How AI Will Transform the Lives of IT Pros Who Manage Our Digital World
As part of Solutions Review’s Contributed Content Series—a collection of articles written by industry thought leaders in maturing software categories—Cullen Childress, the Group Vice President of Product at SolarWinds, outlines how AI can change the lives of IT pros who are responsible for managing the digital world we use.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have been the media buzzwords this year with the development of generative AI tools like ChatGPT and OpenAI Codex. Many people anticipate AI search and discovery and other AI-powered consumer applications will change the world. But this is just the beginning. AI will completely revolutionize how we fundamentally operate as a society by making the technology professionals who build and manage our digital world more productive, innovative, and efficient.
Today’s modern IT environments are incredibly complex. With organizations running workloads, databases, and applications across multiple clouds and on-premises environments, the teams that ensure these environments run smoothly face significant challenges. These complex environments are causing more IT issues for end-users than ever before. Network access issues, application outages, and other problems mean IT teams are increasingly bogged down with endless service requests.
All these requests—even if most of them could be handled quickly—distract IT service management agents from supporting the most urgent business goals. At the same time, they must address these user requests to ensure the business continues to operate.
According to SolarWinds research, nearly half of IT pros surveyed confirmed the acceleration of hybrid IT has increased the complexity of their organizations’ IT management. This survey also revealed only 8 percent of tech pros surveyed feel “extremely confident” in their ability to manage increasingly complex networks.
A solution is needed and certainly won’t come from simply hiring more IT agents. Organizations are having a hard time hiring enough IT people. In an age of tighter budgets where companies try to do more with less, the solution will only come from increased efficiency. This is where AI comes into play.
Thankfully, advancements in generative AI are creating new ways for AI and ML to play a role in how IT service desk agents operate and support the business. Here are the top six ways recent AI advancements will improve IT service management.
Automate Simple Tasks so IT Teams Can Focus on Important Ones
Automating routine IT service management (ITSM) tasks—such as ticket routing, categorization, and prioritization—is critical to help IT teams complete their work and focus on the most significant business goals. By increasing efficiency in ticket management systems, IT agents also have more time to focus on their progress toward achieving service-level agreements (SLAs) and business objectives.
Empower End-User Troubleshooting
AI-powered ITSM solutions can provide users with self-service options and direct them to knowledge-base articles to help them solve the most common issues, such as email or password changes and phone support. This reduces the volume of service tickets and helps make sure users don’t need to submit a request in the first place.
Chatbots Make ITSM Easier for the End-User
AI virtual assistants mean 24/7, always-on support for end-users. Chatbots can answer queries, resolve issues, and provide quick and efficient support in real-time. When chatbots complete simple tasks, it reduces the overall workload for the IT help desk and allows them to focus on more complex tasks requiring human expertise.
Ensure End-User Needs Are Met by Constantly Learning and Evolving
By constantly learning based on interactions with users, the virtual agent can adapt over time to provide the most helpful and relevant information on each customer’s specific needs. For example, AI-powered assistants can tailor specific and targeted recommendations based on the end-users previous system interactions.
Inform IT Pros to Make Better Decisions
AI can help agents identify patterns and trends in service delivery to make better-informed decisions. By identifying how the IT help desk currently offers services, agents can understand whether service delivery needs to change to improve the end-user experience. AI can also help facilitate more effective communication between IT service agents and users by providing the appropriate recommendations.
Unlock the Power of Teamwork Across Departments
AI also unlocks cross-departmental opportunities across a single organization by giving each department its service portal, ticket management system, and service catalog—all within one platform. This extension of IT service management across departments is also known as enterprise service management (ESM), and it brings human resources, legal, marketing, sales, and other teams the efficiency and productivity enhancements of a ticketing system. Improving ESM services with AI enables cross-departmental collaboration so an entire organization can deliver better and faster services.
As digital transformation efforts and the move to the cloud continue, the number of IT issues end-users experience will rise, and IT service management agents will be overworked. But with the promise of AI-powered ITSM solutions, IT agents can better manage our digital world.