Last updated on: July 06, 2018


The beginner's guide to IT help desk software is a comprehensive, one-stop resource for answers to some of the most common questions related to IT help desks. This IT service management (ITSM) evaluation guide attempts to build a complete understanding of IT help desks and their implementation, best practices, metrics, and other key aspects. It can help IT teams establish, maintain, and optimize a best practice IT help desk. This beginner's guide is divided into 4 chapters and chapter 1 talks about the basics of IT help desk software and their application in different industries.  

What you'll learn

Chapter 1

Some of the key features of IT help desk software include:

Some IT help desk ticketing software may also include other modules for project management, contract and purchase management, etc.

Types of IT help desk software

Help desks can be classified into different types based on deployment method, size of target audience, and source code availability, as listed below:

Help desk vs Service desk

Up until the introduction of Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) version 3 in 2007, the two terms—help desk and service desk—were mostly used interchangeably. Since then, this practice has changed within the ITSM industry, but to the average end user the difference still remains blurry. Based on the ITIL v3 description of the two terms, there are a few key differences between help desks and service desks:

Help desk software Service desk software
Help desks are user-centric Service desks are business-centric
Help desks are point solutions Service desks are integrated
Help desks are reactive in nature Service desks are more proactive
Help desks are for end users Service desks are for both technicians and end users
Help desks are a subset of service desks

Application in different industries

1. Help desk software for small businesses

Help desk software for small business

Small businesses usually operate with small IT shops and only a handful of technicians. The small staff size makes it a challenge to handle all the incoming requests on time. Carrying out changes or maintaining assets are also difficult to do manually. Therefore, small businesses stand to gain many benefits from implementing IT ticketing system software, such as:

2. Help desk software for healthcare

Help desk software for healthcare

In the healthcare industry, time is critical. A hospital's IT help desk must be able to offer quick service when needed. Hospitals usually use a lot of equipment that is critical to patient's lives. This makes it important for help desks to manage equipment efficiently and without any errors. Therefore, IT service desk tools can help healthcare organizations in the following ways:

3. Help desk software for IT support

Help desk software for IT support

IT support professionals are naturally the best fit for IT service desk solutions. In the absence of a solution, IT teams usually work with spreadsheets and email, which is a slow, inefficient, and error-prone approach. Out of the numerous benefits that IT help desk solutions offer IT support teams, a few key benefits are listed below:

4. Help desk software for education

Educational institutions usually deploy workstations for teaching staff, administrative staff, and students, making their user base fairly large. In many cases, schools rely on IT for computers, projectors, and software applications. So, to provide reliable IT service to a large user base, educational institutes can use IT help desk software to:

The next chapter will throw light on the benefits of IT help desk software, and their necessity in an organisation. It will also feature a four-step evaluation process to help IT teams identify the best-fit IT help desk software.

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About ServiceDesk Plus

ManageEngine's flagship product, ServiceDesk Plus, is an ITIL-ready service desk software used by ITSM professionals worldwide. With industry-certified best practice ITSM functionality, easy-to-use capability, and native mobile apps, ServiceDesk Plus leverages the latest technology to help IT support teams deliver world-class service to end users with reduced costs and complexity. Available in both cloud and on-premises versions, the software is available in three editions, and 29 different languages. Over 100,000 organizations across 185 countries trust ServiceDesk Plus to optimize their IT service desk performance and be future-ready in their IT service management operations. For more information on ServiceDesk Plus, please visit

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