With all the convenience offered by burgeoning technological advancement, there is still a pessimistic perspective floating around in the aether of pop culture. You've probably seen this low-hanging fruit in movies, perhaps encountered it in the pages of your favorite piece of dystopian literature. It goes a little something like this: In a world of robot butlers and instant gratification, we're all going to evolve into lazy, brainless lotus-eaters.
Allow us to disabuse the world of this notion, at least as it pertains to recent developments in IT service management and machine learning. As the message bot phenomenon continues to whip the Silicon Valley crowd into a techno tizzy, we'd all be remiss to reduce platforms like Slack as nothing more than yet another way to chat, bots aside, or just a fancy-pants app repository for every social media account a person owns.
The success of Slack and others like it demonstrates not a desire to do less work, but a need to excise complexity like a tumor.
The success of Slack and others like it demonstrates not a desire to do less work, but a need to excise complexity like a tumor. Likewise, intelligent ITSM utilizes machine learning to optimize how technicians and other service professionals manually interact with software users and enterprise configurations.
1. Engage the Problem Intuitively
When users run into trouble on applications, they reach out over help desk and/or service desk solutions to resolve their issues. As great as it is to provide users and customers with a centralized point of contact with the IT professionals who could address their concerns, as these services grew in prominence they led to an increase in requests. In late 2015, Computerworld reported on an HDI survey of around 800 support professionals found a 57 percent rise in ticket volumes since 2009. That means more hiring, higher costs and greater complications from a system that was supposed to make things easier for everybody.
Intelligent ITSM suites represent the next stage in tech support. At a customer-facing level, these innovative help desk solutions turn queries into valuable resources for both users - in the form of knowledge base articles - and the bots recommending troubleshooting tactics. Ultimately, with a heightened influx of tickets, service providers demand a means to eliminate small-stakes tickets without running up labor costs, but that's only accomplished by making things clearer and more efficient for all parties.
2. Collaborate on the Solution
Similarly to how Slack consolidates modes of communication, modularity in ITSM delivers simplicity for a whole host of complicated backend IT operations with a single-platform design.
By employing dozens of different methods for talking to co-workers, sharing files and conducting businesses, offices end up rebuilding silos the information age supposedly tore down and essentially return to the problems of tribal knowledge anew.
Intelligent ITSM for the service desk untangles the collaborative pipelines for all parties involved in the incident, problem and change management process. Moreover, it provides added visibility into the status of work-in-process tickets or change proposals with straightforward, customizable dashboards. Everyone's on the same page, nobody does redundant work and DevOps teams retain their agility.
3. Change and Move Forward
How busy are developers and operation teams really? A 2015 study conducted by the University of East Anglia and the Centre for Competition Policy examined how often the average application receives an update - about once a month for Android and once every quarter for iOS, in case you were keeping score at home. That's quite a high clip, considering these updates could be comprised of many individual changes to core functionality.
But frequency isn't really the issue, but rather a paradigm shift in how businesses produce digital products. When a customer buys a computer, the device may have a warranty and it may receive some hands-on tech support once or twice in its lifecycle, but essentially you get what you get. Digital products, on the other hand, are in a constant state of flux to keep users active and stay ahead of the competition elbowing its way into the foreground. Necessary configuration changes, therefore, must respond to valid requests to manage the rate of change in the grander scheme. If a change is deployed that doesn't address the issue wholly or opens up a new can of worms, what's the refractory period for developers? Even with the best tools at their disposal, not fast enough for users who've already been waiting for a solution.
That said, when intelligent ITSM suites keep the entire change advisory board in the loop, run configuration changes against a CMDB and automate regression testing, they prevent incomplete changes from leaving the station and ensure the train won't collide with others sharing the same track.
Like we said, ITSM complexity doesn't have to eat away at the gains of adopting innovative platforms, nor is it a sign of weakness - it's merely a response to the direction enterprise IT is moving and the choice to handle the development with grace.