The State of Service Desk Report 2018

By Mark Watson|8 May 2018

Here’s some competitor research that we think our clients will find interesting. Freshworks, IT service management software, has produced an independent State of the Service Desk Report, after surveying 12,000 service desks around the world.

The report proves interesting reading for any organisation with an internal service desk, as well as those already working with external partners.

Some of the highlights include:

  • More organisations will go through a digital transformation successfully. Encouraging a shift to proactive, next generation and self-serve IT services;
  • Organisations are increasingly expecting service desks to do more with less. Anything that saves time and resources, including proactive IT service partnerships, are going to be welcomed by decision makers and budget holders;
  • Reactive problem solving should not be the main focus of an IT service desk. Organisations are increasingly unhappy with partners and internal teams that spend more of their time troubleshooting than creating solutions that are aligned with business objectives.

Let’s take a look at what the report has uncovered, and how this could impact your organisation.

Digital Transformation

In 2018 and beyond, ‘digital transformation’ will stop being a buzzword. It will stop being thought of as new, exciting or transformative. Digital will simply, finally, become a normal way organisations manage relationships with customers, suppliers, partners and internal stakeholders and colleagues.

In almost every knowledge-based, tertiary sector job role, IT services are going to play a key role in driving business outcomes. IT will also to continue making significant inroads in other sectors too, from farming to shipping - a digital way of operating is changing workplaces everywhere. Out-dated ways of working will cease being the norm. To borrow a UK government phrase, in a few years, everyone will be ‘Digital by Default’, thereby saving valuable time and resources.

IT Service Manager (ITSM) partners will need to ensure that service provision is focused on delivering long-term, strategic results. For example, that could mean contact centres are supported by Chatbots, as a first point of contact, or insurance companies using machine learning / AI solutions to automate and enhance underwriting solutions.

Do More With Less

A consequence of this move to digital services is the reliance organisations have on IT service desks. If any services go down, it can have a significant impact on operational efficiency and customer service. At the same time, service desks are increasingly reliant on ITSM tools to automate more aspects of their work.

The global survey uncovered the following data on service desk workloads:

  • For every 1,500 employees, there are now 15 service desk agents (front and second line);
  • Ticket response and resolution time now takes 10 hours;
  • The ratio of tickets to service desk agents is 120:1

Unsurprisingly, organisations that have cut resources whilst increasing demand don't experience the same operational support as those who've maintained IT budgets. It is impossible to contribute to business objectives when a service desk is focused on fire fighting. One way for ITSM partners and internal desks to resolve the resourcing challenge is to provide a wider range of self-serve solutions so that end-users can resolve their own tickets more quickly, without relying on agent support.

According to Freshworks research, smart automation and self-serve improves efficiency 25 percent, on average.

Proactive Approach

Service desks that maintain an inefficient reactive approach won’t make much progress contributing to business outcomes. Survey results found that 52% of IT professionals are unhappy with automated workflow solutions, and 69% of their time is spent fire fighting and troubleshooting IT tickets, instead of working on long-term business objectives, such as digital transformation.

When service desks implement a problem management system, they can reduce the volume of incidents/tickets 40% - making a huge impact on workflows. Instead of taking the usual reactive approach, problem management investigates the root cause of tickets, then finds ways to prevent the same issues recurring again. This can include implementing more self-serve, FAQs, videos, downloadable guides, Chatbots and other tools that make it easier for end-users to resolve tickets themselves.

With organisations under pressure to improve sales, customer service and operational outcomes, it’s more important than ever to make sure your IT partner can provide the support you need. Working together, the right IT partner will take a proactive, collaborative approach to deliver the impact you need to drive forward innovation and growth.

I hope found this summary of the report enlightening. UKN Group are innovating in the service desk environment, and already our clients are benefiting from the Next Generation Service Desk (NGSD). The report highlights many of the challenges faced by organisations with internal service desk support, particularly in relation to the reactive, fire-fighting model.

Outsourcing to a trusted partner is often best practice in these situations; as well as freeing up your IT analysts’ time for productive work, your organisation will also benefit from new skillsets and innovation in service desk. If you would like to chat about this in more detail, please get in touch.

Find out how your IT service desk ranks, download our checklist here.

Further Information

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