Technology is changing the landscape of business in profound ways – enabling a new wave of business process automation, putting more data in the hands of users and embedding technology into everyday experiences. IT service desk trends 2018 show that IT service management is no exception to these technological influences.
1. AI-enabled self-service capabilities
Artificial Intelligence will be key to transforming the end-user self-service capabilities of the IT service desk during the next year. Through chatbots and virtual digital assistants (such as Siri, Cortana and Alexa), the self-service support experience will evolve from the basic search of FAQs, knowledge bases and known issues to an interactive set of diagnostic capabilities with contextual awareness of the user’s environment, location, devices and activities – enabling many simple and routine service requests to be resolved without the involvement of service desk staff.
2. Better configuration and environmental data
Machine-learning (ML) technology will enable diverse data sets to be integrated and made accessible to service desk staff – enabling more in-depth issue diagnosis and better-informed problem-management processes. IT organizations have been capturing large amounts of system data during the past few years. Because of its fragmented structure and federation across source systems, however, it has been difficult for service desk agents to leverage effectively this information to derive meaningful and actionable insights during the short period of time they are engaging with end-users. ML will help solve this problem by aggregating, reconciling and correlating distributed data to assemble the big picture, and then filtering it according to the specific context of the user with which the agent is engaging.
3. User-friendly service desk tooling
During the past few years, IT service desk tooling (specifically ITSM platforms) have been enhanced to become feature-rich to support the complexities of enterprises and diverse business environments. Many of these new features have been added at the expense of the agent/user experience, with interfaces becoming complex and cumbersome to navigate. This trend is likely to reverse during 2018, with ITSM tool providers enhancing agent interfaces to simplify them and increase efficiency. For those platforms that continue to neglect agent productivity, companies are increasingly seeking alternative platforms as a means of achieving incremental productivity gains.
4. More external interactions with service providers
With the proliferation of cloud services, COTS and 3rd party components, an increasing number of fulfillment and IT support teams with which IT service desk agents interact will be outside their company’s organization. Managing the external interfaces to facilitate information sharing, ensure SLA compliance and address user issues effectively will become a key area of focus for service desk training and staff development during 2018. Companies must balance workflow effectiveness and providing a seamless IT service desk experience with various concerns, such as security, privacy and service assurance.
5. IT Service desks becoming more business-focused
Digital transformation of business is rapidly blurring the lines between people, process, technology and data. As this integration deepens, the role of the IT service desk shifts from being technology- and data-centric to a more business-focused orientation. IT Service desk agents will become the glue that keeps digital processes running by provisioning resources and access to users, troubleshooting business and technology workflow issues, resolving data discrepancies and monitoring overall process effectiveness.
2018 is projected to be an exciting year for IT service desk functions, with technological advancements and overall industry trends enabling a new set of agent and end user experiences. As these changes occur, the IT service desk will be elevated from a supporting function to an integral part of business operations in many companies.
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