These days, IT services play a leading role in driving innovation and delivering satisfying customer experiences. They also facilitate several key business functions, including HR, Support, and Finance. This has left companies struggling with the pressure to accelerate the rate at which they create, deliver, improve, and repair services, especially as user demands continue to evolve.
Another huge boon that comes from these services is what they produce. IT-powered products and services generate massive amounts of data, offering new levels of insight into both user behavior and performance elements such as speed, reliability, and security.
The issue is that traditional, manual ITSM processes can struggle to keep up. The sheer mass of information available offers innumerable opportunities, but individuals can struggle to spot or take full advantage of these insights. There is also the possibility of human error, with even data specialists potentially missing critical issues or making false conclusions.
To cope with this, businesses are increasingly turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI). ‘AISM’, ‘AI ITSM’, ‘AI service management’, and ‘AI-powered service management’ are all fairly straightforward names for the same thing: utilizing AI capabilities to enhance the quality and reliability of IT services while also utilizing service data to its fullest potential.
Along with Machine Learning (ML), AI has the potential to glean invaluable insight on:
- Patterns in user behavior
- How to customize experiences for individuals
- How to provide immediate user support
- How to solve service issues both proactively and reactively
All of this helps provide a new level of continuous improvement that more and more organizations are benefitting from, not only for high-level transformation but also for daily process optimization.
In short, AI can play a significant role in ITSM, but how can companies take advantage of it?
Why is AI important for ITSM?
As exciting as the potential for AI in ITSM might be, it’s important to realize that this potential is already being realized on a large scale. More and more businesses are eagerly pursuing digital transformation, to the extent that Forrester predicted many would rush to deploy automation ‘before deploying it in production or exposing it to employees’. After all, we live in an economy dominated by IT-powered services, and markets can be fiercely competitive.
In utilizing AISM, companies can enjoy a variety of benefits:
- Better use of talent – Retaining manual processes can create bottlenecks over time, as well as a reliance on individuals with specialist skills. This situation can lead to slower results in terms of service restoration, finding the underlying causes of issues, and so on. Introducing AI-powered tools can greatly reduce this strain, giving specialized staff time to apply their skills in a way that truly creates value.
- Speed – Automated tools and functions are not only faster than manual processes, but they are also far more scalable. This hastens getting services and products to market, performing key functions in HR and Support, restoring services following cyberattacks, and more. This enhances the effectiveness and ROIs of functions supported by ITSM as well as the overall quality of IT-powered products and services.
- Digital transformation – As more organizations move towards AI utilization, applying AISM and digital technology to capabilities and services has become crucial for remaining competitive. However, AI can also enhance enterprise agility: an organization’s ability to evolve quickly. This is increasingly becoming a common characteristic for successful companies in the Digital Age.
- Variety – AI can expand the breadth and types of data utilized by companies. Data can be structured and unstructured, small and large, and can come from a number of sources, including social media and images. While this process is more complex, it also offers new insight into customer behavior and mindsets, providing organizations with more holistic awareness while also lowering their reliance on big data.
- Cost – AI has the power to make ITSM far more cost-effective. Managers can enjoy automated processes along with accurate, more targeted insight into how to pursue improvements in line with governance objectives. This helps lower the overheads of daily service management while also enhancing strategic development. All of this can greatly lower the costs of operating and improving processes like software deployment, patch management, incident routing, and so on. It can also help businesses reduce their dependence on outsourcing.
- Reliability – Even within a team of specialists, human error should be treated as an inevitability. Automating processes greatly reduces the likelihood of this taking place. AISM can also utilize historic data, even over long periods of time, to discern the causes of significant problems or inefficiencies and even predict them before they emerge. This leads to more reliable end services for users.
- Issue resolution – In a world dominated by IT-powered products and services, predicting and reacting to potential issues in areas like cybersecurity is essential. AISM supports a DevOps-like approach with frequent testing in order to detect and resolve problems early on. It also supplies valuable performance metrics to support predictive analysis, lowering the likelihood of issues causing problems like service downtime or security breaches.
- Management and strategy – Intelligent automation can provide valuable insight to help adapt and enhance organizational strategy. However, it can also enhance and support ‘business as usual’ functions such as HR and Support with greater speed, reliability, and quality. In utilizing AISM, businesses can get the most out of both daily management and strategic growth.
- Expectations – The possibilities offered by AISM are having a significant impact on what users expect from IT services. For example, a website could offer automated and personalized support to visitors, or stakeholders may begin to expect a wider range of insight and analysis before investing in significant programs. As these elements continue to influence the norm, businesses will be under continued pressure to adapt.
Studying ITSM and AI
The value of AISM has not gone unnoticed by ITSM framework providers. After all, it aligns well with frameworks such as ITIL, which prioritizes value creation, visibility, and continuous improvement. CompTIA and ISACA have also started covering AI in greater detail, and it has proven to be invaluable for companies using approaches such as DevOps and Lean. With this in mind, studying modern ITSM frameworks is a great way to begin adopting AISM practices, especially as modern ITSM frameworks are updated with new insights, tools, and technology on a regular basis.
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