Describe the advantages and disadvantages of a centralized versus decentralized environment.

PART 1    – This should be 1-2 pages 

Your company wishes to ensure that the new help desk will be able to handle requests and problems from users at any time of the day; this will play an important part in the structure of the help desk. You also have the understanding that the executive management is keen to be able to support users who are not located at the central office, and as they grow the company, the help desk should be able to support users in remote locations.

Take this opportunity to describe to management a couple of important help desk organizational structures. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of a centralized versus decentralized environment. In addition, describe these various staffing structures:

  • Pool
  • Dispatch
  • Tiered
  • Specialized
  • Method

Finally, make and offer supporting material for your recommendation about how the help desk you plan to establish will be structured. Be sure to include a recommendation about being centralized or decentralized, and then explain how the staffing structure would be setup.

This first assignment will allow you to establish the Key Assignment Template that will be used throughout the class for all Individual Project submissions and to explore the framework securing an organization’s data.

  • Create the template to be used for the submission of all Individual Project assignments.

The template document should follow this format:

  • IT Support Systems Project Document Shell
  • Use Microsoft Word
  • Title Page
    • Course number and name
    • Project name
    • Student name
    • Date
  • Table of Contents
    • Auto-generated TOC
    • Separate page
    • Maximum of 3 levels deep
    • Be sure to update the fields of the TOC so that it is up-to-date before submitting your project.
  • Section headings (create each heading on a new page with TBD as content, except for sections listed under “New Content” below).
    • Roles and Responsibilities
    • Tools and Technologies
    • IT Systems Support
    • Processes and Problem Resolution
    • Performance Management

PART 2 –This should be 2-3 pages 

s you continue to build the help desk, you want to ensure that all of the tools are in place and that the analysts have the tools needed to resolve issues as they are reported. First, you want to understand and be able to report what the steps in problem solving entails. The following are common steps when solving issues:

  • Identifying the problem
  • Determining the cause of the problem
  • Generating options
  • Evaluating and prioritizing options
  • Determining a course of action

Describe each step in detail, and discuss the issues and deliverables that exist at each step. To help ensure that the infrastructure is in place for the analysts, describe what technologies need to be in place at each step for you to enable your help desk analysts.

PART 3 – This should be 2-3 pages 

ou have convinced the management team that a phone-based solution is not the most appropriate solution. Your recommendation is to set up a self-service-based support environment. Take this opportunity to prepare a report for the management team describing what self-service support entails and how a Web-based solution can be implemented to meet the request. Include a discussion about the tools that are available with Web-based support and how real-time assistance differs from delayed assistance and is implemented in a Web-based solution.

Also, as a very important tool involved in any help desk environment, but arguably more important in a self-service support environment, describe what a knowledge base is and how it plays an integral part in any help desk application.

PART 4 – This should be 2-3 pages 

Service level agreements (SLAs) need to be established so that customers and the help desk both know what is expected of them. You are working with your management team and the customers to establish appropriate SLAs and to determine which metrics will be used to measure and report the service levels. Based on these metrics, the results will determine if you get bonuses or penalties, or even keep their business.

To help facilitate the discussion and educate the Help Desk staff provide feedback for the following:

  • Define service level and service level agreement.
  • What kinds of metrics will you measure?
  • Which ones will keep your customer happy?
  • Which ones will keep your help desk analysts happy?
  • Which metric has the best chance of success and customer satisfaction?

PART 5  – This should be 2-3 pages 

The management team likes the information and the work performed in setting up the Help Desk. Up to this point, you have been able to provide them with valuable information:

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Tools and technologies
  • IT systems support
  • Processes and problem resolution

The management team is comfortable that the service level agreements can be met with respect to things they can control, namely employee performance and knowledge base quality. They are, however, concerned that because the majority of the help desk support infrastructure is based on Web-based self-service, an outage on the Web site could lead to missed service levels.

Describe what can be done to ensure the security and availability of the Web-based infrastructure and what the company can do to keep the help desk running in the event of a Web site outage (business continuity). The discussion about security should focus on 3 levels:

  • Physical security
  • Network infrastructure/security
  • Application infrastructure/security

At this point, the Key Assignment template is complete. The following sections should be completed, and be sure to incorporate any feedback received from the instructor and peer reviews:

  • Title page
  • Table of contents (updated to reflect correct page numbers)
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Tools and technologies
  • IT systems support
  • Processes and problem resolution
  • Performance management

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