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How are AI solutions being integrated in to IT service management?

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Tashatuvango)

As AI is increasingly integrated in to more technologies used by businesses, what are the potential problems business could face?

One of key considerations businesses need to make is how AI will impact people within their organisations. In general, the biggest assumption organisations make with AI is that AI delivers accuracy of service, automation, and efficiency. However, organisations need to first make a thorough discovery effort to understand their assets, systems, and processes. This will help them make informed decisions on where AI can be applied to deliver the best business outcomes. Otherwise, if people are negatively impacted by how processes and systems are automated, then the chances of AI succeeding within an organisation decline.

On that note, businesses should approach AI with a crawl, walk, and run mindset. As with any project, identify the low risk projects that have high potential for success, and experiment with these small use cases before applying AI more broadly. In the context of the service desk, this means moving towards a self-service model for common tickets where end users can rely on a chatbot to help deflect/address issues without involving a human. From an agent standpoint, the most common part of the service desk is how to classify tickets. This is an area where enterprises can use machine learning to automatically classify how tickets are prioritised and resolved. It’s a lot easier to adopt AI into your organisation if you are starting small and starting with areas that allow you to achieve early success.

How are AI solutions being integrated in to IT service management

As the nature of infrastructure evolves, so too must the nature of service management. Service management is getting completely disrupted by cognitive automation technologies like AI/ML, chatbots, and virtual agents. Our vision of cognitive service management (CSM) empowers businesses to proactively and predictively discover, service and deliver great experiences for employees, partners and customers by embedding cognitive capabilities into every layer of service delivery for end-users, agents and developers.

Customers have these data centers and platforms in hybrid, private, and managed clouds. There’s an explosion of connected devices or Internet of Things (IoT).  Adding to that is the complexity of multiple channels and delivering the experience in customers channel of choice. How do you provide these services in this world of multiple devices, multiple clouds and multiple channels? Organisations should use tools that auto-discover assets not only on-premises, but also stored in multiple clouds, proactively service and manage those assets, deliver an omni-channel experience, and make it easy to run on cloud of choice.

The goal ultimately is to drive cognitive automation across the IT service delivery process to increase speed, efficiency, and cost savings. From an end user standpoint, we provide intelligent omnichannel experiences via chatbots– whether it’s on the web or via SMS – wherever the user is. For the service desk agent, we need to allow them to be more efficient and agile by automating lower level service desk processes, so they can spend more time tackling higher level issues that move the business through. Finally, for developers, we empower them by delivering cognitive services that can make applications even more intelligent and deliver a competitive advantage for the business.

What benefits will enterprises see from adopting a multi-cloud strategy?

Multi-cloud is just a reality of what enterprises are experiencing. Because no one is on a single cloud, this means enterprises can avoid vendor lock-in and being tied to just one vendor’s strategy.

We are in a world where we consume services, and the expectation of consuming services from anytime, anywhere is very much a SaaS-focused strategy. Being able to use the best of breed gives enterprises the flexibility to consume the services they need and, where they need it. This also enables them to choose the cloud that allows them to reduce capital expenditure and drive operational efficiency.

Adopting multi-cloud is especially important for any company undergoing any transformation as it allows them to consume different services and work with vendors that are more closely tied to their current and future needs.

What benefits will we see as a result of the integration of AI solutions in multi-cloud?

The power of AI is in the application of deep learning to the volume and veracity of data across multiple on-prem and multi-cloud data sources is no exception to this. AI solutions can dynamically learn the behaviour of infrastructure and manage capacity, including multi-cloud utilisation in the context of applications and services.

Bottom line: AI presents IT leaders with the ability to effectively manage the increasing complex multi-cloud environments through automation and help shift IT process and tools to shift from being reactive to proactive, predictive and preventive model.

How do you see the multi-cloud/hybrid cloud landscape developing over the rest of 2019?

More companies are beginning to understand the benefits of being in the cloud, but they are taking a crawl, walk, and run approach. For example, customers begin their cloud journeys by migrating smaller or newer workloads to the cloud, while retaining larger workloads on premises.

Hybrid or multi-cloud is going to be the norm for majority of enterprise customers, and we want to provide customers with the right tools and solutions that will help create a step change in the operational fabric while being able to deliver and meet the needs of the business.

What are the advantages for cloud users if they can avoid vendor lock in?

Having a multi-cloud strategy ultimately means enterprises are getting best of breed capabilities. And with so many cloud providers today, the benefit is always choice. Enterprises can switch based on cost and capabilities, and this allows them to receive the best deal in terms of cost and capacity optimisation. Being locked into a single vendor might make it costly, accepting the changes you are dealt with or going out of the cloud vendor with a second tough migration. A multi-cloud strategy helps protect the business from these situations.

Vidhya Srinivasan is VP of Solution Marketing, BMC