The Future of the IT Service Desk

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The Future of the IT Service Desk

The IT service desk, a well-known first point of contact for users in need of technical assistance and help relating to IT products and services.  

Indeed, once upon a time the service desk (or ‘computer help desk’ for those of us old enough to recall) would simply manage requests as above. Typically manned by first-line support agents, the job of the service desk was unmistakably tech-focused. Its job was to assess the issues of each caller and either provide immediate solutions or pass off tickets to second or third-line support if needed.  

Early service desks were singular in this sense. Executed well, they were technically capable, of course, but not yet understood to be the business enablers and strategic partners many organisations expect their service desk to operate as today. In other words, early IT help desks were less about adding business value and more about simply ‘keeping the lights on’. 

A reimagining of the IT service desk 

Today’s IT service desks operate a little differently. Whilst obviously still on-hand to quickly remove and resolve any technical snags users encounter, the IT help desk has become a vital enabler for modern organisations.  

These days, the service desk enjoys a varied role which, yes, will always include technical assistance – but also involves helping meet wider business goals such as improving efficiency and productivity, providing business insights that inform IT investments, and even enabling flexibility and scalability.  

Here at Littlefish, we have been known to describe the service desk as ‘a strategic and meaningful window into the inner workings of organisations’. A point of view which encompasses the way effective, modern service desks can provide business leaders with valuable insights into how well the company’s systems perform, the types of technical and procedural hindrances faced by employees on a day-to-day basis, and where resources, time, and improvements ought to be funnelled for best outcomes.  

Already today, then, we can see how an efficient service desk helps shape smarter IT decisions and investments, enhances user experience, and adds tangible business value by helping organisations meet their long-term goals. 

All of this begs the question, though: what comes next? 

What’s in store for the service desk? 

Looking back at the way strong and efficient service desks have evolved over time to offer the companies they work alongside greater and greater value, it’s quite exciting to imagine what’s next for the one-time humble ‘computer help desk’.  

What’s in store for innovative service desks as 2024 looms ever closer and organisations continue to expect more from those they partner with? 

Let’s take a closer look at some continued and evolving trends for IT service desks below:

Artificial intelligence 

Surely not at all unexpected, top of the list and ever a hot topic for the IT industry (and just about everywhere else), is an increased use of AI. 

Now, it’s important to be clear that an increased use of AI doesn’t necessarily mean that all users will only be able to speak to a ‘robot’ when calling or instant chatting with their IT service desk in the future. Rather, AI is likely to be used to enhance human-to-human services – for example, by enabling better triage and making more effective use of real-life engineers’ time. Naturally, increasing efficiency in this way leads to quicker resolution rates and therefore increased satisfaction for users.  

Additionally, AI is a useful tool when it comes to self-service support, i.e., FAQ and knowledge-base articles which we could see swiftly being replaced with more intelligent systems (think virtual assistants like M365 Copilot). Virtual assistants can offer much better, more intuitive, and seemingly natural experiences for both IT users and service desk agents alike, especially when compared with traditional search-based knowledge banks. Indeed, in the case of use by service desk agents themselves, AI-based assistants could even help boost creativity and energy levels by allowing agents to work more efficiently and even improve their skills. 

Using machine learning models, computer programs could also ‘learn’ what particular users are most likely to need help with, even making suggestions in the flow of work for corrective actions or further learning. In this way, based off the back of service desk data, AI could help to drive training curriculums or hiring decisions. 


Almost as popular as AI when it comes to IT talking points, the use of automation is rapidly growing inside customer-facing industries. 

Boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic, when companies were forced to search for more effective solutions to enhance efficiency and productivity, the use of automation by service desk providers is likely to increase in coming years. 

Again, this isn’t a replacement of human interaction, but rather a way for service desks to offer better user experiences by streamlining and managing repetitive tasks that don’t really need human input. For example, automatic notifications for open tickets or ticket resolution, automatically responding to common queries such as password resets, or automatically escalating business-critical incidents to second and third-line support.  

Automation is also a useful tool when it comes to data collection; service desks could, in this instance, automatically collate data on common employee issues, enabling business leaders to create better FAQ guidance and (as above) AI self-service tools. 

Omni-channel support 

Users today expect a seamless experience across various channels, including chat, self-service, phone and email. Suffice to say, though, relying mainly on FAQ and self-help articles won’t be enough to meet the expectations of modern service desk users. Most of whom expect much more advanced and immersive ways to receive information and resolve their issues. 

With this in mind, we can expect the use of video, augmented reality, and extended reality to become more mainstream by service desk providers, particularly with so much of the workforce working flexibly outside the office environment and ‘on the road’.  

In cases like this, augmented reality solutions will enable users to interact with the service desk through their smartphone/tablet, allowing support teams to see what end-users see thanks to innovative software which utilises their mobile device’s camera as a remote view. 

Additionally, and because of more modern service technology toolsets, we can expect the need for support agents to visit onsite to resolve complex issues to be reduced, saving organisations both time and money in call-out fees.

Rising focus on user experience 

A large part of the IT service desk, of course, is to help employees continue with their day-to-day tasks smoothly. However, increased expectations of IT employees have shifted trends recently, putting more emphasis on the service desk to provide strong user experiences. 

This makes sense – after all, perception is everything when it comes to IT services. If your service desk cannot adequately measure and manage user-experience, this can lead to a loss in user-confidence and diminishment of service uptake. 

In the future, this focus on user experience is likely to increase, arguably boosted by automatic feedback collection and other service desk metrics like first contact resolution (FCR). In the future, and as skills shortages carry on, it’s possible that organisations will strive evermore to support employee engagement and therefore boost productivity and staff retention. 

Find out more? 

If you would like to discuss how Littlefish’s award-winning service desk can help you reduce costs, increase service quality, and support your transition to the modern workplace, feel free to contact us through our get in touch button.   

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