Today, we have the pleasure of reconnecting with Ewa Karczmarczuk, a Conversational AI expert and a Sales Director at InteliWISE (now Efecte Plc) whom we had the opportunity to interview previously. Since our last conversation on starting a conversational AI journey, the field of artificial intelligence has continued to evolve, and today we are about to catch up with Ewa and talk about the transformative power of AI in the field of IT Service Management (ITSM).
Ewa Karczmarczuk: Thank you for having me again! It's always a pleasure to discuss the ever-evolving world of AI, and I am excited to look at it from the ITSM perspective today together with you.
Tatiana Chesniak: In our last conversation, we talked about the possibilities of AI and its business benefits like cost-savings. Now, do you think the role of AI somehow differs when talking about IT Service Management? How has AI transformed traditional IT service management practices?
Ewa: Since our last conversation, the implementation of intelligent automation (IA) in ITSM has seen remarkable progress. Mainly, AI is bringing IA where all of the routine and repetitive tasks can be automated and therefore free up employees’ time to focus on the more complex ones. Since, from our experience, those repetitive tasks comprise somewhere around 70% of all tasks, the impact of IA can be immense.
This is the area that Efecte is now concentrating on. The most visible transformation is in the increasing self-service capabilities of end users. Thanks to tools such as AI Chatbots or Virtual Agents end users can solve their problems or answer their questions by themselves, hence the era of tiresome wait for ticket resolution is soon going to be long gone.
Tatiana: The benefits of incorporating AI into ITSM are undoubtedly compelling. It seems to have a shocking potential! Could you elaborate on some of the key benefits of incorporating AI into ITSM processes?
Ewa: Well, in the case of Intelligent Automation we first of all save a LOT of time, tickets are handled immediately, more complex ones that sip through self-service are also resolved faster because now employees have time to concentrate on them. Agents can also have AI tools that help them with writing an immediate coherent, spellchecked response – we give our clients such feature options in our live chat.
More than that, there are AI tools in ITSM that can do predictive analysis based on vast amounts of data and allow companies to see patterns and prepare for potential issues and implement predictive measures or optimize certain processes to avoid or minimize those issues. Similarly, AI analysis of historical data allows us to have a clear picture of users’ behavior and service desk performance indicators. All this allows companies to make data-based decisions and improvements.
NLP (natural language processing) algorithms can also be used for enhancing the knowledge base in ITSM by searching for, categorizing and recommending solutions to specific issues – again, the main benefit is time-saving but also improved accuracy.
Tatiana: AI's impact on customer experience within ITSM is significant. How does AI contribute to creating a more personalized and satisfying experience for end-users?
Ewa: AI brings a host of customer-centric benefits to ITSM. End users enjoy self-service capabilities, faster response times, personalized experience, 24/7 availability, constant improvement based on gathered knowledge, predictive problem resolution or prevention – it’s kind of like having your personal assistant within ITSM.
Tatiana: And what about the agents? I believe AI is currently transforming the work of many IT service desk agents and other ITSM professionals. How does it affect their daily work and what would be your advice to them on making the most of AI technologies in their roles?
Ewa: Service desk agents can finally minimize those mundane boring tasks because they can be automated, therefore their work is shifted towards more interesting, complex tasks requiring expertise and strategic thinking. They can also use AI tools to simplify their job by reaching for information regarding certain topics, analyzing the output and making an informed decision whether to use it or not.
In this environment agent’s work shifts towards more strategic, business objective related, so they should become the main driver for process improvements within that environment and be trained for control and analysis of AI tools.
Tatiana: Like any other innovation, implementing AI in ITSM can certainly pose cause some challenges. How can organizations effectively address these challenges, or limitations, and ensure successful implementation of AI technologies within ITSM?
Ewa: The challenges have two sides, one is data quality and, how would I put it… obtainability. AI needs to work and learn on big data sets. Data need to be accurate and complete – this varies from company to company and may require quite a lot of initial work before any AI tool implementations are recommended. The point is for it to work well and bring the benefits we talked about earlier, therefore it needs to be ‘fed’ quality data – nutrition is important!
I’m not sure about limitations, I believe that regarding AI technology we shouldn’t be talking about them since what I say today will possibly not be valid tomorrow – the advancements are extremely fast. What I can say for sure is that we are limited to what is available and already thoroughly tested at this moment. Within that group main limitations that come to mind are concerning the so called skill and knowledge gap. In order to implement such tools, the implementation needs to be done by people thoroughly trained and specializing in AI.
Tatiana: What about biases and security controls? Are they something businesses need to look out for?
Ewa: Biases are part of our reality, whether we like it or not. Even when data is excellent and normalized it is still just data – we must make sure it’s unbiased and fair. All of us heard and learned from Amazon’s mistake regarding the recruitment bot that was discriminatory towards women (rated them lower), the reason that happened was because models were trained to vet applicants by observing patterns in resumes submitted to the company over a 10-year period. Most came from men, a reflection of male dominance across the tech industry. There was no bad intent, but it reflected part of reality that no company would like to cite in their core values .
To avoid biases in data, regular audits are recommended, data learning sets need to be diversified, bias detection procedures need to be implemented. Some companies have assigned employees or even teams that concentrate on just that. As for ITSM, this is a minimal risk – data is mostly technical and not open to ethical biases so that makes it easier in our case.
Security concerns are very real, especially for the vendors that use outsourced AI tools through public cloud environments. It is very important to know where your data is traveling and who has access to it. In the case of ITSM, we are talking about sensitive user information, system logs, and service records. Companies must ensure strong data protection measures and comply with data protection regulations. Strong access controls and encryption mechanisms are also necessary to protect that data from unauthorized access or misuse.
To minimize biases, companies must regularly audit data and implement bias detection procedures. Diversified data learning sets play a crucial role in achieving unbiased AI outcomes. Regarding security, strong data protection measures, access controls, and encryption mechanisms are essential to safeguard sensitive user information and comply with data protection regulations.
Tatiana: Thank you for raising these important points. It is a continuous effort to protect the sensitive information, but the benefits of responsible AI usage are well worth the investment. AI's evolution in the context of ITSM holds great promise. What emerging trends and advancements do you anticipate in the future?
Ewa: In the short term, I see mostly further automation - end-to-end automation of complex workflows. In the long run, I would say that we will see very advanced context awareness that will allow us to adjust support based on the context and hyper-personalization that will allow for tailored support and personalized service experience.
Tatiana: Alright, so user experience is going to become even more impeccable. What about the agents themselves? Many companies are now recogizing the importance of employee-centricity. How can AI technologies be leveraged to achieve this?
Ewa: That is the main Efecte focus. Make agent’s work easier, give them room for professional development and growth, make their job interesting. For employees as clients: solve their issues quickly, give them 24/7 access, make them feel heard (personalization) and don’t waste their precious time.
Tatiana: And talking about employees with diverse needs, is AI able to create a more inclusive and accessible ITSM environment?
Ewa: This can be a topic for a 4-hour conversation, but to summarize it: AI tools can operate in many languages (inclusivity), they can be personalized, they can use speech recognition for those with impaired sense of sight, they can integrate with other assistive technologies that support employees with disabilities. The tools themselves can be trained to detect accessibility issues for employees.
Tatiana: Lastly, it’s not a secret that a concern for many employees right now is being replaced by AI. What strategies can organizations employ to strike the balance between AI and human skills, and make sure that AI technologies complement employees rather than replace them?
Ewa: That depends on the company, its goals and the processes being automated by AI. The main strategy is to invest in human capital through additional training concerning areas that require strategic thinking and empathy as well as those areas that concentrate on understanding, overseeing and analyzing AI tool processes, outputs and ‘behaviors’.
Tatiana: Ewa, your expertise and vision are as always inspiring. Thank you for sharing your valuable insights with us today. We eagerly look forward to witnessing the continued advancements and positive impact AI will bring to ITSM in the days ahead.
Ewa: Thank you for having me. It's been a pleasure discussing AI and ITSM with you. I'm excited about the future possibilities, and I'm confident that AI will continue to transform the ITSM landscape in profound ways.
If you wish to continue to explore the transformative power of AI in ITSM, our upcoming free annual event is able to take understanding to the next level. This year’s Digitalize and Automate evolvs around the topic: "Building organizations’ superpowers in the time of AI revolution".
During this event, our lineup of expert speakers will get into why integrating AI into today's organizations is vital for enhancing competitiveness and productivity. We'll address critical topics, such as security, AI automation, and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) as essential requirements for Service Management, focusing on the European organizations' perspective and providing key insights into the global ITSM landscape.
Tatiana is a Content Marketing Specialist at Efecte. Driven by her passion for marketing, she provides different types of content that reflect Efecte as a European market leader, an innovator in their space, and a bright place to work. Her professional goals include engaging the readers and shaping a strong image of Efecte in people’s minds.
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