Shift Left Blog Thumbnail

What “Shift Left” Means & Why Should You Care

The first time I heard the term “shift left,” I immediately took to my favorite search engine to explore and understand the full meaning behind this concept. It didn’t take long to pinpoint its value for the service desk and its customers.

For the uninformed, shift left entails moving information or knowledge from the upper levels of support to the lowest possible level. The ultimate shift left environment shifts processes and service delivery away from technical staff and empowers the customer to solve problems on their own. This can be achieved through customer-facing portals equipped with knowledge articles, videos (micro-learning), automated service catalogs and other features that don’t require interaction with a service agent.

The goal of shift left at the service desk is to detect and resolve issues earlier in the service delivery lifecycle before they become more complex and disruptive. Here are some ways in which shift left can be applied at the service desk:

Knowledge Management

A knowledge management system can be used to capture and share information on known issues and their resolutions. This allows service desk staff to quickly identify and resolve common issues, reducing the time and effort required to handle incidents.


A self-service portal can be used to enable end users to perform basic troubleshooting and support tasks on their own. This can reduce the volume of incidents handled by the service desk, freeing staff to focus on more complex issues.


Automation can be used to detect and resolve common issues automatically. For example, a chatbot can be used to answer frequently asked questions, or an automated script can be used to restart a service that has stopped working.

Proactive Monitoring 

Proactive monitoring can be used to detect issues before they impact end users. For example, monitoring tools can be used to detect when a server is running low on disk space or when a network device is experiencing high traffic. This can allow service desk staff to take corrective action before the issue becomes more complex.


Collaboration between the service desk and other IT teams, such as development and operations, can help to identify and resolve issues earlier in the service delivery lifecycle. For example, service desk staff can provide feedback to developers on common issues they are seeing, enabling the development team to address these issues in future releases.

Empowerment Through Education

While having customers solve problems is a great value, the most significant value is derived within the operational team. For example, at the service desk, shifting left enables lower tiers of the service desk to complete tasks typically achieved by the higher tiers. Why is this significant?

  1. Tier 1 and 2 agents are being educated and advancing their skills and knowledge. 
  2. Agents can solve problems for customers on first contact. 
  3. The number of escalations to the higher tiers is reduced.

Overall, utilizing the shift left approach at the service desk can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery, reduce costs, and improve customer experience and satisfaction by proactively detecting and resolving issues before they become disruptive. 

Prioritizing customer experience (CX) is essential to your organization’s success, and your customers are our mission at NuAxis. Learn more about the importance of CX and how we can help.