Chatbots & Virtual Agents
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According to Gartner: “through 2023, I&O leaders will overspend by $750 million on buying unused features of ITSM tools, up from $600 million in 2019.” It may seem a major undertaking to evaluate all of the features of your ITSM tool, but you can start to see a reduction in this staggering number with the simple and emerging concept of AITSM.
AITSM is often shrouded in confusion, yet it is known to power digital transformation. Despite, it’s appearance, those first two letters don’t stand for artificial intelligence (AI). In this post, we will dive into the basics of AITSM and why AITSM will continue to have major implications for CIOs in the future of the digital workplace.
Gartner introduced the concept of AITSM to cover all the efforts needed to introduce AI and automation into an organization. Gartner’s definition of AITSM states:
“AITSM is not an acronym; rather, it is an initialism. It is a concept that refers to the application of context, advice, actions and interfaces of AI, automation and big data on ITSM tools and optimized practices to improve the overall effectiveness, efficiency and error reduction for I&O staff.” 1
In layman’s terms, AITSM is ITSM driven by intelligent automation to assist with tasks, requests, and actions in the IT service desk.
A few examples of the critical capabilities of AITSM include:
There are four domains of AITSM. These include context, advice, action, and interface. We won’t go into these in detail in this post, however you can download the Gartner report, Leverage 4 Domains of AITSM to Evolve ITSM Tools and Practices, to learn more about these four domains and how to leverage them.
AITSM should seamlessly fit into your ITSM strategy because it augments human agents. Taking that one step further, AITSM fits into ITSM software because it is already part of that software. For example, AITSM enhances ticket creation, qualification and tracking, as well as service delivery.
For example, AITSM is part of collecting and optimizing data for Machine Learning (ML) functionality. This feeds directly into designing and optimizing conversations for chatbots, setting up knowledge databases, and training users on how to work with more enhanced technology.
Ultimately, the streamlining of processes that comes with using AITSM creates a better experience for both customers and employees of the service desk. This also leads to a greater shift-left initiative.
As mentioned in the previous section, AITSM at its core powers the shift-left initiative and helps free up human agents to work on more valuable tasks. But how does it leverage intelligent automation to take care of basic tasks? The following four reasons to consider AITSM are at the center of what powers that benefit.
AITSM can help streamline ticketing while creating more clear areas where human interaction is more valuable. For example, a chatbot can be used to offer self-service to a customer via a self-service portal. If the customer is not able to resolve their own issue, using automation within the ITSM system, a ticket can be created which documents all of the steps already taken by the user and all of the knowledge articles offered. This gives a more accurate and comprehensive view to the service desk before the agent starts working on the ticket. Further, automation can push the ticket to the proper parties, or escalate a ticket without lengthy processes.
AI and automation as part of ITSM helps streamline communication by providing a more consistent experience among all users. For example, using AITSM to create and design chat flows within a chatbot interface, the service desk can communicate the status of a pending ticket, share future updates, and give instructions on necessary changes to software.
Using Machine Learning (ML), AITSM can track and identify incident trends and learn to predict incidents, outages, and problems before they happen. For example, imagine that a specific user continually runs into the same incidents using a program. Let’s say this incident is due to a system becoming overwhelmed and crashing. Using ML combined with automation, the ITSM software can trigger a workflow to investigate the underlying cause of these incidents, and predict when they are most at risk of occurring so that users can take preventative action.
Similar to the way that AITSM can use Machine Learning, AI, and automation to predict and prevent incidents, it can also lend assistance with making complex decisions. For example, AITSM can help with risk assessment and can predict change success. This will help IT managers better predict which changes will be worthwhile endeavors and investments. This same technology can identify gaps in the knowledge base which helps the IT department know which areas need a greater investment of time and effort.
The real question (beyond what AITSM means for the service desk) this this: Why should CIOs care?
43% of organizations expect digital business to drive revenue growth, according to IDG. As with AITSM, it all comes down to cost and budget management. When the service desk is able to pursue a shift-left initiative with the help of AITSM, costs are ultimately optimized.
This will also streamline processes for everyone, which is even more helpful to consider as a CIO – including the process of predicting what your team needs before they need it. With AITSM capabilities, CIOs will gain more insights into what is working and what isn’t which can create simpler decision making in the long run.
As we mentioned in our recent piece on trends and predictions for workplace tech in 2021, AI augmentation will produce $2.9 trillion in business value, according to Gartner. Gartner also predicted in the same article that AI will boost productivity by 6.2 billion hours by 2021.2 In layman’s terms: AI is big business and is here to stay… and grow.
In terms of hands-on efficiencies in the service management sphere, artificial intelligence (AI) enables users to use self-service for many of the mundane yet vital tasks. This can include things like password resets, VPN Access, onboarding and offboarding, user hardware and software procurement and licensing, desktop services, and handling of common security incidents. AI-powered chatbots or virtual agents power all of these elements in AITSM and ITSM as a whole, freeing up agents to handle more complex tickets.
AITSM may seem like a broad topic, but it all starts and ends with making sure that you have the right ITSM tool and using all of that tool’s capabilities. You can learn more about the four domains of AITSM to leverage in this recent Gartner report.
To learn more about how EasyVista makes AITSM easy, schedule a demo today!
1 Gartner, Leverage 4 Domains of AITSM to Evolve ITSM Tools and Practices, Chris Matchett, 21 September 2020
2 Gartner, Gartner Says AI Augmentation Will Create $2.9 Trillion of Business Value in 2021, Katie Costello, 5 August 2019
Loïc Besnard serves as Senior Director of Product Marketing and Head Technical Evangelist at EasyVista. Besnard served as Global Pre-Sales Director of EasyVista until January 2017. He joined EasyVista in 2009 and is responsible for EasyVista’s worldwide pre-sales engineering strategy. With over 15 years of experience in the IT industry and international technical sales, Besnard supports EasyVista’s growth, international development and technical sales operations.