News and Views

The Global Service Desk and Managed Services Solution Lifecycle

by | 29 May, 2024

What is a global service desk? What are managed services and what can you expect from a managed services provider? Within those solution categories, are there any additional factors that pharmaceutical companies should pay attention to?

These are common questions largely because “global service desk” and “managed services” are generally very loosely defined. They can mean different things to different people, from the organisations providing the services to potential customers like you.

Rather than looking for a specific definition, the best approach is often to look at the solution lifecycle for global service desks, in the context of the five stages of the managed services lifecycle we have described below. With a solution lifecycle approach, it is easier to see your entry point, the immediate and long-term benefits, and how the relationship with a global service desk provider can evolve.

From our experience at Westbourne providing global service desk solutions to the pharmaceutical industry, the relationship with customers almost always evolves as new technologies are introduced, challenges are overcome, available resources change, priorities shift, and strategies develop.


The Umbrella of Managed Services

Our Umbrella of Managed Services highlights the main evolutionary phases that are part of the global service desk solution lifecycle.

Umbrella of Managed Services



Monitoring is often a foundational type of service, especially if you don’t have the resources or capabilities to fully monitor your infrastructure in-house. The aim is to identify performance issues and anomalies, ideally before they have an impact on operations, as well as to identify optimisation opportunities.

Technology plays an important role in monitoring your infrastructure and IT estate, but expertise and experience are also required.

One of the reasons for this is the sheer quantity of notifications that must now be monitored in large organisations. The real value in a global service desk provider is understanding what the notifications really mean, the potential impact, and what to do next.



Your technology infrastructure requires an ongoing effort to maintain performance levels and security, and to minimise downtime. It is also important to ensure the user experience is as good as possible.

Ensuring a stable operating environment includes tasks such as:

  • Incident resolution
  • Update and upgrade processes
  • Change requests
  • Event and incident management

Change management is also crucially important. One example is testing updates before they are applied to fully understand the impact, as even small changes can have significant consequences.



Technologies constantly evolve, as does your business, so it’s important to continuously improve. Continuous improvement is essential in your manufacturing and laboratory processes, but it is also important in your technology infrastructure.

Optimisation examples include making performance improvements, enhancing automation, reducing licence fees, and improving SOPs.



A global service desk provider should provide critical support as you implement new technologies, systems, and ways of working. This includes projects that are part of your organisation’s digital transformation strategy.

The expertise you will benefit from include:

  • Project and strategy advice
  • Project planning
  • Project management
  • Vendor liaison and management
  • Implementation and post-implementation support
  • Training

In the pharmaceutical industry, it is also beneficial to have validation and regulatory knowledge and expertise, as well as experience with operational technologies in addition to IT.


Managed XaaS/Cloud

XaaS is a technology term that means everything-as-a-service (or anything-as-a-service). It is a catch-all term that describes the general trend away from owning and operating technology in-house to instead using subscription-based solutions typically delivered via the cloud.

Examples of XaaS include:

  • SaaS – software as a service
  • IaaS – infrastructure as a service
  • DaaS – desktop as a service
  • PaaS – platform as a service

The XaaS approach brings a range of benefits, including lower upfront costs and enhanced flexibility to scale and customise as required.

A global service desk provider can support your transition to as-a-service solutions pre-implementation, during implementation, and post-implementation.


The Four Ps

Irrespective of the phase of managed services you are in, the global service desk solution lifecycle should ensure the support you receive is:

  • Proactive
  • Predictive
  • Preventative
  • Prescriptive

It is a flexible, process-driven approach to managed services that delivers on your needs today while also facilitating future requirements.

To learn more about our pharmaceutical industry-focused global service desk solutions, get in touch with us at Westbourne today.