AITSM is a confusing name for a confusing subject, but it’s a way of thinking of which service desks can be automated and which require a human touch. A systemic approach to implementing AI can help improve the customer experience, and make your team more efficient.

by Nancy Van Elsacker Louisnord
March 29, 2021

AITSM is often shrouded in confusion, yet it is known to power digital transformation. Despite, it’s appearance, AITSM is not an acronym, and the first two letters in AITSM do not stand for artificial intelligence (AI). Before you can harness the benefits of AITSM, it is important to have a solid understanding of what AITSM encompasses and why CIOs and IT leaders should take notice.

What is AITSM?

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.”

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:

  • Leverage AI and machine learning to prescribe classification, priority, and knowledge related to an incident
  • Proactive identification and remedy of user issues
  • Automated creation of knowledge responses using text analytics and smart data discovery on unstructured data
  • Identify knowledge experts and articles
  • Sentiment analysis

Why AITSM matters

Around 43% of organizations expect digital business to drive revenue growth, according to IDG. This growth cannot happen when the IT service desk is bogged down and inundated with requests. AITSM comes down to cost and budget management, and understanding which processes take the most time so that you can trim the fat.

At its core, AITSM powers the shift-left initiative, and helps free up human agents to work on more valuable tasks. To break this down, AITSM impacts nearly every level of the service desk from the ticketing process to the end-user relationship. Benefits include:

Benefit 1: Improved ticket creation, qualification, and tracking

AITSM can streamline the entire ticketing process from start to finish while creating more clear areas where human interaction would be more valuable. For example, a chatbot can be used to offer self-service to a customer via a self-service portal, but if the customer is not able to resolve the issue on their own, automation can help them create a ticket or speak to a live agent.

The ticket that is then created will document all of the steps already taken by the user and all of the knowledge articles offered, giving the service desk agent a more accurate and comprehensive view before getting started on finding the right resolution. Further, automation can push the ticket to the proper parties, or escalate a ticket without lengthy processes.

Benefit 2: Streamlined communication with users

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.

Benefit 3: The Ability to predict and prevent incidents

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 - this way users can take preventative action.

Benefit 4: Help with complex decision making

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 future of IT service management is driven by artificial intelligence

Although the AI in AITSM does not stand for artificial intelligence, it is worth mentioning that AI will play a big part in automation. 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. In layman’s terms: AI is big business and will only grow.

In terms of hands-on efficiencies in the service management sphere, 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. In many cases, you will find that you already have some degree of automation in your IT service desk and service management and never realized it. But, when you can harness and leverage that automation and use it to its fullest potential, you will start to see greater gains and optimized costs.
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Nancy Louisnord is the Chief Marketing Officer of EasyVista, responsible for the company’s global and regional marketing programs and product marketing strategy. With more than 14 years of global leadership experience in the ITSM software industry, she is a sought-after presenter at conferences and contributor to several leading industry publications. She is recognized as an HDI TOP25 Thought Leader in Technical Support and Service Management, and is an HDI featured contributor. Follow Nancy on Twitter @NancyVElsacker.

Tag(s): supportworld, technical support, technology, cost per ticket, costs, ITSM, IT service management

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