As the complexity and the cost of supporting today's enterprise IT environments increase, large organizations have increasingly been seeking assistance with the provision of IT help desk services.

IT help desk services are a set of activities which seek to support IT infrastructures and use a single point of contact to interface with those who require support.

IT help desk services include the planning and design of help desks, help desk implementation and integration, the support of help desk software and hardware, and the operation of help desk infrastructures.

Help desk operational activities include the provision of first, second and third line support, additional capacity at times of high usage, product specific support, platform specific support, and the provision of all helpdesk operations by an external vendor.
First, second and third line help desk support can be described as follows:

  • First line support relates to the first contact with a helpdesk. Most problems are resolved at this point and the support analyst can typically resolve it without additional support
  • If a problem cannot be resolved at the first line, it is escalated to the second line. Second line support usually involves specialist help
  • If a problem cannot be resolved at the second line, it is escalated to the third line. At this level support normally involves changing code within a software program or reconfiguring hardware.