At some point in the not too distant future Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will do away with the role of the Service Desk. Users will be able to phone into a virtual assistant that will automatically log and call, record all of the relevant information, provide the user with some options to resolve the issue and, if not, pass the call onto the relevant engineer, who will have all the information that they need to close the call.
However, we are not quite at that point yet, and there is a risk that vendors are selling the future state, and overstating the current benefits of the tools they are selling. It is not hard to see the appeal in artificial intelligence for ITSM, the potential for a significant reduction of costs, a consistent end-user experience and quicker ticket resolution, however this must be tempered with a knowledge of the current technology capabilities and a strategy of how to adopt any future developments.
When looking to implement an Artificial Intelligence solution for ITSM, it is essential that there is an understanding of the make-up of the tickets that are processed through the current solution, as this will determine the implementation framework. Incidents that are predictable and repeatable (deterministic) are easier to automate than those that are more complex, varied and unpredictable (non-deterministic).
Organisations that exhibit a greater number of deterministic service desk tickets will be able to realise the benefits of adopting Artificial Intelligence based ITSM solutions a lot quicker and easier than those which have the more complex non-deterministic tickets. A non-deterministic ticket will be one that has multiple potential solutions and is reliant on the artificial intelligence working through multiple options to select the most likely resolution.
As a result, each implementation of an Artificial Intelligence based ITSM solution will be different and will need tailoring to the specific organisations requirements. However, regardless of the complexity of the implementation and the length of the overall implementation, the end results and benefits are similar:
- Better levels of service – Applying Artificial Intelligence to ITSM introduces a level of consistency and speed that is unachievable through a traditional service desk.
- Improved user experience – While there will always be some people who like to talk to a real person and push back on any sort of automation, generally, the use of Artificial Intelligence in ITSM can result in a significant improvement in user experience.
- Always available – Automated tooling doesn’t sleep, and modern infrastructure techniques mean that there is rarely any requirement for maintenance downtime. This means that users have 24/7 access to the service desk, including all public holidays.
- Reduce inconsistencies and mistakes – The greatest variable when dealing with ITSM is the people that the users interact with. There tends to be a reliance on the skills and experience of staff, which leads to inconsistencies and human error, resulting in poor customer experience. Artificial Intelligence is far more consistent and continues to learn and develop ensuring that users receive the most up to date information.
- Reduced costs – Staff costs are a significant part of an IT departments budget, and, while implementing and running AI ITSM solutions isn’t cheap, the costs should be more than covered the savings that are made and benefits that are realised.
- Better staff utilisation – There is a strong argument that says the most experienced members of staff should work on the service desk and that it is something that people should aspire to. This is rarely the case, most often the newest and most junior people will staff the desk. Using artificial intelligence in ITSM will free up skilled IT staff to do more challenging tasks that can generate real business benefit.
There is little doubt that Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Assistants, Machine Learning, along with the development of new technologies such as Big Data, will continue to develop and get smarter filling all aspects of our everyday lives.
As such IT departments should be actively developing strategies for how this technology can be used to help reduce costs, improve the user experience and actively benefit the business. IT Service Management should be at the forefront of these developments.
If you would like to find out how iCore can help you with your IT service management requirements then please contact us on 0207 868 2405 or email email@example.com