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Optimize the Service Desk With a Shift-Left Strategy

The best type of service desk ticket is the one that doesn’t exist.

  • Tier 2 and 3 specialists lose time and resources working on tickets instead of more complex projects.
  • The service desk finds themselves resolving the same incidents over and over, wasting manual work on tasks that could be automated.
  • Employees expect modern, consumer-like experiences when they need help; they want to access information and resources from wherever they are and have the tools to solve their problems themselves without waiting for help.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • It can be difficult to overcome the mindset that difficult functions need to be escalated. Shift left involves a cultural change to the way the service desk works, and overcoming objections and getting buy-in up front is critical.
  • Many organizations have built a great knowledgebase but fail to see the value of it over time as it becomes overburdened with overlapping and out-of-date information. Knowledge capture, updating, and review must be embedded into your processes if you want to keep the knowledgebase useful.
  • Similarly, the self-service portal is often deployed out of the box with little input from end users and fails to deliver its intended benefits. The portal needs to be designed from the end user’s point of view with the goal of self-resolution if it will serve its purpose of deflecting tickets.

Impact and Result

  • Embrace a shift-left strategy by moving repeatable service desk tasks and requests into lower-cost delivery channels such as self-help tools and automation.
  • Shift work from Tier 2 and 3 support to Tier 1 through good knowledge management practices that empower the first level of support with documented solutions to recurring issues and free up more specialized resources for project work and higher value tasks.
  • Shift knowledge from the service desk to the end user by enabling them to find their own solutions. A well-designed and implemented self-service portal will result in fewer logged tickets to the service desk and empowered, satisfied end users.
  • Shift away manual repetitive work through the use of AI and automation.
  • Successfully shifting this work left can reduce time to resolve, decrease support costs, and increase end-user satisfaction.

Optimize the Service Desk With a Shift-Left Strategy Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to understand why a shift-left strategy can help to optimize your service desk, review Info-Tech's methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Prepare to shift left

Assess whether you’re ready to optimize the service desk with a shift-left strategy, get buy-in for the initiative, and define metrics to measure success.

2. Design shift-left model

Build strategy and identify specific opportunities to shift service support left to Level 1 through knowledge sharing and other methods, to the end-user through self-service, and to automation and AI.

3. Implement and communicate

Identify, track, and implement specific shift-left opportunities and document a communications plan to increase adoption.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 5-phase advisory process. You'll receive 6 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Prepare
  • Call 1: Discuss shift left and determine readiness
  • Call 2: Complete buy-in presentation and define metrics

Guided Implementation 2: Shift to Level 1
  • Call 1: Identify opportunities to shift resolution to Level 1 and optimize knowledge sharing

Guided Implementation 3: Shift to end user
  • Call 1: Identify opportunities to shift resolution to the end user and optimize self-service portal

Guided Implementation 4: Shift to automation
  • Call 1: Identify opportunities to shift resolution to automation and AI

Guided Implementation 5: Implement
  • Call 1: Build implementation and communication plan


Natalie Sansone


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