How AI Aims to Improve Performance at the IT Service Desk


ISG research shows that the adoption of generative AI at an enterprise level has not yet become widespread for scaled use cases. However, a number of IT-related applications show plenty of promise. In a limited number of cases, enterprises were able to save as much as 60% on operational spending as a result of implementing AI-driven IT management tools. Investments in this particular area are expected to accelerate in the coming months.

Of particular interest is how generative AI will improve performance at the IT service desk. In recent years, enterprises have been turning to automated help tools designed to streamline support for routine issues so that human IT staff can concentrate on more complex problems. Generative AI is showing potential to improve such efforts.

Training With Large Language Models

The key to automated chatbots – which is essentially how enterprises provide automated help desk service – is training with large language models (LLMs). Such training is time consuming and resource intensive. Yet it is necessary to provide contextual support capable of pointing users to the correct answers rather than having them ask endless questions and get nowhere.

Generative AI can and should play a role in improving training. With generative AI, larger volumes of data can be gathered and analyzed. Trainers can work with larger language models in a shorter amount of time and with less effort. Generative AI tools do the heavy lifting to complete training faster and more comprehensively.

Building Larger Knowledge Repositories

A second benefit of deploying generative AI to train automated help desk tools is the ability to build ever-larger knowledge repositories as AI gathers and analyzes more data. The time it would take human IT staff to build the same repositories is inconceivable. Generative AI clearly does things much faster.

Larger knowledge repositories will support both automated and human help desk functions. They will even be beneficial to end users who are accessing self-help options. Of course, the usefulness of the newly generated content will rely heavily on end-user knowledge and the rate of technology adoption.

The wildcard here is investment. According to ISG Research, enterprises that invested in generative AI in 2023 saw a return on their investment, though not at scale. And some organizations may be reluctant to put even more money into AI in the coming year. It will be up to IT teams to demonstrate that an investment in AI-driven service desk tools will ultimately save money in the long run.

More Help in Less Time

As generative AI builds larger language models and knowledge repositories, we should see a measurable improvement in automated help desk services. Automated tools should be able to offer more help in less time. Furthermore, that help should prove more accurate and relevant in the moment. Does this mean IT teams will be replaced by bots? Probably not.

As impressive as generative AI is, it does have its limits. Generative AI still needs human intervention. The main priority for IT teams is to leverage AI to improve knowledge repositories and the quality of automated help tools. But human minds will still be responsible for managing it all.

We are still waiting to see if generative AI will live up to all the hype experienced in early 2023, but, in the meantime, it is making a difference in certain industries. And it is influencing technologies that most of us use every day. Its future at the IT service desk appears to be secure in that generative AI can do a better job training automated help tools and building large libraries of information. It is already impacting how IT teams provide help desk support.

ISG advises on the use of AI for IT service desks and also analyzes how satisfied employees are with workplace tech tools like AI and automation. Contact us to learn more. 

How will GenAI transform the contact center? The potential is big. Read more here.