When it comes to automation, “Eliminate first, Automate next and Shift-left finally” is the name of the game. The above illustration depicts the high-level ticket flow in a zero/unmanned service desk. By leveraging the right technology, everything but vendor management should be automated through technologies such as:
Self-heal – agent-based solutions, which will monitor systems real-time and fix the issues immediately. Today, a majority of the automation is reactive with a focus on speed to resolution.
Self-help – virtual agents (chat bots) assisting end users in resolving their issues and queries by giving contextual answers from the huge knowledge base. End users do not care where the support comes from, all they care for is if the support is there when needed!
Self-service – creating user intuitive web portals, which are at the backend, connected to intelligent orchestration tools to fulfill end user requests with necessary approvals and integration, will greatly enhance the end-user experience.
The greatest bugbear of IT users, around 30% of all IT helpdesk calls are for password related issues. To address this, Wipro has- internally and across multiple customers, totally eliminated password resets (SAP and AD) using its HOLMES platform with a completely web-based self-service portal, which is accessible from every mobile device.
Auto-Classification and Assignment
Enterprises have suffered from plummeting CSATs and high MTTR (mean time to repair) due to one of the following reasons:
- Analysts (even L3) end up taking a huge amount of time to assign tasks to the right queues
- Wrong resolver group assignments lead to higher ticket hops
By leveraging Machine Learning models that can train on historical data, auto-classifications to the right resolver groups based on confidence scores can be done. Assignment accuracies can reach as high as 85% - 90% in just over 6 months.
Service desks collate all issues across an enterprise and hence have tons of data pertaining to the health of the enterprise. Whether it is a CXO who wants to have an operational insight at the click of a button or a cross function manager looking at an efficient problem management, analytics will play a crucial role. Machine Learning models can now be trained on historical data which will enable enterprises to move to the 3Ps- “Predictive, Prescriptive, Proactive” model.
Customer Involvement and User Adoption
With CIOs across industries wanting to transform enterprises and embark on a digital journey, we have often seen that despite a successful implementation of a chat bot or self-service portal, the user adoption is abysmally low - in some extreme cases as low as ~1-5 % after 2 years of implementation! Users still prefer to log tickets through emails, call up the service desk to reset a password and the list goes on. This is because enterprises tend to commit the cardinal sin of not realizing that “automation is a journey”.
Customer involvement plays a very critical role in adoption of these technologies. Organizations will have to educate, engage and enforce users in a smooth and planned manner, which will help phase out older channels of communications and increase adoption through regular communication.
Automation is no more an option but is essential for every enterprise. Before embarking on its adoption, an enterprise needs to:
- Make a proper assessment of its current IT estate from the historical ticket data available to find the top call drivers and prioritize accordingly.
- Set a clear roadmap for automation and align the rest of the team.
- Choose the right technology mix.
- Have regular governance of automation projects to ensure proper maturity and adoption are achieved.
- Estimate the potential opex savings by moving to an AI-enabled service desk and use these estimates to build the business case for the capex allocation for the transformational SD.
In conclusion, it will be the early adopters of this transformation who will reap the maximum benefits. Service desks have evolved and the demands on them will keep getting bigger in the future - some will rise to the challenge, while others will fall behind. Which line will your organization toe?
 Gartner, Press Release, November 13, 2017 “Gartner Says Intelligent Automation Will Transform Workplace Outsourcing” https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3827166