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 Desktops have been replaced by laptops and tablets.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.
2018 was a breakthrough year for internet privacy laws. In May, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into full effect, sending the digital business world scrambling to get in compliance.
Then, during the summer, the United States got in on the action with the adoption of the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), an effort that will make a huge impact one year from now. And we still haven’t talked about the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, ePrivacy, or the CLOUD Act.
Despite the headlines, a recent GetApp data privacy survey of small businesses found that a whopping 65 percent of respondents felt their company was only somewhat prepared or simply not prepared to comply with data privacy regulations.
An assortment of smart gadgets has dominated the holiday gift-giving season. Some of the most popular are smartphones, smart speakers, smart TVs, and wearables. And while these gizmos bring joy to their recipients, employees will return to work in the new year with their new devices in tow, causing potential liabilities for businesses.
Whether you’re upgrading from spreadsheets to business intelligence software or need a help desk program to replace your old email-based system, deciding which type of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) best solves your problem is only the first step of a long process.
Unrealistic expectations, overlooked impacts, and frustrated employees are all waiting for you if you neglect the importance of a thorough software implementation plan.
From 2016 to 2017, Gartner reported a 19 percent year-over-year increase in inquiries regarding SaaS products, but only a 6 percent increase in inquires about SaaS implementation (report available to clients).
Many people think of a digital twin as a 3D rendering of a physical object. And while that might be part of it, we’ve had computer-aided design (CAD) models for decades. Why the hype now?
It’s because the digital twin concept involves far more than that.
Digital twin technology helps businesses visualize assets and optimize operations by synchronizing the virtual world with the real world. Internet of things (IoT) sensors instantly transmit assorted data from an object to its digital twin. As the conditions of the object change, so too do those of its digital twin.
A digital twin is not simply a 3D rendering; it is a dynamic digital representation of a real-world object in real time.
Expectations of IT management have changed fundamentally during the last decade. The proliferation of smartphones with apps that can be downloaded in seconds has caused end users to expect mobility, speed, and convenience in all facets of IT.
Changing demands and a rapidly transforming business environment require an increasingly agile IT department that is aligned with business needs in three key areas (click on each box to skip to that section):