Service desk versus help desk: Tomāto, tomáto or apples and oranges?
In the past, the two terms were used interchangeably, and in many cases they still are. However, they can connote two different ideas depending on who you’re talking to. Knowing the ways in which they are different can prevent businesses from buying too much software or overstating their capabilities.
Ask your IT staff about it and they’ll probably call it the “service desk,” but when employees have a problem, they’ll probably say “call the help desk.”
To add some anecdotal evidence, I asked two friends, each of whom have spent their entire careers in IT management, to give me their first reactions to the question:
“What’s the difference between a help desk and a service desk?”
—“Well, honestly I’d expect a service desk to be more useful. Help desk has picked up negative connotations. Helpless desk …”
—“I’m not even sure what the difference is … here at ‘Big Box Retailer’ we call our help desk the Technology Support Center.”
Well that clears that up.
Too many businesses have old desktops stuffed into closets, decommissioned servers sitting in a warehouse, or useless CRT monitors taking up space in a storage locker across town. As technology evolves faster and faster, companies pile up ever-increasing piles of obsolete IT assets.
In recent years, cloud storage and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that store data off site have rendered many onsite storage devices bulky and unnecessary. Desktops have been replaced by laptops and tablets. Even the utilitarian flash drive has been usurped by cloud-based solutions such as Dropbox.
Getting rid of old computers and other IT assets involves risk to intellectual property, regulatory compliance, and the environment. Small businesses must create a process that ensures IT assets are dispositioned in a manner that maximizes data security while minimizing environmental impact.
So how do I get rid of all these old computers?
One option is to hire an IT asset disposition (ITAD) vendor. These companies take end-of-life IT assets, securely delete any stored data, and dispose of them in an environmentally responsible manner. While this might seem like an easy choice, you must choose a reputable company and consider a range of factors including transportation and data destruction practices. We’ll come back to ITAD options later in the piece.
While consumer internet of things (IoT) devices such as smart thermostats and fitness trackers have garnered much of the media’s attention, the internet of things has been quietly optimizing business operations around the world. In fact, according to a recent GSMA study, the number of internet of things endpoints used for business operations will surpass the consumer market by 2025.
Business IoT has shown promising results: A recent Gartner survey found that 80 percent of companies that have implemented IoT technology feel that their return on investment has been better than expected (report available to clients).
Employing remote workers opens your company to a larger talent pool and attracts those who prefer a flexible working environment (i.e., the vast majority of job seekers). In fact, a recent survey found that 86 percent of workers age 18-34 would be more likely to take a job that offers at least some remote work over one that doesn’t.
Recent data shows that up to 85 percent of U.S. companies allow some form of remote work. However, a recent GetApp survey found that a mere 19 percent of small businesses have a formal remote work policy in place. To retain employees and stay competitive, small businesses must develop remote work policies that fully embrace the changing dynamics of work that can be done at any time and from any place.
Overall job satisfaction is closely linked to the efficient management of office space. According to Gartner, employees who are satisfied with their physical workplace are 16 percent more productive, 18 percent more likely to stay, and 30 percent more attracted to the company over competitors (report available to clients).
Small and midsize businesses must rethink how they use space by designing workplaces that improve productivity and retain talent.