AI can and likely will transform the way IT works via automation.

by Phyllis Drucker
Date Published March 7, 2024 - Last Updated March 7, 2024

Robots will take over the world. Or at least this is what science fiction authors have told us for years, and now it seems more likely than ever, but as anyone who has used generative AI to write and create artwork or music knows, humans still must tell AI what to do and how to do it.

As a writer, I’ve been dabbling with Chat GPT for several months now and find the product it creates is very general, filled with common phrases, and often repetitive. I’ve also seen that the more specific the information added to the prompt, the better the result. This proves something we’ve said for a while: AI and machine learning are great tools, but they don’t replace humans. With that said, I thought I’d look at how AI, machine learning and generative AI can benefit the support industry by offloading some of the easiest tasks humans do or by wading through tons of data better and faster than we can to scale the support we provide.


"In the ever-evolving landscape of IT, the integration of AI has emerged as a transformative force. AI is not just a buzzword; it's a powerful tool that revolutionizes the way IT support operates. From enhancing customer interactions to streamlining issue resolution processes, AI is reshaping the entire IT support paradigm." - ChatGPT Intro


Generative AI: A Knowledge Base of the Future

Knowledge management is critical to IT support, and AI is a critical tool for optimizing knowledge base systems. AI algorithms can sift through vast repositories of internal and external data and documents and support articles to extract relevant information efficiently. By leveraging natural language processing and machine learning techniques, AI can categorize and organize knowledge base content, making it easily accessible to support agents and customers. This streamlined access to information accelerates issue resolution, empowering users to find solutions to their problems independently.

Moreover, AI can proactively suggest relevant knowledge-based articles based on the context of the user's query. This proactive assistance improves efficiency and enhances the overall user experience by providing timely and relevant information.


How Predictive Intelligence Works with AI

Many ITSM tools now offer some form of predictive intelligence, enabling organizations to anticipate and address issues before they escalate. AI algorithms analyze vast amounts of historical data, system logs, and performance metrics to identify patterns and anomalies indicative of potential problems.

By detecting early warning signs, predictive intelligence can run scripted solutions or empower the correct IT teams to take preemptive action, minimizing downtime and preventing disruptions to business operations. For example, AI algorithms can forecast equipment failures based on performance degradation trends, allowing organizations to schedule proactive maintenance activities.

Predictive intelligence enables predictive analytics, allowing IT support teams to make data-driven decisions and allocate resources more efficiently. Organizations can optimize their IT infrastructure and enhance reliability and performance by anticipating future demands and challenges.


How AI Can Help Discover Issues with Devices, and Fix Them

In addition to predictive capabilities, AI excels at diagnosing and resolving device issues autonomously. Through machine learning and diagnostic algorithms, AI can analyze system configurations, error logs, and network traffic to identify the root causes of problems, sometimes before they occurOnce an issue is identified, AI can recommend troubleshooting steps or even initiate automated remediation processes to resolve the issue promptly. This automation reduces the burden on support staff and accelerates problem resolution, minimizing downtime and maximizing productivity.

AI-powered diagnostic tools can perform comprehensive system health checks, identifying potential vulnerabilities and security threats. By proactively addressing these issues, organizations can strengthen their cybersecurity posture and mitigate the risk of data breaches or system compromises.


Is Human-Power Support Dead? Is this the end of the Service Portal?

As demonstrated here, one of the critical advantages of AI is its availability around the clock and ability to search and destroy issues continuously, escalating to humans as needed

This changes the support paradigm. Instead of a shift-left initiative focusing on creating knowledge articles accessed through a service portal and figuring out how to force customers to use it, we can now insert generative AI support directly into communication channels.

Unlike human agents with limited working hours, AI-powered chatbots can provide instant support, ensuring customers receive assistance whenever needed. This accessibility enhances customer satisfaction and frees human agents to focus on more complex tasks. Think about it: instead of level 1 technicians fielding the same questions repeatedly, an AI chatbot can handle these, lowering telephone wait times and improving customer service. 

However, the first generation of chatbots, driven by heavily scripted interactions that provided little value, had great promise but left much to be desired. With hours of scripting and programming needed to perform, they could be fantastic, but the investment in time made them a low-priority item for many service portal adoption programs. Generative AI has revolutionized this space, and the ability to integrate it with corporate IM platforms like Teams and Slack and conversational voice IVR systems will transform how we interact with the service.

Fueled by natural language processing algorithms, today's chatbots can understand and respond to user inquiries with remarkable accuracy. With AI transforming knowledge management, chatbots can now access answers we’ve dreamed about but couldn’t deliver. Chatbots can also use the historical information found in incident and service request tickets, find a record of a recent change that may be impacting a user, or search error logs for details about device failures.

Generative AI chatbots continuously learn from each interaction, improving their understanding and response capabilities. By analyzing past conversations and feedback, they can refine their responses and adapt to changing user needs, providing a personalized support experience. This aspect of generative AI and modern chatbots stands ready to revolutionize support. Customers and employees can call a service desk and “speak” to the phone system, ask questions, get support, and have tickets logged without being in contact with a level 1 agent. They can do the same via corporate chat.  

Generative AI chatbots become the interface that pulls together all the AI capabilities this article outlined. When configured correctly and integrated with the ITSM system, the IVR, and corporate IM products, the chatbot and service portal become communication hubs for modern-day support.


Further Context

Integrating AI into IT support represents a paradigm shift in how organizations manage and deliver technical assistance. From enhancing customer interactions through AI chatbots to leveraging predictive intelligence for proactive issue resolution, AI drives efficiency, agility, and customer satisfaction in IT support operations. As AI technologies continue to evolve and mature, the possibilities for innovation in IT support are limitless.

By embracing AI-driven solutions, organizations can stay ahead of the curve, delivering seamless and proactive support experiences that empower users and drive business success in the digital age. *Phyllis Drucker is delivering a one-day workshop, “Innovating the Service Portal,” at Support World in April/May. She has updated its content to focus on how generative AI and proactive support impact the service portal experience.*

Tag(s): supportworld, artificial intelligence, business value, IT service management, productivity


More from Phyllis Drucker

    No articles were found.