November 8, 2018 | By

AI for IT: Hype or Reality?

There has been a trend of late of organizations trying to force AI into every business unit in an organization – one such space is IT. But can AI be successful in an IT space? That’s somewhat of a loaded question because AI is such a broad (and over used) term, and applications are very wide at this point. The best answer is that the right IT organizations can benefit from adopting AI the right way.

While not all teams are ready for AI, organizations ready to make the switch can reduce the impact of common IT tasks while making more information readily available to employees.  Everyone wins.

So where will AI be most impactful?  Start by putting in the systems that IT teams already use.  For example, internal ticketing or Helpdesks usually require dedicated staff to manage support requests. AI can help support teams understand and route tickets before staff even sees them, putting only the most urgent escalations in the hands of senior staff.  In addition, AI in email and chat-based ticketing systems can cut time to resolution and encourage self-service.

Process automation is yet another place AI can have a positive impact. Coupling the self-service benefits of AI with automated solutions or workflows can cut down on some of the more remedial, repetitive tasks IT staff regularly deals with – including adding individuals to distribution lists or installing a printer or piece of software.

Is AI the Silver Bullet for Helpdesks?

AI can provide tremendous benefit to an IT organization looking to scale, relieve pressure on staff, or just provide better, more effective service.

In fact, most of us, 81% according to Forrest,  look to automated, self-service support, first when we have a problem anyway.  So why not empower self-help to take pressure of overtaxed IT teams?  AI frees them up to focus on the projects that are really important to a business like securing and maintain critical infrastructures and employing new technologies.

But it should be noted that AI is not a silver bullet for all things.  There are still many situations that require human interaction – so it’s important that there’s an easy escalation path for employees who can’t get their answer solved through a bot.    In addition, AI can’t work in a silo.  The technology relies on existing knowledge bases and the organizations IT experts to keep the system honest and ensure it has the most up to date information.    Without this, AI will struggle to meet expectations.

When AI is Right for IT

As I said, AI might not be for everyone. The first step should be assessing your organization’s pains and needs.  This analysis will help determine where AI can have the biggest impact.  The second step is knowing and evaluating the readiness of your IT organization and the company at large. Some examples include: Do you have the right staff and infrastructure?  Will employees be receptive to self-service? Do executive expectations align with your goals?

Ready to learn more?  Part 2 of this blog will focus on how easy rolling out AI can actually be.

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