A few years ago, some industry insiders warned that bad data was compromising IT service management (ITSM). They claimed poor data management and other issues were hurting companies and quickly becoming the challenge facing the IT industry.
Fast forward to today, and witness an about-face. Using data, ITSM has transformed itself and the enterprises it serves. In fact, ITSM has gone from delivering IT solutions to acting as a catalyst in value transformation. A host of innovations and trends are part of the momentum, but this evolution mainly has artificial intelligence (AI) at its origins.
Data is at the heart of AI and is abundant today. AI has been capitalizing on it and is now ready to pay dividends. Automation and machine learning (ML) helped businesses execute routine tasks. Now AI and machine reasoning can deliver another round of productivity.
ITSM is a dinosaur in IT time. It’s been around for decades. The 1970s saw a focus on new technologies. In the 1980s, there was a shift to data management centers. The 1990s centered on service-level agreements. The automation of repetition-based tasks appeared in the early 2000s.
Today, AI adoption and digital transformation are the industry’s top priorities, according to an ITSM Tools survey. And no wonder: a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report estimated that AI would contribute $15.7 trillion to the world economy through 2030 due to productivity gains and other knock-on effects.
Most importantly, AI has helped ITSM diversify from IT-specific issues to enterprise-wide ones. Having grasped the concept of Workforce Enablement, industry leaders want to shift focus to value creation vis-à-vis people. In other words, they’re asking, “How do you offer people internally and externally the services they need to help them perform complex tasks? How do you serve them?”
Also read: Enterprise Service Management and ITSM: What is the Difference?
The Holy Grail
Those questions are arising because of the sheer flood of data and innovative technologies that have grown at exponential rates compared to a decade ago. ITSM went from practices and solutions that targeted users to a place in an organization that creates real value for the whole enterprise.
AI, machine learning and reasoning, automation, and cloud computing are the essential tools to verify, collect, and organize data; analyze it; and automate responses to it to solve employees’ and customers’ problems. This power is providing organizations with real-time intelligence for data-driven decision-making, ending silos that frustrate employees and harm productivity and promoting richer analytics and faster response times to internal and external issues.
The synergy has already created ITSM that caters to enterprise-wide functions that go beyond IT to include human resources, facilities, marketing, legal, finance, and procurement, especially as more workers operate remotely in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The expansion of roles, in turn, has produced new data and analytics, showing untold promise in how ITSM can improve companies. That’s the holy grail. Businesses must create a strategy to find it if they want to stay competitive.
Also read: AI-Driven ITSM is Transforming IT Management
The Gift That Keeps Giving
AI will create greater efficiencies in the years ahead with voice recognition, incident categorization and prioritization, maintaining a knowledge base or archives of fixes for self help, identifying common or inveterate pain points, and recommending fixes to prevent them in the future.
Expect the data that results from those efficiencies to spur yet another wave of innovation that will make well-managed IT a game-changing value multiplying in enterprises. Attitude, culture, and behavior are predicted to improve after AI analyses illuminate the best ways to make IT create workplaces where employees are happier and more productive.
After all, digital transformation is not just about hyperautomation or technology but about promoting the cultural change that allows enterprises to integrate digital technology holistically to transform the business and enhance its value production and, most importantly, serve people.
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Ryan van Biljon is Symphony SummitAI‘s vice president for the Americas. Before joining Symphony SummitAI he was vice president of sales and services for Samanage, director of IT-managed services at Alphanumeric Systems, and strategic business unit manager at Xerox.