Service desk chatbots and automated request routing are just the beginning. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are turning up in the IT support function. In fact, experts see AI in various forms becoming a key component of the help desk in the years to come.
Benefits of AI
One of the biggest benefits of AI for the help desk and overall IT support function is that it can remove the manual overhead associated with high-volume, low-value service desk activities.
In many ways, it is similar to the more familiar IT automation of repetitive tasks that allow people to be freed up to focus on higher value-add activities.
Introduction of AI into help desks
Early AI capabilities are already integrated into some IT service management (ITSM) tools, and more tool vendors are expected to add AI capabilities to their existing ITSM tools this year.
BMC, IBM, ServiceAide, and Freshworks are among the ITSM vendors who have integrated AI into their products. Other vendors such as Astound, Spoke, and Expressive don’t make full ITSM suites but deliver AI-driven help desk or virtual assistant software.
Chatbots and virtual support agents
One area where AI is advancing is in providing an automated 24×7 first-contact chatbot experience for users. That means there is always “someone” available at the help desk, even if it’s not a person.
In the IT service desk context, chatbots tend to do little more than apply NLP [natural language processing] through a conversational platform to carry out a targeted search of the knowledge base or other explicitly scripted actions.
Request, and incident prioritization and routing
AI is also driving automated categorisation, prioritisation, and routing of incident and service request tickets. We are already seeing ITSM tool vendors offer predictive analytics that suggests or even fully populate some of the form fields in a ticket.
Another new capability emerging in help-desk products is AI-assisted knowledge management. This includes an intelligent search function that doesn’t just rely on specific keywords but understands context and meaning.
The next wave of AI capabilities in support software will introduce more process and social analytics into the core system, along with service desk chatbots that help an individual or a team gain awareness of the current environment.
For more information, contact Ryan Danvers of ABACON IT on 072 601 2858.