Following Ian Aitchinson’s great blog on SDITS12 I was inspired to write a little about the show attendees who helped elevate this year’s show from good to superlative. But who are these people? Are they people whom, as one conversation I had seemed to suggest, enjoy hearing people moan all day? Perhaps they’re people who appear to offer too much resistance in the face of BYOD, the explosion of mobile devices and social IT by raising objections and concerns that “perhaps we’re not ready for all this nice to have stuff yet”.
The truth is that these people are service desk professionals. Dedicated, undervalued, diligent and (yes it’s true) fun. Perhaps it used to be the case that those who wanted an opening into IT had to earn their stripes and ‘suffer’ through a torturous spell on the service desk before moving on to bigger and better things. Now though, this is not so. The service desk industry attracts high calibre candidates, a fact reinforced by the recent announcement of a postgraduate qualification in ITSM. Working on a service desk is no longer just a stopgap – it’s a career that lots of people enjoy (even the people moaning bit; it’s all part of the job when you’re dealing with stressed and confused customers).
The main point of this blog though is to say this: To paint service desks as inflexible and frightened of the future is not beneficial and will only serve to create a gap between the service desk and the ‘thought leaders’ and ‘innovators’ in our industry. Ask any service desk if they want to improve the way that their customers work and make their lives easier, and they will say yes and then ask how. Service desks embrace change when they are confident that everything that they have worked so hard to achieve will not be squandered by moving too fast too soon.
Additionally, the attendance figures from the seminar sessions demonstrated that service desks have an appetite to learn more and explore new ways to improve. With the service desk professionals in place and the hunger and desire to learn and improve, we will get to where we want to be. But let’s make sure that we move forward together, service desk, analysts, thought leaders and vendors all. The show reinforced that the industry has all the tools it needs at its disposal, and until robots rule the world, we’re going to need the people to make change happen. Let’s put the people back in Back2ITSM.
To learn more about what life is really like on the service desk, see LANDesk’s Anatomy of the Service Desk report.
Daniel Wood is the head of research and Publications at The Service Desk Institute.