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June 22, 2011

2 Min Read
Service Desk: It's Ease of Use, Stupid

By Dan Berthiaume

Sometimes MSPs get so caught up in trying to offer their clients all the latest and greatest bells and whistles in the IT services they provide, they lose sight of the main reason most companies seek assistance from MSPs in the first place. MSPs make life easier, especially for SMBs with limited implementation and training resources. To paraphrase a famous presidential campaign slogan from the 1990s, “It’s Ease of Use, Stupid.”

For an example of how ease of use trumps cutting edge technology, let’s look at preferences of SMBs when they are selecting a service desk tool. Results of a recent survey on SMB service desk preferences from systems management appliance provider DellKACE and Dimensional Research show 71% of 850 SMB respondents said support for Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) documentation is not a factor in choosing a service desk tool, even though half of them use ITIL to some degree.

SMBs ranked ease-of-use higher than advanced features when asked to rank a list of service desk features.

While this survey did not specifically mention MSPs (more on that later), the general attitude displayed is of interest. SMBs are more interested in a service desk tool that is easy to use than one that offers ITIL support or has advanced features. What could be easier than a service desk tool you can literally turn on with a switch and have its functionality delivered to you via the internet?

Most SMBs Haven’t Integrated Service Desk Tools

More good news for MSPs with service desk expertise: while 92% of SMBs reported seeing a benefit in integrating service desk to desktop management tools, with 71% percent stating the integration enables faster time-to-resolution, 87% of SMBs surveyed reported they have not completed this integration due to cost or technical factors.

Of course, cost and technical factors are two key areas where MSPs can remove the burden from an SMB’s shoulders and provide considerable operational savings for an upfront investment. Add in that 71% of percent of survey respondents reported the reputation of corporate IT is significantly impacted by service desk interactions, and clearly an MSP with a quality service desk product and persuasive sales pitch should have some solid prospecting ahead of them.

As noted above, this survey does not specifically mention MSPs as an option for SMBs with service desk needs, and actually is a sales pitch for a DellKACE product. However, MSPs need to know how to dig for valuable SMB data wherever it lies, and the overriding message of ease of use being number one in the client’s mind should come through the static loud and clear.

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