IT support desks vs help desks: What’s the Difference?

Blog / IT support desks vs help desks: What’s the Difference?

No one needs to be reminded that computers are central to our lives these days, but they’re such complex devices that most users don’t fully understand how they work. Nor do they need to. Computers need to be reliable without everyone understanding their minutia for our modern world to run. That’s the entire point of IT support desks and help desks; they make our technology work when it doesn’t.

Or do they? You see, although it’s completely understandable, a lot of non-technical users often don’t understand technical jargon and the subtle differences between related or even just related-sounding words. This confusion often crops up in conversations between IT specialists and end users, and it’s also why we like to sometimes use this space to help clear the air  about commonly confused computer lingo.

Which brings us to today’s odd couple of computer terms—IT support desks and help desks. Don’t worry if you thought they were the same thing. A lot of people do. After all, we’re often told to contact support when we need technical help. Nevertheless, they are two distinct terms and it’s helpful to know the difference.

Help Desks

Help desks are what we traditionally think of when we talk about providing support for users. They provide technical assistance for users facing problems using their current technology, be it as simple as resetting a password or as complicated as tracking down the source of a serious bug in their application’s code. They focus on the quick resolution of technical problems and responding to user requests. Help desks have plenty of other useful benefits, including acting as a single point of contact (SPOC) for problem management and resolution, incident tracking, and SLA (service level agreement) compliance.

IT Support Desks

Unlike help desks, IT support desks (sometimes called just support desks or service desks) have a much broader scope. While help desks focus on providing immediate solutions to technical problems, IT support desks serve to improve the overall quality and efficiency of your IT. To put it simply, a help desk responds to individual users’ needs to reset their passwords. A service desk, on the other hand, looks into why so many of your users need password resets every month. IT support desks also serve as SPOCs for users, but for responding to requests for new services and communicate important information to and from configuration/problem management divisions of the provider. The IT support desk supports your overall IT approach and its related services. Help desks are often included as part of a larger overall service desk, but are not actually service desks themselves.

As one of Western Canada’s most trusted IT service providers, TRINUS maintains both an immediate help desk and overall IT support services to all our clients. If you’re a municipality, SMB, health and dental clinic, or any other organization looking for an IT MSP with exceptional, comprehensive help and support services, book a consultation with TRINUS today.

/Partners /Systems /Certifications

TRINUS is proud to partner with industry leaders for both hardware and software who reflect our values of reliability, professionalism and client-focused service.