ITSM

Beyond IT: Expanding the Service Desk’s Footprint

September 28, 2020

Beyond IT: Expanding the Service Desk’s Footprint

IT Service Management (ITSM) strategies and platforms inherently target IT: it’s a part of the acronym! And, the ITSM platform is the bridge between IT and the organization’s employees. Sure, IT is a key player when it comes to connecting employees to services, but they aren’t the only internal service provider who could benefit from streamlining their activities.

Each department provides services to its employees in some way. Regardless of your organization’s size, there’s an opportunity to connect all departments and employees with your ITSM platform. Uniting all internal service providers may seem like a daunting task but doing so can help promote a positive user experience while making the service desk a central and trusted resource to the business. Over the course of this series, my goal is to help you feel empowered to begin the conversation with your peers and seize the chance to drive cross-departmental collaboration through ITSM strategies.

Laying the Groundwork for Expanding

Take things back to basics and start by reviewing your current configuration. What categories have you accounted for to start? Can your classification and the custom fields you’ve defined scale to accommodate for other internal providers? What services have you made accessible to your end users?

Evaluating your existing design and offerings can provide context into what areas may need to be refined. By following the ITIL guiding principle “Start Where You Are,” you can identify opportunities to incorporate other departments into your ITSM solution. Reviewing the structure of your categories also helps to uncover how you can implement custom roles for various internal service providers. If you want to get Legal or Human Resources involved, locking down visibility to custom data points is critical to maintaining security.

As you continue to set the foundation for expanded ITSM use, heed the advice of another ITIL guiding principle, “Keep It Simple and Practical.” As organizations evolve and grow, aim to keep configuration and customization sensible. Having a practical setup can enable other internal service providers to be successful when building their service management strategies. While it seems cliché, keeping configuration simple not only enables your ITSM solution to scale as your organization grows, it can also contribute to a more seamless user experience on the front end.

Starting the Conversation

These recommendations may sound great…but where do you begin? With whom should you strike up the conversation? You may even ask yourself, “Am I the right person to have this conversation?” Before you get overwhelmed, take a deep breath. No matter your experience, you are equipped to champion expanded use of the service desk!

Consider the opportunities for automation of business processes. For example, in hardware requests, you may have found there’s an overlap between IT and Facilities. When a user requests a new monitor or a new workstation, you need to connect with a Facilities team member to ensure the space is available and the new setup will adhere to code. As you think through this scenario, it might spark other common instances of cross-departmental collaboration. This is the window to start an open dialogue.

Share these stories with department stakeholders and review the benefits IT has reaped with the service desk, amplifying the value with data. As you begin to have these conversations, examine the goals the other departments have set for themselves. This enables you to better understand how aligning within one ITSM solution can help them achieve their initiatives more effectively.

Once you realize the potential for other service-oriented departments to automate their offerings, you can begin to advocate for commingling and collaboration within your ITSM platform. Uniting service providers in one solution helps to strengthen service delivery and enhances the employee experience, positioning the service desk as a key resource to your organization.

Stay tuned for more in our “Beyond IT” series as we explore how specific departments—from HR, Facilities, and even Legal—can benefit from using an ITSM platform.


Like many IT professionals, Liz’s entry into the tech industry was unconventional. With plans to pursue a career in public relations, Liz’s career quickly took a turn toward technology. She got her start working as a customer success manager with a research platform for the financial industry prior to joining Samanage, now SolarWinds Service Desk. Prior to becoming a SolarWinds Head Geek, Liz served as the technical point of contact for SolarWinds Service Desk customers. In this role, she combined the best of both worlds: her passion for communicating with prospective and existing customers while leaning on her multiple ITIL certifications to provide ITSM best practices to help alleviate pain points, work smarter, and streamline service desk operations. Liz is a formally trained public speaker and is actively involved in the service management community, participating in and hosting podcasts, webcasts, panel discussions, and speaking at large-scale industry events. She attended James Madison University where she earned a B.A. in Communication Studies. She's ITIL 4 certified and has never met a dog she didn't want to adopt.