3.4 What Types of Requests Will Customers Make?

As you create the list of 'stuff' (any ITIL person is going to cringe every time we use that term - which is fine ) then you need to understand what type of request may be made against it. This will help determine what the service desk will be expected to deliver although you may choose not to service certain types of request immediately or not at all. ITIL ( I.T Infrastructure Library ) comes in handy at this point as it offers classifications for requests that can be made to the service desk.

ZENworks Service Desk also uses the same terminology. Here they are:

  • Service Request: A request from a customer for information, advice, standard change or for access to an IT Service. For example, how to create a table in MS Word or can application X be installed. Alternatively look at Service Requests as being “Everything is working fine, I just want something”. The difference between Service Request vs Incident is a long running debate. We would advise that you treat everything as an Incident to begin with and then see if Service Request will add value in the future.

  • Incident: An unplanned interruption to an IT Service or a reduction in the Quality of an IT Service. For example Blue Screen of Death on a Windows device. We like to think of Incident simply meaning “X is no longer working”.

  • Change: The addition, modification or removal of anything that could have an effect on IT Services. For example, adding more memory to server or an application installation. Changes might require authorization from one or more people.

Adding this to our previous example of 'stuff' to support gives this:







Lenovo W500



Standard laptop used by sales teams


Dell R710

Incident, Change


ACME corporate standard server. Changes will require approval


HP LaserJet P4015DN



Marketing department printer



Incident, Change

Sales, Marketing, Corporate

Company wide CRM. System. Changes would be user addition, changes to rights, and deletion. All require approval



Incident, Change


Changes would be user addition / deletion, Mailbox size increase, access to other users mailboxes.

Notice how the description now includes an initial set of changes that will be made.