AI is transforming technologies in every industry. It’s rapidly becoming part of our everyday lives, and for good reason – AI has the power to make processes more efficient and easier. That holds true of ITSM processes.
In this article, we’ll explore what intelligent ITSM is and the benefits it delivers: the ability to facilitate digital transformation, streamlining workflows, and minimizing frustration for employees.
What Is Intelligent ITSM?
“Intelligent ITSM” refers to ITSM tools embedded with AI. What does that mean, practically speaking?
AI enables computers to assimilate information on their own and then apply it to situations. An example of how AI could work in ITSM software is that it could review previously submitted tickets and then extrapolate which fixes apply to new tickets.
“Only 21% of ITSM professionals always ensure that their end users know what the solution is, and when help will arrive”
What does intelligent ITSM software look like in action? We’ll use the example in the previous paragraph to illustrate. Let’s say a user submits a help desk ticket. With intelligent ITSM, he or she would navigate to a self-service portal or open a chatbot window and type in a request (such as, “How do I reset my password?”)
The ITSM software will review previously submitted tickets on the same topic. Within moments, it will respond, either by chat or as a search result in the self-service portal, with an answer. If the intelligent ITSM tools can’t find the answer, the software will notify a human member of the help desk.
Intelligent ITSM Tools and the Digital Transformation
The term “digital transformation” describes the profound transformation that organizational activities undergo when you fully leverage digital technologies strategically. Although digital transformation has generated a great deal of buzz, it’s also widely misunderstood. Many people believe that simply implementing a new technological solution means they’ve undergone digital transformation.
That’s not true – digital transformation is a process, and some experts would say there isn’t an end date. The goal of a digital transformation is to continually enhance your processes so that they’re more efficient and you derive greater value from them. And that’s where intelligent ITSM tools come in.
“Thirty-four percent of respondents said they’d already undergone a digital transformation in a January 2019 survey”
While the implementation of intelligent ITSM tools alone doesn’t mean that you’ve undergone a digital transformation, it can help lead you down that path. Here’s how: intelligent ITSM software is automated. Automation doesn’t just save time and money – it profoundly transforms processes.
We’ll illustrate with the example of change management. Change management is an umbrella of processes, and it contains many moving parts. Intelligent ITSM tools automate the change management process to the point that it’s completely transformed.
“Spending on AI technologies is expected to jump to over $35 billion in 2019, a 44% increase from 2018”
Many organizations attempt to manage change through manual methods. They have paper calendars on which they record dates for project timelines; people submit change requests via email or enter them on a spreadsheet. As a result, there’s no visibility into what’s going on with changes.
Intelligent ITSM significantly alters that process. These tools provide you with a console that presents a unified view of everything that’s happening with organizational changes. You can see all scheduled changes with a digital calendar, hold virtual change approval board meetings, and check your metrics and KPIs through dashboards.
“According to change management consultant Torben Rick, 70% of changes fail to achieve their target impact”
Moreover, you can configure intelligent ITSM tools to automate change approvals. These change approvals can be based on team performance. Additionally, the right ITSM software allows you to customize change management by units; you can tailor it for ITIL, DevOps, and line-of-business staff.
Transformation doesn’t have to come at the cost of compliance, either. The top ITSM software creates audit trails, so you can track which changes were made. You can also keep changes on track with SLA management, so you can still uphold your commitments while making vital changes.
Intelligent ITSM and Streamlining Workflows
Another benefit of intelligent ITSM tools is that they streamline workflows. As mentioned earlier, AI-enabled ITSM software automates processes.
The previously-cited example of resolving help desk tickets with the aid of AI is but one instance of how intelligent ITSM tools streamline workflows. The right ITSM tools can make a number of processes more efficient.
“Eighty-three percent of IT organizations now enable or support self-service tools for users”
You can leverage change management modules that are part of ITSM software to automate such processes as project management, purchasing, and onboarding. Again, we’ll illustrate with a use case.
Let’s say a company has just hired a new employee. As part of the onboarding process, this person has a number of forms to fill out, and the HR and IT departments must give the new hire access to the systems he or she needs to do the job.
“HR decision makers cited onboarding as the third-most inefficient process in a 2017 survey”
Entering all the information on those forms is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process. When that process is automated, the company saves time, money, and effort.
Instead of filling out forms, the new hire could enter a self-service portal and provide all of the information that HR and IT needs. The ITSM tools could be configured so that the new hire would be given access to all of the systems he or she requires to do his or her job, so he or she wouldn’t need to wait for days (or longer) to get to work.
“According to the Boston Group, companies with great onboarding procedures achieve 2.5 times more revenue growth and 1.9 times the profit margin of companies with poor onboarding strategies”
Without automated processes, it could take quite a while for the HR department or the IT team to get to requests for system access. Intelligent ITSM tools accelerate those operations so that company-wide processes move faster, too.
Intelligent ITSM and Minimizing Employee Frustration
A third benefit of intelligent ITSM tools is that they minimize employee frustration. Why is this advantage included in this article?
Research firm Capgemini reported a few years ago that employees using business technology are the company’s largest stakeholder. When you implement a solution, you can either upset many people or delight that same, large group. Frustrating them isn’t the way to go, obviously – when people get fed up with their jobs, they become disengaged, which has a host of negative repercussions.
“Since 2000, 36% of workers in the UK left a job or an organization due to frustration at work”
When workers are disengaged, they’re not productive. And when they’re not productive, that hurts the company’s bottom line. Intelligent ITSM tools play a crucial role in changing that picture.
The example of a help desk request works well here – it can be an enormous source of employee frustration. Let’s say that the printer tells Sarah it’s jammed. Because Sarah can’t see an obvious jam, she submits a ticket to the help desk.
“For employees that earn $75,000 per year, their typical turnover cost is 20% of their salary”
Depending on the method Sarah relies upon to submit her ticket, there are two ways in which this situation could unfold. If Sarah’s company uses manual methods to submit help desk tickets (such as email), Sarah could be waiting for hours or longer while someone at the help desk works through the queue of emails, meaning she can’t print her document.
Now, we’ll look at the second way in which this could work. If Sarah’s company has implemented intelligent ITSM tools, the situation will be very different. Sarah would navigate to a self-service portal or open a chatbot window, and then type in a brief description of the problem.
“Gartner research shows 48% of users try to find the solution themselves before turning to the help desk”
AI-enabled ITSM software will respond within moments. Provided the ITSM tools have encountered the same (or a similar problem before), they can tell Sarah what steps to take so that she can fix the problem on her own. In case the ITSM software isn’t familiar with what Sarah faces, it can automatically notify a human member of the help desk that there’s a problem.
The second vignette seems like a much smoother, less frustrating process, right? Sarah comes away from that experience feeling more productive because she’s found a fix for her problem, one way or another. She doesn’t have to waste time waiting for someone else to get the printer working again, and she can get on with her day.
“Research from the Service Desk Institute shows that 15% of companies that implemented ITSM software saw increased user productivity”
Intelligent ITSM tools are beneficial to the enterprise: they help you embrace digital transformation, they make processes more efficient, and they reduce employee unhappiness. As a result, employees will be more productive, and companies more profitable.