January 15, 2022

Understanding the Differences between Help Desk and Service Desk

IT is riddled with jargon and abbreviations. Many people have heard of Help Desk (or "IT Help Desk services") and Service Desk (or "IT Service Desk") or something else entirely, but what are the differences, and which one is better for their business?

As a result, most consumers frequently ask us, "What's the difference between an IT Help Desk Support Services Desk?"

Let's go over the differences between a Help Desk and a Service Desk in further depth in this blog.

These two words were used interchangeably until the publication of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) v3 in 2007. There was never much of a distinction between the two. This has changed with the release of ITIL v3, which examines the IT process from start to finish and maps how IT should be incorporated into the whole business process.

What is the primary distinction between a Help Desk and a Service Desk?

Help Desk:

A Help Desk's tactical and reactive nature is one of its distinctive traits. If something breaks, let's go fix it. They are intended to help end consumers with IT-related difficulties such as configuring a new laptop or resetting a password.

Serving as a centralized point of contact (SPOC) for all "IT Support concerns"

Tracking incidents and pursuing them through to resolution

If necessary, provide automation for issue tracking, alerts, and incident escalation to external organizational units outside the helpdesk Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Service Desk:

A "Help Desk" is a subset of a "Service Desk," which is a more proactive, all-encompassing, and strategic approach to IT. As part of ITSM best practices, the service desk emerged from the help desk, with the purpose of treating IT as a service.

Instead of dealing with end-user concerns, the Service Desk focuses on overall business needs and intended goals. The Service Desk is defined in ITIL 3 as "the Single Point of Contact between the Service Provider and the Service Consumer."

A Service Desk's key elements include:

Providing a centralized point of contact for all IT-related issues and business processes

Integrating ITSM processes completely in service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, and continuous service improvement

Management of Change

Management of Releases

Asset administration

Request for Service


The shift in nomenclature and practice from Help Desk to Service Desk demonstrates IT's rising emphasis on service and strategy.

To make the transition to IT as a service, assess your IT team's maturity and identify where you want it to be in the future. Then you may implement the IT service management methods and systems that will be most beneficial to your firm.

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