The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizations to rethink what “business as usual” means and adapt to more flexible remote and hybrid working models
According to PWC’s report, It’s time to reimagine where and how work will get done, “Over half of employees (55%) would prefer to be home at least three days a week once pandemic concerns recede. Most companies are heading toward a hybrid workspace where a large number of employees rotate in and out of offices configured for shared spaces. This model embraces the flexibility that most employees (and some employers) crave after working from home for months. It’s also a complicated way to organize the workweek and is likely to transform a company’s culture, employee engagement, the way the work gets done, and how office space is used.”
Like everything else, the shift to remote working has had a significant impact on the IT service desk too, with IT leaders seeking to run a more modern and robust service desk that delivers productive, meaningful, safe, and reliable employee experiences.
This blog looks at the challenges of managing the IT service desk in the current scenario and how IT leaders can modernize service desk operations for a hybrid workplace.
Hybrid workplaces have accelerated the pace of digitization and paved the way for a better work-life balance for many employees. However, remote working does not come without its challenges, and one of the hardest-hit components of this change has been the day-to-day functioning of the IT service desk.
With the rise in the usage of business apps, collaboration tools, and remote networks, employees run into several problems, including accessing the VPN, troubleshooting issues, dealing with system updates, and app outages, leading to a sharp increase in the number of IT support tickets. The Nexthink Experience 2020 report found that 70% of tech leaders reported spikes in their ticket and call volume, of which 77% stated VPN issues, 65% poor video calls, and 51% Wi-Fi connection.
Another challenge with remote working is that teams are dispersed across geographies and operate in different time zones. Moreover, remote workers may not work in a typical 9-5 schedule and may reach out for IT support at odd times when staff may not be sufficiently available. Additionally, troubleshooting IT issues in a remote setup may take longer than usual, requiring more cooperation from the end-user.
With businesses operating in a complex and highly dynamic IT landscape consisting of numerous servers, micro-servers, services, and apps, even a minor IT outage can bring entire business operations to an unexpected halt. This may lead to millions of dollars in lost revenue and a tarnished brand image.
To deal with such challenges and modernize the IT service desk for a hybrid workplace, automation, IT analytics, and artificial intelligence have made their foray into the world of IT services management (ITSM).
An IDC study has found that despite economic pressures, almost three-quarters (73%) of businesses will either increase or keep IT spend the same.
Let’s explore further.
In a highly digitized hybrid workplace, the automation of IT processes, knowledge sharing, and IT workflows increases staff productivity by eliminating cumbersome tasks or moving them to a self-service channel.
However, IT leaders must approach automation projects gradually to ensure they meet their objectives. Here’s a series of steps they can follow –
For example, an employee needs help with a specific issue with his laptop. Using the information already input by the agent, an automated workflow will surface solution pages related to the laptop issue, saving the agent the time spent searching for relevant articles.
As seen above, with the shift to remote working and the rise in hybrid workplaces, the IT service desk was bombarded with hundreds of service requests daily, leaving no scope for tasks that add business value.
However, most of these queries and requests were routine and repetitive, leading to the introduction of AI-enabled chatbots into the everyday operations of the IT service desk.
Chatbots leverage advanced technologies, such as AI, machine learning, and natural language processing to accelerate self-service, automate the remediation of routine IT issues, send relevant information, and provide personalized suggestions based on a user’s role, location, duties, etc.
From answering repetitive questions like “How do I reset my password?” to issuing asset request notifications, to guiding employees step-by-step through IT processes (e.g., setting up a new device) and sending crucial alerts (e.g., like network outage notifications), such chatbots automate IT service desk requests at scale – 24X7, at lower costs to the organization.
IT Chatbots augment human effort by acting as the first line of agents for the service desk. However, that’s not it. In case of a complex query that requires escalation, or if the employee requests so, the bot can also hand over the conversation to a live agent.
A human-in-the-loop is essential because employee needs are diverse and emerging, and there can be plenty of unexpected questions that the chatbot cannot answer satisfactorily. Moreover, a few situations may involve critical queries, or the employee may be anxious and stressed out and need immediate human attention.
One of the most vital aspects of modernizing your IT service desk for the hybrid workplace is to enable simpler, agile, and more efficient IT services management at scale. Ensuring the IT infrastructure is up and running allows seamless remote working and higher employee productivity at all times. That’s where AI-powered predictive maintenance and asset management come into the picture.
Such solutions integrate with infrastructure monitoring and management tools to automatically create tickets, diagnose the root cause, and initiate remediation workflows if a particular app, service, or device malfunctions.
Moreover, today’s IT landscape is booming with umpteenth apps, machines, and software. Without the proper tools for asset optimization, employees may experience poor asset performance and may often report downtime to the IT help desk.
AI solutions monitor asset performance and lifecycle to understand past asset performance and trends and raise tickets if asset performance isn’t optimal, the asset is running out of bandwidth, or a replacement is required.
At Acuvate, we help clients deploy AI-powered chatbots for modernizing the IT service desk with our enterprise bot-building platform called BotCore.
With a low-code, graphical interface, BotCore allows the quick deployment of IT chatbots that provide 24X7 IT support and enable faster ticket resolution at significantly lower costs. Our bots are omnichannel and deliver a consistent end-user experience without regard to the device (laptop, mobile, etc.) or channel (Microsoft Teams, Slack, email, etc.).
Additionally, our AI-driven managed services enhance IT support desk efficiency, build infrastructural resiliency, and maximize end-user satisfaction.
To learn more, please feel free to schedule a personalized consultation with our IT services management experts.