Exploring the AI Frontier for ITSM
While the seeds of artificial intelligence were planted in the 1950’s by luminaries like Alan Turing, it’s only in recent years that organizations have begun to harness the technology for business growth. Automation, leveraging AI and machine learning, has now hit the mainstream. It is, in fact, a game changer when it comes to modernizing ITSM and ITOM practices. A recent Freshworks-sponsored study with IDG, reveals that 93% of IT practitioners are currently exploring or deploying some level of AI technology for ITSM and ITOM modernization. Clearly, AI has moved out of the lab and is making its way into our workplaces.
The AI Edge
70% of IT executives say AI is either critical or very important for upgrading and modernizing their service desk capabilities. One of the reasons to put your faith in AI -powered ITSM tools is that they are quick, smart and give employees and customers the answers they need without burdening your IT team. For current ITSM environments under pressure to adopt agile practices and deliver greater value, AI can provide a wide-ranging benefits. Those already using AI testify to its benefits primarily because it has exceeded their expectations from increasing workflow automation, reducing IT staff workload, increasing user productivity to reducing downtime and outages. Many of these benefits focus on the intuitive nature of AI technology and its capacity to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. Of the use cases already deployed, ITSM chatbots are a clear leader in planned and actual deployments, followed by IT service desk resolution and information security and compliance.
The Stumbling Blocks
While most companies report measurable benefits from having deployed AI, IT leaders are wary of deployment challenges. The primary challenge associated with the deployment of AI technology is the lack of understanding and an intimidation factor for implementation. Potential buyers also anticipate long and challenging implementations with possible interoperability issues and drain on staff resources. Nearly 70% of the respondents believed that it would take multiple weeks to go from initial deployment to full operations for AI-enabled solutions. More than a quarter thought this process would take months.
The IDG results also report IT leaders listing speed of implementation (40%), integration with legacy systems (40%), overall cost of implementation (38%), and training AI bots to return the most accurate response (39%) as top challenges. Add to this a strapped budget and slow adoption rates by employees and you have a real cause for concern.
Stepping up to the Challenge
So how can organizations leverage breakthroughs in AI and elevate employee experience? What are the prerequisites to a modern AI enabled ITSM solution?
A majority of IT practitioners expect AI solutions for ITSM and ITOM to be intuitive, scalable, collaborative, and easy to deploy. A general rule to go by, the more intuitive an AI solution, the more likely it will be adopted. Given the complexity of today’s IT environments, ease of integration into the existing ITSM environment is a highly desired characteristic.
IT leaders expect AI to be integrated into their ITSM tools for a seamless experience rather than an add-on that requires additional effort. It must be said, once implemented, the rewards of AI technology for ITSM and ITOM far outweigh the risks, and companies enjoy quick and tangible returns on investment.
The Road Ahead
Most organizations desire to move to a state of ITSM that is cost effective, end-user focused, and agile. AI powered ITSM can do all this and more. Forward-thinking organizations are already deploying AI in a few areas. This, however, is just the beginning. We are only scratching the surface of the capabilities of AI for ITSM. Designed to automate repetitive tasks and offering proactive problem-solving capabilities, AI-enabled ITSM solutions will play a critical role in solving key IT challenges. Organizations that take advantage of this paradigm shift will reap tangible rewards.
Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.