There are two sides to the overall IT experience. On the one side, many consumers and employees feel burdened by submitting tickets or calling a helpline if and when there is a technical problem. While on the other side, IT staff that field those requests are reliant on data, which is manually collected, incomplete, or both, which ultimately makes their job harder.
Overall, not many people are happy, but rather overwhelmed. When technology becomes essential to business operational excellence and topline growth, the potential costs of an experience breakdown are exorbitant. Given the pressure service and operations teams are under, antiquated technologies, manual processes, and siloed organisational structures are not enough to keep pace, says Margaret Lee, senior vice president and general manager of digital service and operations management for BMC Software.
To succeed in a changing and potentially disruptive future, an organisation must embrace the evolving role of sophisticated technologies within the business, as well as optimise for excellence around a core set of enablers to thrive and help them become an Autonomous Digital Enterprise (ADE). An ADE delivers value with competitive differentiation enabled by agility, customer centricity, and actionable insights. Enterprises that do this will succeed during uneasy times, with an increased focus on customers, by leveraging technology to deliver actionable insights and demonstrate agility in process delivery and response to change.
A hampered experience
There are a number of reasons as to why the service management experience is hampered. Firstly, many service desks are overwhelmed by the volume of incoming issues and the lack of resources, as well as the information needed to operate efficiently. Secondly many operations’ managers face a situation where they do not necessarily know the entirety of the environment they need to manage. Therefore, they are forced to react to incidents after they have occurred, which results in service delays, disruptions, and outages. Third and finally, the costs to deliver these services using traditional methods are usually too high, which is due to the manual reconciliation work and duplication of effort that goes on across the various supporting teams.
Many enterprises have found that a high percentage of requests for service are from the connectivity and security login issues all IT users face. However, having staff manually unlock passwords all day is not a productive use of resources. Line of business functions may compound the problem with self-procured technology to solve their business challenges. Yet, when something goes wrong, IT is called upon to fix the issue and may not even be aware of the solutions’ existence, and therefore much less prepared to resolve problems. On top of that, all of the technology and tooling silos further slows things down.
The question is, how do enterprises go about providing exceptional service and operations management, while struggling with the sheer complexity of the infrastructure, volume of information, and events in their environment? Layering intelligence on top of core IT service management functions can boost the productivity of the IT staff and, ultimately, help customers with improved self-service.
AISM encouraging flexibility and scalability
Artificial intelligence management (AISM) allows an organisation to become proactive and predictive with intelligent automation. In turn, this enables faster and more accurate service, while significantly reducing costs. These cost savings are recognised through the flexibility and scalability of operations, which reduces costs associated with the infrastructure and people with routine requests. Those account unlock requests can be deflected, allowing end users to make the request handled with automation via a chatbot or text message.
Employing artificial intelligence (AI) to service management and IT operations (AIOPs) is a combination referred to as ‘ServiceOps,’ which can lead to even greater operational efficiencies. According to a recent survey by Hanover Research, it revealed that 69% of companies are applying AI to both their IT service management and IT operations management processes; 60% of these use cases are predictive alerting, 56% root cause analysis, 55% event prioritisation, 54% predicting outages, and 50% are service deck ticketing.
Beyond handling events and fixing problems faster, or preventing them altogether, the concept of ServiceOps serves those looking to improve their development operations (DevOps) processes and increase agility. DevOps is all about driving change and innovation through repeatable iterations of design, development, testing, building, deploying, and analysing. Hanover Research also cites that AISM paired with AIOps supports DevOps initiatives through improved change management capabilities.
Embracing tech-enabled disruption
With the average large organisation making more than 10,000 change requests per year, this volume presents significant challenges to infrastructure and operations, which must determine if the changes being made are correct or if they will negatively impact performance downstream. This requires the ability to dynamically discover assets, efficiently manage operations, continuously optimise resources, and the ability to intelligently manage tickets.
The challenge of outdated service management capabilities is not about the CIO having good uptime or good ‘IT ticket handling’ metrics, but rather about ‘business purpose.’ Additionally, it is about how to embrace constant tech-enabled disruption by adapting and evolving to stay abreast with it. Organisations must not only break through these silos to provide this seamless experience, but do so quickly, efficiently, and at the highest quality while constantly adapting as newer application and services enter into the environment.
Organisations must embrace AIOps to keep up with quickly changing environments. AIOps transforms IT operations, so that automated and AI based analytics is applied to a broad range of data ingested into a modern and open observability platform, allowing teams to focus on driving operational excellence and helping the company evolve into an ADE.
AIOps will enable ITOps to intelligently orchestrate infrastructure, applications, and services across hybrid cloud ecosystems to align with the business and address customer needs on demand. Business leaders must recognise the need to digitally transform the entire IT environment to support a smart enterprise that can meet the needs of the fast-moving digital market.
Ultimately, by becoming an ADE, enterprises will significantly benefit from intelligent, interconnected, technology-enabled, value-creating systems. In turn, these will free up employees’ time, and enable them to create and innovate, even in the face of complexity.
The author is Margaret Lee, senior vice president and general manager of digital service and operations management for BMC Software.
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