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EasyVista | January 22, 2024

Generative AI in IT Service Management

Over 100 million people use ChatGPT every week. 

And that’s just one AI program.  

Add in the 2 million developers currently using the company’s API (OpenAI), and all the other generative AI platforms (e.g. Bard by Google, Midjourney, Soundful, Descript, and so many more) that don’t use ChatGPT, and the odds are very high that if you’re not using AI, then someone else in your company is benefiting from generative AI’s capabilities.  

McKinsey describes generative artificial intelligence (AI) as the algorithms that can be used to create new content, including audio, code, images, text, simulations, and videos. Being able to produce, or generate, new things is what separates generative AI from traditional AI. 

The first examples of generative AI entered the scene in the late 1950s and 60s. For instance, British scientist, Joseph Weizenbaum, built the first chatbot, ELIZA, in 1961. ELIZA was the first talking computer program that could communicate with a human in natural language, as it simulated the work of a psychotherapist. Another great example is the development of the programming language LISP (an abbreviation of list processing) for artificial intelligence tasks by John McCarthy.  

It’s not a new concept by any means.  

But AI technology has changed so much in the last 60 years—to the point where you can no longer ignore its value, especially if you’re running a business. As a leader within the IT department, you should always be looking for ways to improve processes, save money, keep customers satisfied, and retain employees—generative AI will help you with all of these. If you’re not already using generative AI for your IT service management platform, you need to start.  

This article will explore the benefits and challenges of generative AI in ITSM to give you, someone running an IT team (entire department or a section) a better understanding of how your company can improve with AI resources, and of potential gaps in the technology you need to be aware of. 

5 Benefits of Using Generative AI in ITSM 

IT Service Management (ITSM), the processes and practices that help organizations manage and improve IT services to align their IT services with business objectives, is no easy feat. Good ITSM requires an immense amount of time and energy to ensure the design and delivery not only meets the customer’s needs, but also the company’s budget and is manageable for employees. To scale a company (or just meet new business goals), improve the user experience, or reduce the money spent in certain areas of the IT department, generative AI has the potential to help. ITSM tools and platforms with generative AI can enhance and transform IT service delivery to increase employee efficiency, produce more data-backed decisions, and improve end user experiences.  

While the benefits of using generative AI in ITSM are numerous, below are the 5 biggest ones that will have the greatest impact on your IT department and your company.  

Automated Ticketing and Issue Resolution

Everyone knows it: service desks agents are overwhelmed. 

It’s technical issue after technical issue. 

There’s a disproportionate number of service requests piling up each day with no ability to close them. And while it makes sense, with more technology being created and used, there will naturally be issues that arise with servers, hardware, and even user errors. But this increase in technical usage shouldn’t lessen the amount of support that service desks can accurately provide for their customers—this is where generative AI comes into play. 

Generative AI can automate ticketing processes by categorizing requests based on previous data and context. The algorithm, based on human-built workflows, will then analyze the tickets, prioritize them, and then direct them where to go next (a specific support team or individual) to be addressed. Additionally, ticketing automations can be set up to provide automated responses to common queries or known issues (FAQs)—speeding up the resolution process. This means your IT department support agents can spend more time focusing on complex, critical tasks, and improve the quality of service your team provides (re: better Google reviews). 

Natural Language Understanding for Improved Communication

Communication is the heart of ITSM—it's how end users get support.  

That said, there can be some discrepancies in the type and quality of communication provided to end users (especially if there’s a lack of internal training for support agents to perform their best). Enter: generative AI. 

Generative AI excels in natural language processing. The technology can understand, comprehend, and generate human-like text that helps users with all types of issues in a matter of seconds. This is done most often with AI-powered chatbots that are user-friendly and accessible for individuals seeking IT support. When chatbots are used, they enhance communication between IT teams and end users.  

Predictive Analytics for Proactive Problem Management

Generative AI is great at analyzing vast amounts of data and then pulling meaningful insights from that data. Leveraging this ability, your company can go from reactive to proactive (and predictive) problem management by identifying issues before they escalate (or even happen). This change to proactive problem management will help your IT operations align with business goals to minimize downtime and optimize system performance.  

Knowledge Management and Documentation

It’s easy for information to get lost. Especially with large, global organizations. Add in a digital transformation too, and oh boy, you're in for a treat! Effective knowledge management is critical for ITSM platforms and resources to be successful—but often this gets pushed aside because people don’t “have the time” to build new documentation and add it to the company knowledge base. Generative AI alleviates this issue. 

With generative AI you can create documentation (of a high-quality) based on existing data and knowledge repositories. Common examples include FAQs, procedural documentation, and knowledge base articles. Implementing generative AI’s ability to create knowledge documents will better support your IT personnel (giving them more time back), while simultaneously empowering end-users to find their own solutions to their technical problems.  

Enhanced Security and Compliance 

There are already tons of regulations and requirements for ITSM departments. Adding more to the mix could complicate matters (making an extra cup or two of coffee a necessary requirement). That said, when using generative AI tools, your company can implement processes using the technology to relieve some of the pressures your employees currently face with compliance adherence and security measures. Set up workflows and automations in your enterprise service management system to monitor and enforce security and safety regulations and get busy on your other tasks.  

The AI will alert you if you’re needed or if an issue arises, but it will take care of updating systems and protecting your data without needing an ounce of sleep like us humans do. If you’d like, you can augment your ITSM to continuously analyze and adapt to security threats as needed—contributing to the development of intelligent security systems (like generating reports and automating compliance checks).  

4 Challenges with Using AI In ITSM 

Generative AI in ITSM has immense potential to exponentially expand the industry (for end users and company’s alike). That said, it’s important to acknowledge and address potential challenges and considerations that come with using generative AI (a developing technology). 

  • Ethical AI: Address, upfront, AI concerns related to bias, privacy, and transparency (it's important to remember the technology is still being developed and modified). Establish clear guidelines and ethical frameworks to prevent unintended consequences that can impact your company both internally and externally. 
  • Data Security: AI systems need lots of data. Make sure your security and privacy of sensitive information is taken care of, and you have proper incident management procedures in place. It's also important to note that you have the appropriate governance and security measures in place to safeguard against any potential breaches. 
  • User Acceptance: AI-powered solutions can cause some resistance from users who are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the technology and how it works. Spend time educating and involving users in integrating AI into your organization to foster acceptance. 
  • Continuous Monitoring & Improvement: AI models are a lot of work. They require constant attention, monitoring, and refinement of data. Your company needs to invest in ongoing training of generative models to ensure employees understand how to use the models appropriately. 

Generative AI is changing how IT service management works.  

With the support of these generative models, organizations can speed up processes, enhance internal and external communication, and proactively address issues. In doing so, the operational efficiency will be improved, while simultaneously leading to a more responsive, secure, and user-friendly IT environment.  

As your company explores the options of how and where to use generative AI within your ITSM resources, it’s crucial to approach the implementation strategically. There’s no need to invest in every generative AI tool under the sun. Find an enterprise service management platform that fits your needs for change management, incident management, and knowledge base management, and then learn more about the specifics within that platform and how it uses AI capabilities to 10x (or 100x??) your current output.  

Fully embracing AI technology within your set of resources for your IT department can help you unlock new possibilities and elevate your ITSM practices (reach IT maturity faster and remain in compliance). The future of IT service management will reward those who adapt and innovate with generative AI tools to have more efficient and resilient IT infrastructure.  

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EasyVista is a global software provider of intelligent solutions for enterprise service management, remote support, and self-healing technologies. Leveraging the power of ITSM, Self-Help, AI, background systems management, and IT process automation, EasyVista makes it easy for companies to embrace a customer-focused, proactive, and predictive approach to their service and support delivery. Today, EasyVista helps over 3,000+ enterprises around the world to accelerate digital transformation, empowering leaders to improve employee productivity, reduce operating costs, and increase employee and customer satisfaction across financial services, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and other industries.