What’s the True Cost of Operating Your Service Desk?

What does a service desk or help desk really cost to operate? Is it really a cost effective endeavor for organizations whose core competencies are focused on other areas? How does turnover and training impact your overall cost structure? If you’re choosing between operating a service desk in house or outsourcing it, how can you insure you’re making the right decision?

Valor Global has created a tool that can, we hope, in some way help you answer some of these questions. You can download the tool by clicking here.

Before you do that, however, find out more about how our tool works and what kind of information it will provide when your analysis is complete.

We’ve created our Service Desk ROI tool in an excel spreadsheet format. This allows us to adjust some of the formulas to account for different organizational metrics. If you contact us we can help you make the adjustments so that the tool matches the metrics you use to manage your operation. We feel this will be especially necessary when looking at data measuring productivity. We’ve developed the ROI tool into, what we hope, is an easily understood yet complete four step process.

Step 1: Analysis

Service Desk ROI #1

The first step is an in-depth analysis of the business. The ROI Calculator encourages you to take a look at all facets of the operating a service desk or help desk and ensures you’re assessing all the cost and efficiencies of your service desk or help desk operation. This step includes an analysis of the following:

  • Cost of benefits
  • The number of agents manning your desk
  • Average cost per hire
  • Average cost of training per hire
  • Lease Cost
  • Square foot of your facility
  • Annual turnover
  • Average attendance hours per month
  • Facilities maintenance costs
  • Facilities janitorial and utilities costs
  • Number of desktops, servers and network devices desk is managing
  • Average cost of desktops, servers and network devices
  • Number of square feet each employee desk or cube takes up
  • Supervisor/Management payroll costs

In short we’ve included the concerns and goals of HR, operations, leadership and IT so that they’re all expressed in the final analysis. It will take some time, effort and communication with all these departments to understand how they currently measure this data and collect it.


Step 2: Annual Costs

Service Desk ROI #2

Step 2 in the ROI process is taking a look at the overall annual expense of running the desk with all the factors taken into account. When you get to step 2 you’ll find that the ROI tool automatically calculates some of the data.

The calculator will have broken down the cost of facility maintenance, the cost of utilities, the monthly lease cost, network costs and desktop maintenance per agent. The calculator compares your costs to support the employees working in your facility to the potential cost of outsourcing the same operations.

There may be other monthly costs you need to consider. The calculator will allow you to manually enter those costs and include them in your analysis.


Step 3: One Time/Capital Expenses

Service Desk ROI #3

If your goal is to launch, optimize or improve your desk program this year there are typically some investments that are necessary. Adding new desk tops, creating more space, upgrading software and other costs may require operating expense. Other expenditures such as additional chairs, desks, lighting, printers, and copiers may also be required.


Step 4: Twelve Month ROI

Service Desk ROI #4The last step is a simple one. Once the first three steps have been completed, the calculator has been built to provide 12 month return on investment data. The data includes a full analysis of the increase or decrease of monthly/annual costs and capital costs. Also, the calculator provides an analysis of the difference in cost structure between outsourcing vs. operating an in-house desk operation.


Executive Summary


When you complete your Service Desk ROI analysis Valor Global will provide you with a complete executive summary formatted and ready to share with your peers and leadership. The executive summary will pinpoint potential areas where overspending may be occurring, breakdown, by percentage, of how much is being spent in all areas and help you pinpoint areas to target for cost restructuring or savings.

If you’re ready you can download the Service Desk ROI tool by clicking here.

We hope you find the tool informative and useful. Please contact us with any questions.

Ian Bellais
Vice President Strategic Development
Valor Global 


  1. Denise Rowe on January 10, 2018 at 2:41 am

    How can i get a copy of your service desk ROI Tool

  2. Una Gehri on February 24, 2019 at 5:08 am

    very interesting topic, outstanding post.

  3. Jordan Lights on March 13, 2019 at 2:31 am

    I got what you intend, thanks for posting.

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