What is the current status?
While literature abounds about the digital transformation, a key department is still very far from having completed its digitalization: the IT help desk.
Major investments are starting to be made in ITSM platforms and self-care, but most companies still need to follow through with intelligent automation and a data strategy. Both are necessary to really benefit from the digitalization of their helpdesk and service desks, increase employee productivity and enhance their business strategy.
Here is the current situation of the support help desk and our insights on how to build your roadmap for the digitalization of your service desk.
The digital transformation of the service desk is still very limited
Let’s first choose the right words: Digitization, Digitalization, or Digital Transformation? Gartner’s IT Glossary definition is that “Digitization is the process of changing from analog to digital form” and “Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities”.
While companies and media often switch between those two terms, we’ll stick to “digitalization” to stress that the IT service desk needs a value-oriented view to gain more efficiency and save budget.
For now, the digital transformation of the service desk is still lagging. We are not in the 80’s anymore, but even in companies that have invested heavily in digital transformation initiatives and technology, phone remains the channel users chose to use in priority to reach their desk support.
Based on our own data, we can confirm that even in companies that have implemented ITSM products and services, self-services like self-help IT and portals, 72% of end users still prefer to call the IT-support help desk.
How can we explain this reaction from users? In fact, self-service portals are starting to grow in use, but they are still very basic services. There is a huge gap between this approach of digital transformation strategy and the adoption of more efficient digital processes and artificial intelligence chatbots.
When IT decision makers are asked about the biggest complaints they hear from employees, 56% of them admit that employees find it easier to contact the help desk by email or phone (source Gatepoint Research, 2019).
End users also find it confusing to choose the right form to fill from the ITSM platform, or navigate through a flood of often complex or outdated documents in a portal or knowledge base.
Automation isn’t widespread yet
In the same study, when asked about the level of automation in their help desk supports and processes, more than half of the senior decision makers responded that less than 10% of their incidents are automatically resolved without human involvement.
Among those same respondents, 45% could not clearly indicate the cost of the ticketing system in their organisation but had a feeling it was too much, and 28% reported an average ticket cost of $10 to $20.
All those companies were equipped with state-of-the art ITSM solutions like ServiceNow, but when we dig deeper in the transformation of their processes we discover that the use of robots, bots, chatbots, more advanced Virtual Agents with Artificial Intelligence, RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and machine learning at the service desk level is still very limited.
As a consequence, the average ticket cost remains high: 22 $ for a level one service desk technical support ticket (source MetricNet). Whereas, real time automated and contextual help with a Virtual Agent like Konverso’s, with Advanced natural language processing, can reduce those costly level 1 support calls by 30%.
Build your Roadmap for the digitalisation of the service desk
Computacenter, Europe's leading independent provider of IT infrastructure services, has implemented Konverso for its own needs and in 2018 started deploying it for its major clients.
Our Virtual Agent solutions also build on technological partnerships with leading IT players including ServiceNow, Microsoft (we created the first Digital Workplace Virtual Agent for Office 365), Automation Anywhere, UiPath, Upland Right Answers, and AudioCodes.
So based on our own journey since 2017 and the feedback of our clients, here are the 5 main steps we recommend on the roadmap to implement digital solutions and automate your service desk:
1. COLLECT DATA
AI works with data and therefore you need data to feed the AI engine. Depending on your digital maturity and data quality, you can leverage data from your ITMS and or data from your live chat. Analysing historical ITSM data will help you identify the most recurring requests and tickets, to pinpoint where automation would bring the best ROI.
2. IMPLEMENT LIVE CHAT
If you have not implemented a live chat solution (connected in ServiceNow), you should put it on your roadmap. Users love it and It will be a great source of valuable data for the Virtual Agent. This approach massively reduces the time and effort needed to train your Virtual Agent.
3. Train your Virtual Agent with this data
You can quickly load historical data and live chat data in the IVA training module. This way, the Virtual Agent is trained on a daily basis with data curated by experts.
4. Deploy your Virtual Agent
Konverso’s Virtual Agent offers multichannel integration to assure that your users can connect through the channels they are the most comfortable with, including Microsoft Teams email, chat, Skype, or a simple phone call. Our Virtual agent, based on a conversational AI platform, is multilingual to offer the best possible user experience to international teams, in English and languages currently not covered by ServiceNow, such as French.
5. Optimize through usage
Konverso’s Virtual Agent learns from users’ feedback (like/dislike) for each answer selected from your own knowledge bases, FAQ, or its integrated knowledge bases from RightAnswers, ServiceNow, Confluence, SharePoint, etc. Our easy to use back office enables your knowledge experts to train, review and monitor the Virtual Agent’s performance, without the need to write lines of code.
more about what computacenter achieves with Konverso
Computacenter, a global provider of IT infrastructure services with 3 000 service desk agents in the world, deployed Konverso’s conversational AI platform. The natural language understanding rate of our Virtual agent reached 80%, even before it became available to end users.
For Computacenter’s service desk agents, this digital transformation is an opportunity. As the Virtual Agent frees them from repetitive tasks, they can focus on more complex requests. Computacenter is currently developing their business skills, allowing the agents to fulfill new value-added missions.
For more details about the integration of Konverso in a Service Desk environment, here is the full Computacenter case study.