • A service desk brings in the power of workflow automation that automates repetitive processes and service level agreements so services are delivered on time.
  • A service desk generates a lot of data and makes reporting a lot easier. Apart from that, it also gauges the sentiment of the end-users.

According to a report from SDI, 41% of their IT respondents have said that they see customer satisfaction as their main indicator of success.

How service desk is different from helpdesk?

People tend to confuse between a service desk and a helpdesk, but they are different.

A helpdesk is a limited version of a service desk. It was designed to fix IT issues for IT teams. The traditional helpdesk ignores the end-user experience.

A service desk is everything a helpdesk is and more. It takes into consideration what is called a service lifecycle that includes handling incidents and service requests. Click Here to Read more about the difference.

How a service desk fits into IT service management?

IT service management deals with service planning, designing, delivering, supporting and managing.

A service desk is a subset of ITSM that includes:

  • Incident management
  • Problem Management
  • Change Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Self-service
  • Service Requests
  • Integration with a CMDB


A service desk is an enabler to provide comprehensive IT support to people inside an organization. With current evolution, the service desk has gone beyond just IT. Motadata ServiceOps enables its users to create services for Admin, HR, Marketing, etc. Try Motadata ServiceOps for 30 days.