Defining Terms: Help Desk vs Service Desk vs Tech Support


Hey there, and welcome to the blog of camoIT Solutions, based out of Cambridge, Ontario.

In this day and age, there are a lot of terms that get used in the business world around the topic of IT support services which seem to mean one thing, but, depending on a variety of reasons, that term may not have the exact definition you think it does.

Specifically, we’re talking about three terms that get confused with each other all the time: Help Desk, Service Desk, and Tech Support.

These seemingly innocuous terms may sound innocent enough, but if you think about how everyone seems to be wasting time on the phone these days, either talking to a robot who can’t assist, or the wrong person who tries to transfer you to the right person, you may start to see knowing (or not knowing) the meaning behind these terms can actually affect your life in a big way.

Whether you’re a customer frustrated on the end of a line, or you’re a business trying to sort out a minor or major issue, time and money is usually at risk and the people who are supposed to help you are usually one of the three above terms: help desk, service desk, or tech support.

Let’s delve into the distinctions between these terms, and hopefully clear up some confusion as to how these terms are used.

Help Desk


A help desk is a centralized resource designed to provide assistance and support to end-users or customers with technical issues, inquiries, or problems related to a specific product, service, or technology.

Example at camoIT Solutions

camoIT Solutions operates a help desk to assist businesses with various IT-related challenges.

This includes troubleshooting software and hardware issues, providing guidance on using specific applications, resolving connectivity issues, and offering advice on IT best practices.

Who it Serves

The help desk at camoIT Solutions caters primarily to small and medium-sized businesses in the Cambridge and surrounding areas. These businesses may not have dedicated IT staff and rely on external support for their IT needs.

How it is Contacted

Clients can reach camoIT Solutions’ help desk through various channels, including phone, email, and a dedicated online portal. A ticketing system is typically used to track and manage support requests efficiently.

Kinds of Problems it Can Tackle

The help desk handles a wide range of technical issues, including software troubleshooting, network connectivity problems, printer configuration, email setup, and basic user training.

Service Desk


A service desk is a broader term that encompasses not only technical support but also the management of IT services and resources within an organization.

It focuses on delivering IT services efficiently and aligning them with the business needs and objectives.

Example at camoIT Solutions

While camoIT Solutions, on one hand, operates a help desk, it also offers service desk capabilities for businesses that require more comprehensive IT service management.

This includes ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) compliant practices for incident management, problem management, change management, and service request fulfillment.

Who it Serves

The service desk caters to businesses of all sizes, including those with more complex IT infrastructures and service requirements. It serves as a single point of contact for managing IT incidents, service requests, and changes across the organization.

How it is Contacted

Similar to the help desk, clients can contact camoIT Solutions’ service desk through various channels. However, the service desk may also offer self-service options such as a knowledge base or FAQ section to empower users to resolve common issues independently.

Kinds of Problems it Can Tackle

In addition to providing technical support, the service desk focuses on proactive IT service management, service optimization, and continuous improvement. It handles more complex technical issues, IT service disruptions, and requests for system changes or enhancements.

General Tech Support


General tech support refers to the provision of technical assistance and guidance on a wide range of IT-related issues, often without specialization in a particular product or service.

Example at camoIT Solutions

While camoIT Solutions primarily focuses on offering specialized IT services through its help desk and service desk, it may also provide general tech support on an ad-hoc basis for clients with miscellaneous IT needs.

Who it Serves

General tech support may serve individuals, small businesses, or organizations with sporadic or non-specialized IT requirements.

How it is Contacted

Clients can typically contact general tech support through phone, email, or online chat. Response times and availability may vary depending on the service provider.

Kinds of Problems it Can Tackle

General tech support can address a wide range of technical issues, including software installation, virus removal, device setup, and basic troubleshooting across different platforms and technologies.

Managed IT Solutions and Enterprise Solutions

Managed IT Solutions

For businesses that require more comprehensive and proactive IT support, camoIT Solutions offers managed IT solutions.

This involves outsourcing the management of the client’s IT infrastructure to us, including monitoring, maintenance, security, and support services.

Enterprise Solutions

For larger businesses with complex IT environments and higher service demands, camoIT Solutions provides enterprise solutions tailored to their specific needs.

This may include custom software development, enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation, cloud migration services, and strategic IT consulting.

In summary, while the terms help desk, service desk, and general tech support are often used interchangeably, they represent distinct facets of IT support and service management.

From the perspective of camoIT Solutions, each plays a unique role in addressing the diverse IT needs of businesses, from basic troubleshooting to comprehensive IT service management and strategic IT consulting.

Contact us for a free IT consultation:

Call us now! 1 (519) 267-6767









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