Shift Left to the Service Desk

You may have heard of the “Cha Cha Slide,” “Electric Slide,” and “Teach Me How to Dougie,” but a new song is catching on in IT – “Shift Left to the Service Desk.” However, instead of breaking it down, resolution percentages go up and Level 2 & 3 teams have more time to focus on other projects and responsibilities.

What does it mean to Shift Left for the Service Desk?

As incidents move their way through support teams, they escalate to a higher skillset if the current team cannot resolve the issue. These incidents “move right” as they progress through the support teams.

IT Service Tiers Level 1 - 3

Shifting Left to the Service Desk is a concept or practice which involves moving incidents and requests to the lowest support tier possible to free up higher-skilled (and more costly) support teams. Fewer escalations mean users wait less time for a resolution. Less waiting = more productive users.

Shifting Responsibilities Left

Freeing up internal resources also enables IT productivity. Level 3 can focus on infrastructure projects and Level 2 and can focus on more in-depth issue resolution or MAC (Move, Add, and Change) services.

What are four key areas you should try to shift left to the Service Desk?

Onboarding/Offboarding/Account Audits

In many organizations, Level 2 technicians or Level 3 engineers onboard new hires or terminate user’s accounts. These requests are routine and can be easily documented. Routine tasks that are easily documented are perfect candidates to be handed off to the Level 1 service desk team. The Level 1 team can also complete audit reviews. Whether the reviews are weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, the Level 1 team can confirm accounts are in order by following a documented process.

Administration

Like onboarding/offboarding requests, providing a user additional access is typically handled by a Level 2 or Level 3 team.

These access requests include:

  • job changes
  • manager changes
  • network folders/share drives permissions
  • SharePoint access
  • and business application access

These tasks once again can shift left by applying automation and creating clear documentation.

Software Installs

Each organization has a slightly different procedure for software requests. Based on the environment, shifting software installs to the service desk may need additional access or an automated approval process. Once those initial steps have been taken, the service desk can process the actual install and remediate any issues.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

More environments are adding extra layers of security as working environments change. These extra layers can often mean also adding MFA to restrict access to critical data or documents. The service desk team can make Active Directory changes like re-enrolling or adding employees to specific groups. Users receive help on the first contact instead of waiting for their ticket to escalate to a specific administrative group.


Shifting Left can positively impact your user experience, lower IT support costs, and create a more flexible support model. Tasks not escalated are resolved quicker, users get back to work faster, and specialized teams focus on their main responsibilities.

Looking for a team to shift support items to?

Look no further