AI is not just another ‘IT project’

04.28.2021 | By Mark Speyers

As with any other (potentially) major initiative, the introduction of AI in service management requires the involvement of a lot of teams. AI is not just an ‘IT project’, and presents both opportunities and challenges across a wide range of teams and the capabilities they need to be successful. Even when it feels very clear where AI can quickly bring tangible benefits (especially in IT), these need to be documented and assessed based on greater business requirements.  

Consider the People in Your AI in Service Management Project 

Sure, this advice might sound basic, yet it’s often ignored, leading to time and money wasted. The impact of leveraging AI can be seen on different levels throughout the organization. And, you need to be prepared to answer emotional questions, like ‘will this make my job easier?’ or ‘are you just doing this to replace my role?’. Fear and uncertainty here can result in low cooperation in the best case or even active disruption in the worst case. It helps no one to dismiss or belittle these concerns, and this challenge needs to be addressed.  

Secondly, what is an impact on existing processes? Automation is currently a key component of what can be done with AI, and it can bring significant benefits – if we know what to automate. It’s critical to ensure that even with automation, there are humans focused on governance and legislation requirements – everything from GDPR to the impact of incomplete data. Not all steps in a process need to be fully automated, and human intelligence should not be undervalued. The focus should be on value addition, not on creating the most complicated mixture of tools and technology. 

Don’t Get Enamored with the Coolness Factor 

When it comes to people-facing solutions, optimization for ‘quicker’ or ‘easier’ should be looked at from the user’s point of view, not from that of the service provider. Different methods for automation, where automation is an option, should be weighed based on the suitability for users, not on the ease of implementation or the coolness factor of the solution. When we’re replacing human touch with automation, we need to be aware of the non-scripted aspects of interactions that make a difference.  

Not everything that is done at the service desk follows a script. When evaluating improvement opportunities that include a significant automation element, go to the people that it will affect the most. One of the things that becomes apparent when observing the work of service desk professionals is the need for empathy in their role. AI in service management is a strategy and is not to try and fake human interactions, but to leverage modern AI capabilities with sentiment analysis and more. 


Nathan Riley

Account Executive – Americas at SymphonyAI Summit

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