Business Technology

AI in IT: Injecting Adamantium into the Spinal Cord of Service Management

IT services form the backbone of any enterprise atmosphere. One cannot think of a host of systems and services running in a secure environment that often contain highly sensitive, proprietary information – without a strong IT system to back it up. And yet, it’s only too common for business leaders to perceive IT systems only as ‘operations’ and not complete service management. Whether they admit it or not, there is always an undertone of frustration and futility (a sort of ‘necessary evil’ if you will) at the mere mention of the word. With the introduction of Artificial Intelligence into IT systems, however, it may be possible to not only speed up systems and overall efficiency, but more importantly, take pre-emptive action in case of service disruptions or discontinuities.

Systemic inefficiencies at the core 

Notwithstanding all its advances, traditional IT systems continue to leave an aftertaste of clunky, time-consuming processes that ensue whenever anyone hits a minor or major snag in the system. Despite best efforts, there is considerable time lag between service requests, responses, problem identification and its eventual resolution. The problem is not only at the end-user level. 

If you work in any sizeable organisation, you will notice that people who manage IT service requests in-house are system experts who are often harried and forced to attend to minor problems. The human cost of not attending a help request from a nervous employee is too much. And yet, the IT resource loses valuable time and energy being bogged down by minor requests and system protocols to even think at the level of organisational efficiency. His/ her task gets downgraded to systems maintenance and handling requests. 

The result? A lack of efficiency and a dip in productivity that only accumulates over time. 

These problems can be subverted by outsourcing your IT systems management entirely to professional service providers such as ActiveCo Technology Management, an IT Support Vancouver company. And introducing AI into the mix enhances the game to a different level entirely.

A cut above – Introducing AI in traditional IT systems 

Now, you might have a superstar IT services team at your beck and call. But that still might not solve all your problems. Unfortunately, most of the ‘noise’ generated by traditional IT services lies in the blindspots of the system and not in the lack of efficiency of administratators who may be genuinely working at optimum capacity. 

Let’s understand this with an example 

For instance, all the systems in an administrative block reports 8 separate incidents flagged in one day. Each issue is resolved or scaled up/ down by administrators as per deemed urgency. Add/ subtract time for queuing, communication issues, wait times etc. Chances are that at least some of these issues are repetitive in nature and may result simply from user errors, system quirks or a lack of familiarity with the system. Nevertheless, each issue is treated as a separate incident requiring all of the attention and time of the IT resources. 

With AI and an interaction of analytics and automation, the scenario changes entirely. The blindspots suddenly become readable and manageable as AI harnesses the reams of data generated by systems that simply cannot be thoroughly parsed by humans. For repetitive tasks, like those outlined above, that require a touch of intuitiveness, AI can learn to step in with a friendly context-specific guidance system that pilots successive users over the ‘getting to know you’ stages of using a new or complicated software. 

More importantly, AI won’t simply flag them as 8 separate incidents but implement a correlation and RCA (Root Cause Analysis) algorithm that tries to detect and prevent issues and anomalies even before they happen. 

The result? Faster, more efficient processes with a significant reduction in ‘noise’ levels, so your valuable human resources can focus on more intelligent designs for the overall IT architecture. 

AI makes horse sense in the business of IT systems management

As futuristic and Schwarzenegger-esque as AI might sound, the fact is that it’s already a part of our everyday lives in ways we just don’t notice. It’s around us every day and very much a part of our daily routines. And it’s that subtle, understated nature that the cumbersome presence of traditional IT processes sorely need. That subtlety might help IT finally shed the weight of the behind-the-scenes ‘operations’ label to take the centre stage as a holistic service management system. 

The new avatar of IT services divides all operations and services into levels in a holistic service management. This means IT services no longer work just as the backbone of systems in an operational environment, but also offer automated tools for development, error reduction, smoother change and compliance management, maintenance, deployment and more. The degree of automation allows for a faster, smoother migration into a completely digitized atmosphere where IT systems become capable of running, performing procedural checks, guiding users, flagging issues preemptively and more with minimal human inputs. 

In a world where the survival of many businesses now depends on the lowest cost of operations, deploying AI in IT systems can offer a true competitive edge with downscaled intensive human involvement in day-to-day operations. This will enable businesses to deploy human resources where experience and creativity can be better valued – in designing more intelligent and efficient IT systems.      

Faster, cheaper, better – Can AI take over systems management?     

Wolverine could always slash through his enemies, but a shot of adamantium made him the deadliest fighter and survivor in the X-men universe. Without a hint of drama, a shot of AI has the potential to do that and more for IT systems management. Understanding and harnessing the power of data generated by systems can help you read and manage the entire enterprise at a scale no one thought possible before. 

No wonder companies are making a beeline to implement AI-powered IT systems. If you are thinking of implementation, IT consulting Vancouver offers expert guidance on the most optimum AI implementation specific to your enterprise requirements. 

The Achilles Heel of AI

As AI takes over mundane and procedural tasks, costs go down and efficiencies improve, leaving employees free to scale up to the requirements of more complex and creative challenges. 

And therein lies the greatest weakness of AI. 

Chatbots, cybersecurity and computer-assisted decision-making aside, we have barely begun to scratch the surface of the potential of AI in sustainable digital transformation. But the skill shortage that can enable it is already massive. For all of AI’s promises in enhancing efficiency, its bottleneck in development is only too human. 

About the author

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Jeff Penner

Jeff Penner is a senior manager at ActiveCo Technology Management, an IT consulting Vancouver company. Jeff has been in the managed services industry since 2015, understanding what business owners are looking for from technology, and helping them find it. The most important element for a business owner taking on a new technology partner is peace of mind and thus Jeff directs his efforts on finding practical information that any leader can apply to their business. Jeff lives in Vancouver, BC, sharing his love for learning and “the great indoors” with his 2 daughters. Stay connected on Twitter.