Service management: can you trust third-party access?

According to the proverb, the person who is a jack-of-all-trades is the master of none. Although directing this at an individual might be perceived as slightly disparaging, the concept behind it can be positive.

In fact, this is the theory behind most IT service desk teams who require first-tier "generalists" to handle whatever problems may arise. For the most part, generalists should be able to help users resolve any issue, leaving no need to hire experts to support every technology used. For those times when a guru is required, it can be much more efficient to call on outside help from either the original vendor or specialist service provider.

Whomever that expert is, he or she will need access to your, and possibly your end users', systems. Despite this increased reliance on external parties for support, there is often little attention paid to the technology that third parties are using to remotely access tehse systems. As a result, many organisations on both sides of the customer-service provider relationship are using freeware more suited to help Granny send an email than troubleshooting a server. Read more.