The average IT support ticket takes three calendar days to resolve.Bhavin Shah, CEO of Moveworks
In the ITSM realm, there are recurring themes that cause frustratingly long backlogs in support queues and, as a result, increase departmental overhead costs to undesirable levels. Not surprisingly, IT department managers seek cost-saving solutions to alleviate these recurring issues through intelligent and automated means. Here are a few examples of support issues that contribute to a bloated backlogs that fill support agent’s daily workloads:
- Frequently asked questions (password resets, printing problems)
- “Vagueness” or verifying status of a service working (Internet working? Email server down?)
- Simple requests that can often be solved by self-serve knowledge
- Software/hardware requests that do not require approval
The good news for IT Managers and support agents is that there are solutions that can be brought into departmental workflows to streamline help desk operations.
Applications of AI in ITSM
While AI is an overused and abused term in the ITSM landscape, the truth of the matter is that it has tremendous benefits in reducing the costs of high-volume, repetitive support issue-laden help desks – in certain roles. So, before you try and apply a blanket AI solution to your tech support team’s backlog, take a moment to consider where AI works best. Here are a few of those applications.
Intelligent Chat Bots
With Slack becoming the ubiquitous tool for internal communication, it has also become the default channel for submitting support requests. While Slack has improved internal communication, its done no favors for support teams and the infrastructure that they have invested in, such as knowledge bases, internal team wikis and even ticketing software.
Enter the intelligent chat bot. Chat bots can be injected into Slack, with little or no effort. When they are sufficiently trained or integrated with relevant knowledge and data, they can interact with support seekers to suggest non-human resources to aid in solving their problem.
If the same requests appear in your support queue, AI is the perfect tool for routing. Ticket routing involves setting priority and assigning to an available or adequately trained agent. With AI, your support desk can automatically identify the “password reset” requests and file them accordingly to the correct agent with an adequate level of urgency.
There are an abundance of low-value tasks that can be automated through the use of AI in the support function. Since the goal is to streamline the IT help desk’s operations, assigning the lowest-value repetitive tasks to technology is ideal. AI is more than capable in dealing with some of the following tasks:
- Sending email and notifications
- Updating status of tickets
- Categorizing requests
- Automatic approvals of low-risk or low-cost issues
AI can be a powerful source of data for identifying cost-saving opportunities through the power of prediction. Predictive technologies can be used to make suggestions that will aid in decision making
- Identifying knowledge gaps
- Predictive maintenance
- Improved search (AI + NLP)
So as you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to implement smart technology into IT help desk operations to streamline and optimize support agent workloads to focus on higher value work.