Imagine that you are working late to finish a quarterly report when, suddenly, your laptop freezes and crashes. You can’t finish your assignment, so you immediately submit a ticket to IT for a replacement laptop, crossing your fingers that someone will get back to you with an update soon. However, according to The Zendesk Benchmark, it can take an average of 24 hours for support teams to provide a first response to an employee’s internal support ticket. Moreover, even once you do get a response, who knows how long it will take for a replacement laptop to be delivered from the centralized IT department?
IT service desk ticketing is an often-frustrating process for both IT workers and company employees. In the 25 years I have been in the technology industry, this challenge has remained unsolved. The issue became especially apparent during my time at a global IT service firm. My teams were constantly overwhelmed with repetitive ticket requests, and employees felt they didn’t have the tools they needed to get their work done. As a business leader, it pained me to see intelligent and highly capable employees stuck with monotonous work, rather than proactive and transformative projects.
The time for transformation to come to the IT service desk is long overdue. Companies need to adopt new processes to automate simple work and ensure all employees are productive and satisfied. According to a study from Spiceworks, 57% of organizations plan to use some form of IT automation by 2020. The study also indicates that 40 percent of IT decision makers foresee automation technology having the biggest impact on their business. Here are three automation technology trends that key leaders and thinkers in the industry are implementing as a growth tool for their businesses:
1. Employ chatbots to handle common issues.
One automation trend directly impacting the service desk is the use of artificial intelligence — in particular, the rise of chatbots. These tools have the potential to transform a variety of industries in 2019. Chatbots offer IT professionals the opportunity to delegate a large chunk of their work, such as providing employees simple solutions for common tech issues, so they can focus on the more complex issues. While the chatbots handle mundane, formulaic solutions, humans can take on the tasks that require intuition and dynamic knowledge. Chatbots can also run 24/7 and don’t get buried by a high volume of inquiries, drastically improving that 24-hour response time.
2. Use IoT devices for distribution.
This second trend in technology stems from the internet of things, which is not just a buzzword. It’s a terrific tool for automating the IT service process. Device and hardware distribution is a common, yet typically arduous task that desperately needs a transformation, especially in the enterprise. Smart locker vending systems, a product my company develops, allow businesses to have a more efficient and hands-off way to deploy laptops to employees for service, onboarding or replacement needs. Automated lockers allow employees to directly access the device or supplies they need at any time by swiping their badge and entering their pin. Whether you use smart lockers or other similar IoT technology that can streamline distribution, your processes will benefit.