Hollywood has long been using the narrative of man versus robot, playing up storylines of robot revolutions to prey upon a more innate fear — that robots will in fact one day take over our jobs.
And while these stories have been told for generations, the reality of robots in the workplace has never been closer. Those of us who use technology interact with artificial intelligence (AI) on a daily basis, from spam filters to mobile check deposits to Google maps, Siri, Alexa, Netflix … the list goes on.
Still, these day-to-day uses seem non-threatening. But try to tell your IT team you’re going to bring on an AI service desk tool to assist them with their work, and you may get some threatened (and less than thrilled) reactions.
However, that conversation is becoming more common with the vast majority of executives stating that they plan to bring on AI support for menial tasks like paperwork, scheduling, and timesheets in the near future.
The key to making that talk go well lies in framing and changing the conversation. If you can get your IT team to start thinking about AI as automation you’re already part way there. After all, your sales and marketing teams probably talk about their own automation software on a daily basis.
Then, consider and discuss these four ways AI will make your IT team more human. Soon you’ll have everyone on board with the idea that AI service desk is more friendly Wall-E than fearful Matrix.
- AI can make your IT team less stressed.
Research shows that multitasking on various forms of media — for example, email, chat, and web browsing — has a significantly negative impact on the brain. Yet we often call upon our team members to do just that, jumping from one project to another on different channels every time.
Automation helps remove some of that stress in several ways. It can predefine processes, automate repetitive workflows, set reminders, filter, and tag projects — all in service of taking some of that burden off your team members so they can be more laser-focused, and less distracted.
- AI can make your IT team less transactional.
Much of your IT team’s day-to-day is taken up with reactive requests once a problem occurs. Fulfilling these requests can become very transactional as by the point they occur, the affected staff members are in a heightened state of anxiety without their equipment and the IT team is already backlogged with requests.
With automation, risks can be detected proactively. Based on historic data, IT team members can be alerted of and act on maintenance needs to avoid problems before the occur. Not only does this keep equipment away from it’s users for smaller chunks of time, it allows your IT team to plan projects in advance.
- AI can make your IT team more engaged.
There are a lot of repetitive tasks in any IT professional’s day. No one loves tackling those tasks and they certainly aren’t the best use of your staff members’ hard-earned talents and skills. Yet employees who feel like they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day are six times as likely to be engaged at work than those who don’t.
Using AI to automate tedious tasks is an excellent way to grant your IT team members freedom to focus on their greatest skills as well as growth opportunities. When you do so, you’ll not only see more longer term projects getting done, you’ll see longer term loyalty to your company.
- AI can make your IT team’s conversations better.
One of the biggest grievances many IT team members have is with prioritization. With so many requests coming in, it can bedifficult to know what to tackle first. Compound that with the service requesters constantly prodding with “is this done yet?” and you have a recipe for frustrating conversations between IT team members and other staff.
Service desk automation tools prioritize incoming requests for your IT team, taking individual employees out of the decision equation. By doing so, not only does your IT team avoid dealing with prioritization tasks, they also have better, fairer conversations with fellow staff members about how rankings are decided.
The robot revolution is already here, albeit it’s a little different than Hollywood has imagined. Bringing an AI solution on board can improve your IT team’s productivity, positivity, and yes, even their humanity.
Taylor Burke is a contributor for TechnologyAdvice.com. When she’s not in front of her screen, you can find Taylor reading, cooking, running, or hanging with her dog—but rarely all four at once. Connect with her on LinkedIn.