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Editorial

How AI Is Transforming IT Service Management

4 minute read
Matt Cox avatar
The goal of AI technology is not to replace humans, because it can’t. It can, however, streamline processes, augment human roles, and assist in tasks.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is likely helping you in your life right now and you may not even know it. AI powers smart assistants, rideshare apps and social media feeds. It autopilots our planes and sometimes even delivers our packages. It should be no surprise, then, that by the year 2022, one in five workers will be working side-by-side with AI technology — from HR to IT.

Using AI to catch a ride is one thing, but it’s another to assign AI some of your day-to-day tasks. And sometimes, this can fuel misconceptions around AI technology that overshadow its potential for the workplace. In fact, professionals are more than twice as likely to feel worry rather than enthusiasm when asked about the prospect of AI performing human tasks. For these workers, the revolutionary capabilities of AI technology and its increasing adoption can be intimidating.

How Does AI Augment the Human Workforce?

Despite the rise of smart technology like AI and automation, human employees possess unique skills (specifically, complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity) — skills deemed the most essential for the workforce by the World Economic Forum. The goal of AI technology is not to replace these skills, because it can’t. It can, however, streamline processes, augment human roles and assist in tasks that only humans can complete.

Enterprise implementation of AI grew 270% in the past four years — which makes adoption a competitive necessity for businesses. But communicating this reality to hesitant employees is easier said than done. As a best practice, enterprises are focusing on introducing AI-powered products strategically and with solutions that augment the employee experience. Given the technical nature of introducing AI and the emphasis on enabling employees, there’s a logical area of the business in which to begin: IT service management (ITSM). In fact, a recent report found 62% of enterprises are considering or already implementing AI into their ITSM strategy.

Related Article: Transforming the Service Desk: Adding AI to the Team

Learning Opportunities

How Does ITSM Use AI?

Integrating AI into enterprise ITSM offerings is a fairly digestible way to introduce the technology company-wide. An AI-powered service desk encourages effective and timely service management, making sure both technicians and employees feel connected, engaged and confident in their service experience.

  • Solution Suggestions. AI can save a significant amount of time by recommending solutions to both technicians and employees. Using machine learning, a modern service management solution can learn from behaviors of employees as they interact with the knowledge base to identify recommended solutions within the service portal. Pointing employees to self-service solutions through suggested knowledge base articles can help to prevent some tickets from being submitted in the first place, which frees up technicians to address complex, enterprise IT issues.
  • Accurate Data. Efficient request fulfillment and ticket resolutions depend on complete, accurate data, which has proven elusive for many organizations. Requesters simply aren’t aware of where everything is and what everything is called. Fortunately, AI can point them in the right direction. For example, it can suggest a service catalog form that collects every piece of necessary data for a request, preventing an incomplete ticket and the ensuing back-and-forth. It can also assist in collecting accurate category and subcategory data within tickets, driving automated routing and priority on the back end. No longer does an employee need to guess if their request falls under “software” or “applications,” which means their tickets will fall in the right hands the first time.
  • Visibility. When the service desk is collecting complete and accurate service data, this enables your IT organization to have greater visibility and evolve from reactive to proactive service management. AI can recognize patterns within requests and incidents, help to identify and prevent service-level agreement (SLA) breaches, and equip leaders with the information needed to plan for necessary changes. It can also connect the dots between related incidents to identify larger problems, giving your team a head start on communication and troubleshooting.

When AI is a part of enterprise ITSM offerings, it can enhance the quality of every employee’s experience — from technician to end user. AI in the service desk should be as seamless as AI in everyday consumer experiences.

AI-powered ITSM solutions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to workplace efficiency. With the technology evolving at a rapid pace, it is especially important that enterprises introduce AI to employees as soon as possible to clear the way for even greater opportunities in the technology lying just ahead.

About the author

Matt Cox

With nearly 15 years of experience in the IT industry, Matt Cox loves to create technical solutions. As the senior director of technical operations and ITSM at SolarWinds, he leads the talented team of solutions consultants and implementation specialists who work with customers of all sizes and across many different industries to create tailored service management solutions using ITSM and ITIL best practices.

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