5 Tips for Managing the Changes of Digital Transformation

Today’s business leaders are focused on digital transformation. What they often fail to consider is how much transformations like these alter the very essence of their organization. In some instances, a company might modify its entire business offering after going through a successful transformation. This may require a complete realignment of how you approach the market, how you use technology, how you engage your customers and how your employees see their roles as well as the business as a whole.

At the end of the day, change is about speed. It’s about competitiveness. It’s about innovation. To be successful in today’s digital environment, organizations must be agile and ever-evolving. The problem is, change isn’t always easy – especially when it comes to people. Getting your employees on board requires strong, deliberate leadership. This is where change management comes into play. To follow are five truths that change leaders must embrace in order to be successful.

Start with a vision.

You cannot drive change unless and until you have a clear and accurate picture of what you’re trying to achieve. When you develop a vision of the end-state, it becomes easier to understand the ‘why’ of what you’re doing, and when you can get others to appreciate this ‘why,’ you’ll get buy-in. Just be careful not to be too rigid with your vision. Make sure you leave room for adjustments along the way. 

Involve the stakeholders.

Remember, change management is really about people, and these people will either resist or embrace the proposed changes. To mitigate detractors and maximize drivers, identify who will be most affected by the changes you are proposing and then get them involved in the process as early as possible. If you can make them feel a sense of control over what’s happening, they’re more likely to become advocates for your cause.

Listen.

The nature of digital transformation is that it is fluid. You will inevitably reach points at which you must pivot in order to progress. There may also be a number of tradeoffs or roadblocks you haven’t yet considered. Listening to those most closely affected can provide insight as to what courses may need to be corrected. Additionally, giving people a voice can help get them on board. Invite people to share their questions, concerns and feedback.

Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Having a clear vision of your digital transformation won’t do much good unless you share that vision with everyone else. Being honest, forthcoming and transparent right from the start can do wonders for overcoming employees’ fear of change. Use as many tools as are available to you, from email and newsletters to intranet sites, videoconferencing, town halls and more. Do everything you can to instill that vision in your employees.

Learn as you go.

The fifth rule for change leaders is to recognize that as you push forward toward your goal, new and unexpected challenges can and will arise. Your success in achieving digital transformation will depend largely on your ability to adjust to those challenges. Be prepared to regularly reevaluate to make sure you’re still on the right track and course-correct as needed. Being agile is what will ultimately get you to your end game.

Of course, having the right tools in your corner can also help make managing change easier. Ayehu supports digital transformation through seamless integrations, rapid adoption and even faster time-to-value. Click here to take Ayehu for a test drive for 30 days.  

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Smart CIOs know AIOps is the key to maximizing efficiency

In today’s volatile marketplace, businesses in every industry are focusing on cutting costs. Unfortunately, some folks still view IT as an expense and an area in which the metaphorical belt can be tightened. What they don’t realize, and what an increasing number of CIO’s are embracing, is that implementing AIOps can actually result in reduced expenditure overall.

CIO’s that are concentrating on IT as a force of operational automation, integration and control are losing ground to executives who see technology as a business amplifier and a source of innovation. Ongoing advances in technology are now providing forward-thinking CIO’s with a much broader spectrum with which to work in terms of cutting costs across the entire organizational platform.

It has nothing to do with cutting IT capability, but rather finding ways to make IT operations more efficient. This is primarily achieved through intelligent automation, which significantly reduces the time and resources needed to run both routine tasks as well as complex workflows. When these tasks and workflows are automated, IT personnel are freed up to focus on other, more critical matters, thereby improving the overall performance of the department and subsequently the company as a whole.

Another way that CIO’s are leveraging AIOps for the benefit of their organizations is through improvement of incident management and mean time to resolution (MTTR). Critical system errors are costly and can have a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line. AI-powered intelligent automation is allowing businesses to manage incidents and downtime scenarios more efficiently and in a much timelier manner, which means less risk of negative impact, both on the business and on the end user.

AIOps isn’t just becoming a tool for cutting costs, either. It’s also significantly improving business performance, which plays a key role in increasing revenue. According to a recent survey conducted by Gartner, the main focus of CIO’s in the current climate is growth. They want to attract new customers and effectively retain their current ones. Intelligent automation helps to improve service levels, thereby improving the customer experience.

In a time when budgets are at the forefront of every manager’s mind, from the top down to those on the front line, finding areas to improve service and lower expenditure has become a necessity. The concept of AIOps has opened up a number of opportunities for streamlining operations and improving efficiency, which ultimately achieves the goal of reducing costs and boosting enterprise growth. By applying technology as an amplifier to business operations, rather than as simply an individual component, organizations that are embracing artificial intelligence and automation are already reaping the benefits and are poised for ongoing success as we move toward the future.

Ready to join these forward-thinking business leaders? Download your free trial of Ayehu and start building your AIOps strategy today.
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Making the Case for Artificial Intelligence in Your Organization

Recent statistics published in Forbes revealed that while 82% of IT and business decision makers agree that company-wide strategies to invest in AI-driven technologies would offer significant competitive advantages, only 29% said their companies have those strategies in place.

Why such a big divide? In many situations, it’s a simple lack of buy-in. In fact, Forbes Insights research also revealed that while 45% of IT stakeholders express “extreme urgency” regarding the application of AI within their organizations, only 29% see that same sense of urgency among their C-suite. Among the board of directors, that percentage drops down to just 10%.

Leaders who want to reap these benefits and advance AI within their organizations must overcome these odds by making a strong, solid business case around how artificial intelligence will deliver in terms of business benefits, such as operational efficiency, competitive advantage and revenue growth. Here are a few recommendations on how to accomplish this goal.

Illustrate success through real-life case studies.

There’s nothing more powerfully persuasive than a real-life story. C-suite executives and board members don’t want to hear about hypotheticals. They want to see numbers – quantifiable proof of ROI – before they’ll be willing to sign on the dotted line and invest in AI. After all, it’s pretty hard to argue against benefits like lowered costs, improved service levels and other key business advantages.

Demonstrate AI’s decision-making support.

One of the hardest parts of an executive’s job is making critical business decisions. If you can show them how artificial intelligence can address and resolve this major pain point, you’ll make believers out of even the biggest skeptics. Simply put, AI provides the ability to digest, process and analyze data to unlock invaluable insight and boosting confidence through data-driven decision support.

Position AI as the cornerstone to successful digital transformation.

These days, everybody’s talking about digital transformation. In fact, it’s widely believed that moving to digital operations and offering digital services will be absolutely essential in order to remain competitive in the modern economy. If you can position AI as the catalyst for making this happen, you’ll get emphatic yesses across the board. And since analytics is the core to what drives digital experiences, the connection to AI shouldn’t be too difficult.

Link AI with the power to innovate.

40% of IT leaders list driving innovation and implementing new tech as one of their top concerns. In today’s rapidly changing landscape, staying in-step is no longer enough. To remain competitive and achieve sustainable success, organizations must find a way to stay a few steps ahead. Easier said than done? Not when you have artificial intelligence in your corner. AI offers business leaders the opportunity to garner engagement from all levels of the organization, creating a truly collaborative environment where ideation and innovation thrive.

Reinforce the power of AI for optimizing client experience.

In business, you’re only successful if your customers are happy. Leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence can help businesses to become far more responsive to their clients, ultimately delivering a better experience overall. And it’s a win-win, because not only do customers receive a higher level of service, but because AI frees up employees to focus more on high-value initiatives, the organization benefits from greater productivity. Happier clients + more efficiency = a better bottom line.  

It’s important to point out that AI, just as with any technology, shouldn’t just be implemented for the sake of it. It should be leveraged because it’s the best and most effective solution to a specific business problem or opportunity. When presenting your case, be sure to tie the technology and its capabilities directly to these problems and/or opportunities, and demonstrate exactly who will benefit and how. This will make your case far more compelling and improve your chances of success.

Want to really wow those key decision-makers? Download your free trial of Ayehu, and you’ll have a full 30 days to create a use case of your own that will demonstrate quantifiable ROI within your own organization. Click here to get started!

EBOOK: HOW TO MEASURE IT PROCESS AUTOMATION RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)

4 steps to minimize MTTR

Any seasoned IT professional will tell you that one of the biggest challenges they face in their day to day job is reducing mean time to resolution (MTTR), or the amount of time it takes to get key systems back up and running after an incident. Down time in any industry can have a significant impact on both internal operations and external service levels. And the longer it takes to get things resolved, the worse the problems can become. Intelligent automation can make minimizing MTTR even easier and more effective.

Managing mean time to resolution involves 4 main steps:

  • Identifying the problem
  • Uncovering the root cause of the problem
  • Correcting the problem
  • Testing to verify that the problem as successfully been resolved

How quickly you can achieve the first step will ultimately depend on the quality of the monitoring system you have in place. Having a basic system can only get you so far and leaves a lot of room for costly error. Depending on how many incoming alerts your organization fields, staying on top of them can be too much for a small IT department. That means serious issues could slip through the cracks and cause major problems down the road. Enhancing your system with intelligent automation can create a highly effective, closed-loop solution, ensuring that all critical incidents requiring attention are prioritized and addressed accordingly.

Once an incident is identified, the next step is determining its root cause. This is the costliest part of the MTTR equation because it takes time, resources and manpower. Obviously, the more serious the issue, the more quickly it needs to be addressed. It may require “all hands on deck” to help uncover the cause so it can be corrected. It’s also important to maintain visibility and accountability at all times throughout the process. Who is handling the problem? What steps have been taken so far to get to the bottom of it? Has anything been missed? Again, automation can address this by providing real-time status of incidents, ownership, severity and priority in one central dashboard.

As soon as the problem has been properly diagnosed, the third step is taking the necessary actions to resolve it as quickly and effectively as possible. With most incidents, time is of the essence, so developing a solution is critical. One of the biggest benefits of integrating intelligent automation into your incident management process is that it can actually predict MTTR based on historic events. This can provide a guideline for the resolution process and alleviate some of the stress that naturally arises during a downtime. The IT team will be able to work quickly and efficiently to implement a solution that will get systems back up and running fast, limiting the negative effects on the company.

The final step in the MTTR process is testing to ensure that the problem is, indeed, resolved. It’s also important to assess each process to identify areas that can be improved. Being proactive and leveraging artificial intelligence can help to determine the best way to deal with similar incidents and can even help to avoid them completely.

In conclusion, managing the mean time to resolution process involves careful monitoring and the right tools, specifically intelligent automation. This can provide the most timely and effective response and a faster overall turnaround, thereby reducing or even eliminating impact on the business.

If your current incident response strategy isn’t producing these results or you’d like to learn more about how IA can dramatically reduce your MTTR, take Ayehu for a test drive or download a free 30 day trial.

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3 Ways Virtual Assistants are Transforming the Service Desk

A few years ago, the chatbot phenomenon swept the consumer world. Today, people are becoming more and more at ease using conversational AI and virtual assistants to do everything from set their doctor appointments to planning travel. Yet, despite this consumer-driven craze, one area that seems to have been left largely in the dark is the IT help desk. Surprisingly (and frustratingly) enough, for many organizations, even something as basic as requesting more storage and resetting your password still requires opening and waiting for a ticket to be serviced.

The truth is, what once began as an innovative service to help employees has somehow evolved into more of a costly distraction. Budget-conscious executives have come to view the IT service desk, not as a core component of the business, but as an expensive necessity. As such, the help desk has long been the target of cost-cutting reductions. Yet, despite these efforts, one recent report indicates that the expenses surrounding service desks are actually on the rise. Today, a typical help desk is massively overloaded and majorly underfunded.

Enter the virtual assistant. Unlike the many other “solutions” CIOs tried in the past, chatbot technology has the potential to dramatically disrupt and ultimately transform the modern service desk in a way that is both positive and sustainable. This will happen in three distinct ways, as follows.

Automating the humdrum.

According to Gartner, password resets account for 40% of all service desk requests. In this way, help desk support agents can feel like mere robots, repeatedly responding to the same requests over and over (and over) again. Why not transition these mundane, repetitive tasks to actual robots? AI-driven virtual assistants can handle everything from simple tasks to complex workflows. This frees up human agents to focus on higher-level initiatives.

The best part? Chatbots are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They work weekends and holidays and they don’t require overtime. This means not only can you offer round-the-clock support, but scaling to higher volumes will not require an increase in headcount. The tremendous value this promises has led many large, global enterprises to begin deploying virtual assistants.

Removing the human from intuitive tasks.

Under normal circumstances, a typical service order can take more than a full business day to resolve. This process generally includes several interactions between support analysts and often requires escalation to subject matter experts. Next generation chatbot technology is now capable of using historical interactions – such as voice transcripts, prior transactions and other preexisting data – to learn, engage, suggest and recommend resolutions. Even complex troubleshooting can be handled almost, if not entirely by virtual assistants.

Revamping the user experience.

The IT industry has spent a fortune in an attempt to improve employee self-service. Yesterday’s setup was centered on the creation and maintenance of an institutional knowledge base where users could log in and search for answers to their questions in lieu of opening a help desk ticket. The results of these queries were often mixed. Today, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence technology, a user can type, text or even speak their question and a virtual assistant can engage in a meaningful exchange to resolve the issue.

Despite getting off to a markedly slow start, large enterprises around the globe are beginning to recognize the value that conversational AI brings to the table. As such, we are seeing a rapidly growing number of organizations “hiring” virtual assistants to help transform their service desks into the highly effective, cost-efficient and innovative business benefits they’ve always dreamed of being.

Get started with virtual assistant technology and see how it can revolutionize your help desk by downloading your free 30 day trial of Ayehu today.

Attention MSPs: How a hybrid approach could be your next opportunity

It’s happened time and time again: large corporations wavering between total in-house IT and complete outsourcing, only to discover that neither option provides a truly cost effective and efficient solution. Such was the case with European oil company Rompetrol, who seesawed between both approaches, all the while wasting value time, money and resources only to lose control over their IT altogether. This all changed, however, when CIO Marcel Chiriac took over in 2012.

Upon discovering that the outsourcing firm the company had hired had grossly mishandled things, Chiriac took on the daunting task of getting things back under control as quickly as possible. Weighing his options, and considering the fact that shifting everything back to in-house again that fast would be just short of impossible, Chiriac opted instead for a hybrid IT environment. This provided the “best of both worlds” in terms of control and efficiency.

The first step in the process involved putting together a team of IT professionals with whom he could work to renegotiate contracts with the many software vendors Rompetrol dealt with. Chiriac’s in-house team then had the job of evaluating the state of the company’s IT infrastructure since it had been managed by the previous provider. The results were disheartening. Additionally, the outsourcing provider refused to cooperate with the transition, making the process extremely frustrating and arduous.

Knowing he was working with a timeframe of just 3 months, Chiriac knew that using traditional technologies simply wouldn’t be sufficient to gain control over and document the asset transfer process. He decided that intelligent process automation might be his best option for meeting the tight deadline and getting the company’s IT performance back up to par. The new IT provider got to work extracting the information needed to allow Rompetrol to begin securing their scattered and vulnerable infrastructure.

Perhaps the most important step taken during this 3 month period was the introduction of “virtual operators”. These are essentially just IT service robots which helped to quickly identify the exact network composition. In addition to facilitating the consolidation and optimization of the company’s infrastructure, these virtual engineers also enabled in-house IT professionals to manage incidents more proactively. This allowed problems to be resolved quickly and efficiently, improving performance and service levels.

Within just one month’s time, automated solutions had been put in place for more than 2,000 items, including switches and servers for over 750 of Rompetrol’s gas stations. There has only been one single outage since the shift to the new hybrid model, and it’s succeeded in reducing operating costs by 27%. At this point, the internal IT team is able to focus on further optimization needs.

Beyond what this means for other companies looking to cut costs and improve IT operations, the use of virtual operators is poised to revolutionize things for managed service providers.  Intelligent automation will open up new avenues of opportunity to provide enhanced levels of support, maximize internal resources, lower costs and maintain competitive advantage. As businesses begin to recognize this hybrid approach, they will begin to once again look to managed service providers to help them achieve the best of both worlds in terms of control, IT security and efficiency.

Are you an managed service provider that would like to become part of a success story like that of Rompetrol?  Intelligent automation is the tool you need to jump ahead of the game. Click here to try it free for 30 days.

Want Big Improvements in ITSM? Start Small.

Have you ever faced a challenge so big that you didn’t know where to begin, so you simply did nothing? It’s happened to the best of us, and it happens far too often in the world of ITSM. In many cases, IT decision makers know improvements must be made, but the looming costs and risks have them circling their wagons, afraid to take that leap and get started. If you are in this situation currently, the solution is simple: get back to basics. Rather than taking on huge, risky and expensive ITSM projects, start where you are and take it one step at a time. By starting small, you’ll eventually achieve the big change you seek.

As an example, let’s take a larger ITSM organization that provides support service to external clients across the globe. An operation like this has a ton of service desks, some of which support multiple customers, others are dedicated to individual customers and still others are designated for internal users. Some service desks provide only logging and dispatch while others also offer level 1 support. Across all of these service desks, there are a wide variety of tools and technologies being employed.

In this scenario, the vast majority of communication with customers, for all the service desks, takes place via telephone. Decision-makers within the organization recognize the need for more efficient communication channels (i.e. self-service portals and chatbots). The problem is, in a company that large, the costs of implementation would be tremendous. IT leaders have actually already identified a tool capable of supporting such a complex environment, but because they lack confidence and adequate justification that the project would run smoothly and produce ROI, they can’t nail down funding.

Believe it or not, the solution to this monster of a dilemma is actually quite obvious. Rather than attempting to roll out chat for their entire user base – a significant and costly undertaking – all they really need to do is begin where they are and implement in several smaller steps.

For instance, IT could introduce an easy-to-use, out-of-the-box chatbot platform and designate a small group of users to begin using this tool when they need IT support. IT would then closely monitor the process to identify any issues – either on the service desk or end user side – and work to resolve those issues before scaling up. Over time, the IT team will have:

  • Pinpointed and addressed many issues as they relate to chat-based interactions with the service desk
  • Identified which types of requests are best suited for chat and which are better handled via other channels
  • Figured out how to best encourage users to transition from telephone support to chat
  • Gathered and analyzed data regarding the volume of requests each agent can manage using chat
  • Determined exactly how much time and money could be saved if scaled to the entire organization

Rolling out chatbot support this way is far less risky, and by starting with a tool that is easy to use and doesn’t require coding and/or a ton of training, the overall cost of implementation also remains low. As the project is slowly scaled up, the IT team will have all the information they need to determine whether full implementation would be a cost-effective investment with quantifiable proof to back them up. They’ll also already know what needs to be done in order to ensure success as the project expands.

The good news is, starting small is easy when you have the right tool in your corner. Ayehu is specifically designed to provide rapid time-to-adoption and enhanced simplicity to even the most complex ITSM projects. Don’t believe us? Try it free for 30 days and experience it for yourself. You have nothing to lose!

5 Ways to level up your service desk using it process automation

Intelligent Automation Solutions – 7 Questions to Ask

When it comes to IT operations, there’s no question that it is crucial for organizations to increase their efficiency. In fact, with the ever-growing complexity, service levels and performance, greater operational efficiency becomes not just an option, but a competitive necessity. Intelligent automation solutions can help your IT operations become more efficient, thereby improving your organization’s bottom line.

That being said, not every automation tool is the same. And with so many to choose from, the selection process can be confusing and downright overwhelming. Here are seven important questions that should help you make a more informed decision.

1. What are the integration points? Before choosing your intelligent automation solution, you should first verify that it will have touch points and triggers that integrate with your data center systems, including different OS, legacy systems, integration with help desk such as ServiceNow, monitoring and management systems, etc. The more integrated the better.

2. What should be expected in terms of deployment effort? Evaluate how much time and effort will be required for deployment (setup, configuration, implementation, etc.). You want to make sure that the time-frame proposed works with your organizational needs. Also, set expectations so that everyone is on the same page throughout the process and there are no unexpected surprises.

3. What is the required skill set for this particular platform? Part of the implementation process involves training and adapting to the new system. Before moving forward, you should understand what the estimated learning curve will be for generating automated workflows independently. You’ll also want to determine ahead of time if any scripting will be required. (Tip: Look for a solution that does not require coding or programming required. This enables rapid adoption and time-to-value.)

4. Does this product feature out-of-the-box functionality? Some intelligent automation solutions provide ‘pre-canned’ templates for various commonly performed tasks. If the platform you are considering offers this, the next step is to determine whether these generic templates can easily be tailored to fit your unique business environment and processes. Templates are a great place to start, but the more customizable, the better.

5. What level of human intervention is available? Even the simplest automated processes will require some type of human decision at some point during the process. The question to ask is whether you will be able to embed decision-making logic into workflows for remote decisions on process execution. This allows management to maintain control over the process from start to finish.

6. What kind of scheduling functionality does it offer? While some automated processes will be triggered by system events, others, such as repetitive tasks, will need to be scheduled. You’ll want to make sure the automation platform you select provides for full scheduling capability.

7. Does it take into account regulatory compliance? Meeting regulatory compliance requirements is a critical part of every organization’s success. When evaluating an intelligent automation solution, be sure to find out whether it can help you with these initiatives. For instance, does the tool provide tracking of events, reports and knowledge management that will help the organization comply with regulations?

These are the seven most important things to consider when evaluating automation for your organization. By asking these key questions and understanding what to look for, you will have a much better chance of selecting an intelligent automation solution that will be a perfect fit for your business and ensure project success.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

3 Ways AI is Revolutionizing ITOps

It’s hard to imagine that while just a short time ago, people were asking what AI was all about and whether it was something worth investing in, yet pretty soon we’ll be asking how we ever lived without it. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have radically improved the lives of many, in particular, IT managers, enabling them to optimize their precious time and add legitimate value to their organizations. Here are three specific ways AI is redefining the role of ITOps.

Reduction/Elimination of Time-Consuming Tasks

Each and every day, IT managers are burdened with tasks. Some of those tasks are complex, tedious and mission-critical. Others are menial, mundane and time-consuming – administrative tasks, such as scheduling, setting deadlines and alerts, establishing priorities, directing daily operations, coordinating project activity, managing and analyzing workflow…the list goes on (and on, and on).

Here’s where AI is already making a remarkable impact on the lives of ITOps managers. By shifting most or all of these time-sapping administrative issues to intelligent automation, these leaders are freed up to allocate their skills and expertise to what’s most important. AI is particularly beneficial in terms of managing any process that is repeatable, such as preparing reports (and we all know how much IT managers adore reporting). Many organizations worldwide are already taking advantage of AI’s quantitative data analysis capability to generate analytical reports.

Increased Knowledge/Skill/Judgment Work

Only an IT manager would understand how a so-called promotion can actually be more of a headache and disappointment. Think about it. You’re awesome at what you do – ITOps work – so you get moved up the ladder, into a role that is filled with endless administrative tasks (as mentioned above). Feels more like a demotion than anything else. Many IT managers in this position would much rather be focusing their time, energy and expertise on things like:

  • Developing standards and best practices
  • Overseeing complex workflows
  • Identifying duplication and waste, quantifying outcomes and providing analysis
  • Coordinating and managing operational budgets and initiatives
  • Analyzing data
  • Developing departmental and interdepartmental goals
  • Evaluating proposals to determine requirements and feasibility
  • Consulting with users, stakeholders, technicians and vendors to determine needs and requirements

Artificial intelligence has gifted IT managers with the ability to perform more of the knowledge, skill and judgment work that they love, not only because it frees up time, but because the technology is inherently designed to support enhanced decision-making within ITOps (and beyond). That’s not to imply that human expertise and insight will be replaced by AI. To the contrary, cognitive skills and critical thinking will become even more prevalent because IT managers will have more time.

More Room for Creativity

The flood of demanding day-to-day tasks that ITOps manager face leaves little to no room for the creative thinking that is necessary to drive innovation. Some of the areas where these leaders can add value include brainstorming to improve future IT initiatives, strategizing on organizational goals and objectives, keeping up with tech developments, acting as champion for the IT department, just to name a few.

Integration of artificial intelligence is facilitating more creative thinking by enabling better experimentation and collaboration. When IT managers are able to spend more time strategizing, the human element of creativity will flourish for the betterment of ITOps and the organization as a whole. What’s more, IT managers will be able to take on more advisory roles thanks to AI’s presence. The ability to hone social skills will continue to open up new and exciting opportunities.

Conclusion

ITOps managers across the globe are already experiencing drastic changes with the growing adoption of AI technology. The relief from administrative tasks alone have made it well worth the investment, with the promise of even more widespread benefits that will change the scope of everyday life for the better.  

Want to experience some of these incredible, life-changing benefits for yourself? Give Ayehu a try completely free for 30 full days. Click here to start your free trial today!

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Pros and Cons of IT Chatbots

When IT chatbots were first introduced, admittedly, they were less than impressive. They were slow, clunky and in many cases, it was painfully obvious that a robot was on the other end. Advances in artificial intelligence technology, however, have addressed these concerns and the virtual agents of today are becoming more human-like by the minute. And their popularity is growing, with Gartner predicting that by next year, 50% of medium-to-large enterprises will be using chatbots.

Should you be one of them? Let’s take a look at a few of the ups and downs of using virtual support.

Pros of IT Chatbots

Frees Up Humans Resources – The first and most obvious benefit to deploying IT chatbots for the helpdesk is that it shifts a significant portion of the workload from human to machine. This frees up human agents to be able to focus their high-level skills and cognitive talents on more complex and important business initiatives. This is a much more optimal allocation of resources.

Enables 24/7 Support – Most organizations can’t afford to pay for round-the-clock IT support, and for those that do have the budget, justifying it can be a challenge. IT chatbots are available 24/7, which means if a problem arises at 2am, there’s a good chance it can be automatically addressed and resolved without human intervention. A higher level of support without having to pay live agents? Yes, please.

Advanced Interaction – With the right software solution, IT chatbots can be fully customized. Furthermore, thanks to advanced AI technologies like machine learning and natural language processing, virtual agents can be so “intelligent” that the end-user doesn’t even realize they’re interacting with a robot and not a fellow human.

Cons of IT Chatbots

Volume – The overarching goal of any IT chatbot implementation is to automate routine, manual and recurring tasks. Logically, if the volume of recurring activities for your IT team is low, the benefits of introducing virtual agents may not outweigh the cost and effort it takes to implement.

Time/Resources – While it’s true that chatbots free up existing IT staff, the technology isn’t something you simply plug and play. It requires oversight and maintenance by skilled human workers who can make sure the software has all the information it needs, can add new services, applications and processes for the end-user as needed and that the bots are properly tested.

Fear/Resistance – Lastly, as with most automation technology, chatbots often elicit feelings of fear and resistance from human workers who may be concerned that they are being replaced. Additionally, if the technology is not up-to-par, the end user may push back against the idea of working with virtual agents vs. human help desk support.

These issues can be overcome, provided the right people, technologies and policies are in place. In fact, if you take your time to fine-tune your chatbot platform, it can easily become an effective and realistic channel for supporting end-users, making it well worth the time and investment.

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