AI isn’t a buzzword anymore. It’s impacting every aspect of our lives. In the field of IT service management as well, AI is turning out to be a serious disruptor. As a result, IT managers have many opportunities to exploit by leveraging AI and machine learning. In this article, learn how AI is expected to impact IT service management and what service desk managers should know about AI.
Artificial Intelligence has long been touted as a revolutionary breakthrough in technology. And rightfully so. It’s going to transform ITSM tools in various ways. Here are six expected ways it will do so:
1.Technicians will have voice-enabled assistants
All the employees in the IT department have to work with a boring interface consisting of dialog boxes and lines of codes. Even though they’re pretty good at handling these, it seems pretty saturated – there’s no way to speed it up.
But all of it is about to change with the introduction of AI into ITSM. Among many other things, we’ll be seeing the use of voice assistants among IT technicians. The technicians would be able to communicate with the AI-based voice assistant and get the work done.
This can be as simple as inquiring, “How many pending tickets are there to be resolved today?” to “Delete code on line 9 and replace it with code from xyz.txt file.” The AI tool will then follow the orders with utmost precision.
The benefits of such an AI-enabled voice assistant are the following:
- Quicker ticket resolution, resulting in happier users.
- Technicians spending less time in manual processes.
- Technicians will drill down on a particular issue and get access to the available data for further inspection.
2.Incident Categorization will be automated and AI-driven
Incident categorization is an important component of incident management, which minimizes the detrimental effects of incidents. The key to success here is speed. The quickly you restore normal service operations, the better.
And the main promise of AI is to improve the speed at scale. It can run through several data blocks and identify, log, categorize, and prioritize in minutes.
The use of NLP or Natural Language Processing is the key to automatically categorizing incoming tickets.
AI can further extend to operation to root cause analysis, which Level 1 Support incident management doesn’t perform.
3.Recommending Relevant articles from the knowledge base
AI can prevent the issuance of tickets in the first place by recommending relevant articles from the knowledge base that does solve the problem. While this has already been implemented in other areas, it’s still not common in ITMS practices.
Whenever a user or requester starts typing his or her concern, AI will suggest relevant articles to the query. Once successfully implemented, this can significantly reduce the number of tickets being issued.
4.Automating workflow by learning about common processes
AI is good at picking up mundane, repetitive tasks. The subdomain called “Machine Learning” analyzes workflow patterns and automates them without requiring manual intervention. Thus, this will enable IT technicians to streamline various IT services.
5.Identifying known issues proactively
For problem management, ITSM products utilize what’s known as the “Know Error Database.” It stores all the errors that the IT department has identified. The AI algorithm can identify these known issues early in the process and act on them proactively. This wouldn’t call for an intervention from the technician either.
Last but not least, AI is going to help technicians with context by analyzing the sentiment behind the text. The use of NLP mentioned above is capable of analyzing text and deriving the context out of it.
A different view of the of AI on ITSM
AI is going to impact ITSM in three specific areas, which will be good for the organization. The three areas are:
- Points of Entry
- Automation in Backend Processes
- Knowledge Management
As already mentioned, AI will eventually make its way into incident management and response. Technicians would communicate with the AI tools and solve the tickets at the Points of Entry. This will save significant resources and cost for the companies.
The only thing they should be concerned with is the accuracy of data and the models. If the AI interprets incidents as requests and vice versa, it would negatively affect the user experience.
The next impact you’re going to see is on the backend processes. The backend is designed to manage any incoming requests made into the system. Traditionally, the requests are logged manually by either analysts or end-users. But when the ITSM tools are integrated with third-party AI-driven tools, you can completely automate the process.
The ITSM would know whether a lightbulb is working perfectly by communicating with a centralized facility management system. If not, it can automatically generate a ticket to replace that lightbulb at the earliest.
Finally, the impact of AI will be felt in knowledge management. AI-driven ITSM tools can automatically find relevant guides, articles, and materials to a specific problem. AI can also go beyond knowledge bases and retrieve relevant information from trusted knowledge resources stored in the cloud.
As AI solves more and more problems, it gets better at it because of the deep learning technique. Thus, it can fundamentally change how users request assistance from the IT department.
What Should Services Desk Managers Know About AI?
Desk managers are the ones responsible for operating the ITSM tools. But with the advent of AI, their job role is going to change.
First and foremost, there will be a reduction in the resources required to manage those tools. So, some of the analysts will be replaced by self-service portals and chatbots. But there will be a requirement for managing major incidents, change management, and problem management.
So services desk managers would have to upskill themselves to solve more critical tasks that require creative thinking.
Over time, AI will get advanced enough to handle even the most critical of the requests. So there will be a continuous decline in human involvement. In the coming decades, experts predict organizations to become more business-focused rather than IT-focused.