AI as a Service
These days, it seems like you can’t spend more than a few moments surfing the Internet without running across an article, blog post, or webinar devoted to how artificial intelligence (AI) is going to radically change the face of how we currently do business. If you believe the hype, this holds true not just for tech-oriented businesses, but also for any business mature enough and large enough to have its own IT department.
AI is already changing how things have always been done, from machine learning handling big data in a way that humans simply cannot, to automations taking over a large amount of manual service desk processes. All these efforts are aimed at freeing up human IT capital to further service management and agile development efforts across organizations.
Customer and internal employee service powered by artificial intelligence is quickly becoming the standard for many organizations. But what does the future of AI-enabled ITSM actually look like?
The Promise of Artificial Intelligence Customer and Employee Service
AI as a service, taking over a large portion of service management tasks, is not a figment of the future but an aspect of current best practices in ITSM. Advances in natural language processing will help IT teams handle service requests, process changes and incidents (together with their underlying problems) in new ways, while advances in machine learning will aid knowledge management efforts in ways that we are only beginning to grasp.
Benefits of leveraging advanced AI about service include:
- Increases in productivity
- Better communication between teams and across organizations
- Improved and more varied options in customer/employee service
- The elimination of redundancies throughout processes
- Better overall problem solving
AI has the potential to not only automate conversation through the use of chatbots, but to help personalize those interactions and automatically route and prioritize service requests so that tickets can be accurately assigned and delivered to the correct teams.
How to Successfully Embrace AI as a Service in ITSM
Embracing automation will lead to increased customer satisfaction in a myriad of ways. For starters, it has the potential to cut back on existing ticket resolution times, and it has the natural capacity to streamline the rollout of new systems and processes. One Samanage customer has experienced a 48 percent decrease in issue resolution time with the help of automations in the service desk.
AI also can improve your strategy around predictive maintenance, meaning that service desks powered by AI should be able to proactively alert you to potential problems.
Most importantly, the concept of AI as a service has to be embraced, with buy-in at all levels, for its potential impact on ITSM to be fully realized. Without buy-in, especially at the management level, artificial intelligence internal (and external) service and all of the benefits it brings with it will have unrealized potential. Thankfully, due to the ongoing digitization of the workplace, employee-focused service management efforts, and a wide variety of other trends (including the consumerization of technology), getting organizational buy-in for advancing ITSM through automation has never been easier.
Practical Steps Toward Building a Strong Foundation for the Future of AI-Enabled ITSM
It’s all well and good to talk about building automation into your ITSM efforts. Thus far, there has been a great amount of talk from thought leaders on the need to get it done, without much in the way of concrete direction on how to go about doing it.
However, there are concrete steps that you can take toward building the foundation you need for a future where AI-enabled ITSM drives many of your service efforts for you:
- Build an expansive knowledge base and keep it updated to reflect changes to the organization.
- Build a robust service catalog to automate multi-step processes
- Maintain an updated CMDB so your solution can connect incidents, problems, and changes to impacted configuration items (CIs) through artificial intelligence
Machine learning can help to track how knowledge articles and service catalog items are and will be used, while AI can use that data to suggest self-service options and service catalog forms to requesters. In this way, AI will be helping to create another layer of adoption for self-service. Furthermore, sentiment analysis of comments from requesters can also give the service desk a new barometer for customer satisfaction (CSAT).
The Future of AI in ITSM
The road to a future in which AI-enabled ITSM is running things for us will be paved with the incremental implementation of automation. Applying AI to your service requests not only improves bandwidth at the IT agent level – but it also improves the availability of your service providers (by removing the human component), which enables your service portal to assist employees outside of normal business hours.
To learn more about how AI is poised to impact your business, visit the Samanage blog.
About Brendan Cooper
Brendan is a Product Marketing Manager at SolarWinds. He works closely with customers to connect them with beneficial functionality in the SolarWinds Service Desk application. He also works with developers to build an application that meets customer needs.
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