Informationweek Trend Reports

The Next Generation of IT Support

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JUNE 2018 2 www.InformationWeek.com The Next-Generation IT Help Desk is Achievable Today The new enterprise IT help desk features bots, cloud monitoring, and consolidated views into problems, and it can be implemented today. By Andrew Froehlich I f your IT help desk is struggling to meet employee demands, one common knee- jerk reaction is to assume you don't have the proper staffing levels or skill sets. But often, the problems your IT department might be experiencing have nothing to do with your employees. Instead, the problem could very well lie in the technologies the help desk uses to support users. Three promising technologies are available today that can greatly improve the IT help desk experience. One thing about modern help desks that has changed over the years is that the physical boundaries have largely been eroded. A help desk should no longer be a desk, floor or building where users are greeted by a level-1 technician who assists in problem ticket creation and fielding basic tech questions. Instead, IT departments should take advantage of technologies available to present a virtualized, customer-facing, initial point of contact. Doing so will reduce the time it takes to log, identify, and resolve user problems or questions. Most of the benefits found in modern help desk technologies revolve around streamlining processes and procedures through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation so issues are handled in the shortest amount of time possible. Technology options One such technology group that is streamlining communication channels between users and IT support staff is modern collaboration tools. A suite of unified collaboration tools can be deployed across an entire organization to seamlessly merge chat, voice, video, file sharing, and screen sharing into a single platform. Additionally, third-party customer relation tools can be integrated into collaboration platforms using application programmable interfaces (APIs). From a help desk perspective, combining all the methods used to communicate and triage user technical problems under a single umbrella can dramatically help in speeding up many time-consuming processes. For example, a help desk that integrates their chat collaboration tool with a help desk ticketing system can automate ticket creation using information collected within the chat session. Additionally, based on the information gathered, tickets can be analyzed and automatically sent to the appropriate help desk queue, eliminating the need for human interaction and ultimately speeding up the entire triage process. Taking the chat concept one step further, some IT departments are utilizing technology in which the first line of response isn't a human technician, but an AI bot that is programmed to act as a virtual technician. Bot platforms have made tremendous strides over the past couple of years. They are now fully capable of handling repetitive tasks far faster than human counterparts. Additionally, a single IT admin managing a bot platform can perform the work of several front-line help desk employees. Bots also never take a day off. Gartner Research claims that 20-30% of help desk requests < P R E V I O U S N E X T > C O N T E N T S P O T L I G H T Will Virtual Agents Improve Your Support Model? PROVIDED BY

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