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31 October, 2023 Service Management Service Desk AI

AI and Machine Learning: The ITSM Professional’s Secret Weapon?

In the ever-evolving world of IT, Service Management, professionals find themselves buried under mountains of user tickets, endless reporting requirements, and general IT gremlins that seem to pop up at the worst possible moment. With technology continually evolving, perhaps there’s an opportunity to utilise emerging tech to benefit the Service Management professional rather than hinder them. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) could well be the new sidekick that Service Managers have been waiting for… 

So, let’s look at some opportunities where AI or ML can be introduced to make Service teams lives that little bit easier… 

Problem Management: Sherlock Holmes 2.0  

Much like the famous detective Sherlock Holmes, AI & ML have a keen eye for detail and deductive reasoning which are ideal traits for detecting potential problems within your infrastructure through analysing your data and identifying patterns. With the ability to sift through a sea of data to pinpoint potential problems before they become full-blown disasters – this could well be a game changer for you and your business. Getting ahead of the game has the potential to reduce the quantity of significant infrastructure incidents and minimise business disruption, which ultimately means happier, more productive users. Trend analysis at your fingertips as quickly as you can say “Elementary, my dear Watson!” 

As more and more Service Desks are now working virtually, trend analysis at first line has become a more difficult task than ever before. Previously agents could spot trends through conversation and overhearing each other’s calls, however this is infinitely more difficult when they aren’t sat in the same room. Service Management products which can utilise AI & ML to detect trends within tickets and propose problem records will improve IT department efficiency and ultimately reduce the quantity of repeated incidents assuming a robust problem resolution process exists to support.  

Conversational Chatbots: Your scalable Service Desk Buddy 🤖 

Chatbots aren’t a new thing, most of us have had the pleasure of using them in our personal lives when dealing with our banks or other services – often with mixed success and occasionally can be a rage-inducing experience. Thankfully, AI technology has progressed significantly in the last couple of years meaning chatbot products aren’t just a basic decision-tree style conversation any longer. With the introduction of Conversational AI, interactions with chatbots are feeling more like chatting with a human and less like talking to… well, a robot. With sentiment analysis, you can detect when one of those rage-inducing moments is about to occur and promptly redirect the chat to an analyst to deal with and hopefully preventing a negative moment of truth.   

If, like many Service departments, you have a finite amount of resource available to you, a conversational chatbot may offer you the scalability you need to meet the demand from your business. Particularly in companies which have significant peaks & troughs in business activity where it wouldn’t be appropriate to staff-up to cover those the peaks. Your AI Service Desk buddy isn’t having time off and doesn’t need sleep, so could provide an ideal solution for an out of hours service desk or provide a solution for a sudden upscale of a business through merger and acquisition activities. 

By no means am I suggesting replacing your entire Service Desk with an army of chatbots, that would be wild – but using a chatbot to compliment an existing service desk operation, now that could work… Allowing your users to interact with your service desk via a chatbot within an application they already use such as MS Teams or Slack to resolve simple problems, process service requests and provide relevant knowledge could be the user experience enhancement you’ve been looking for. No more waiting on the phone listening to elevator music for your users; a quick chat with their virtual service desk buddy and they’re back to business.  

Guardians of Data: Ensuring Ethical AI with Data Governance 🔏 

With great power comes great responsibility when handling vast quantities of data within AI-driven solutions. Understanding exactly how your data is being used and who can access it is critical to protect your business. Introduction of data governance practices are essential to ensure your sensitive and/or confidential information remains secure, complies with regulations, and is used ethically. You are the guardians of your own data and ensuring you have appropriate governance to protect it should be your number one priority when embarking on an AI or ML journey. 

In conclusion, AI and ML technology is not going away anytime soon, so embracing it to do the heavy lifting for you and make your life easier may be the best way forward. Are they going to fix all your problems over night like some sort of superhero? Probably not, however they could remove a lot of the manual effort which slows down service departments and enable you to focus on driving business value. 

Are you ready to explore how AI and Machine Learning can transform your IT Service Management? Contact us today and discover the power of AI to increase your IT operations efficiency. 

Steve Cave