The ITSM Spotlight Podcast by SDI

ITSM Spotlight Podcast

Welcome to our new podcast: The ITSM Spotlight!


Join us every six weeks as we unravel the latest trends, share success stories, and explore the world of technology and the ITSM industry. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast, IT professional, CX leader, a business owner, or just curious about the latest developments in the field, we’ve got you covered.

⚡ Don’t miss the first episode, where we talk about:

  • How is AI shaping the future of work in 2024?
  • AI’s impact on the ITSM industry?
  • And we are answering the question: Can AI replace end-user support professionals?


Listen to the first episode here!



Is 2024 the Year When AI Takes Over? 

Welcome to The ITSM Spotlight podcast, your monthly source to stay up-to-date on the latest IT & ITSM industry trends, leadership, and best practices. Tune in every month as we recap the most valuable insights to help you stay ahead of the game. Don’t forget to hit the ‘Follow’ button to stay in the loop with our latest episodes.

Whether you’re a tech enthusiast, IT professional, CX leader, or just curious about the latest developments in the field, our podcast has got you covered.

So, sit back, relax, and tune in to the ITSM Spotlight podcast for your dose of inspiration and innovation!

In today’s episode, we’ll cover a very popular topic that has gained a lot of attention recently. How is AI shaping the future of work in 2024? Its impact on the ITSM industry? And we will answer the question: Can AI replace end-user support professionals?

You’ve probably heard about how the way we work around the world is about to get a whole new look thanks to AI. Which is weaving its way into pretty much everything. Today, we’ll talk about how AI will impact certain industries like customer service.

But let’s first take a second to wrap our heads around this.

⚡ Have you heard about the recent IMF report on “Gen-AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work”?

It’s pretty interesting. The report says that almost half of all jobs out there could be impacted by AI. That really shines a big spotlight on the massive shifts we’re facing. And we’re not talking about some sci-fi future. It’s all going down sooner than we might think.

If we look at the job market. It is changing before our eyes, with the advanced economies stealing the show. What do I mean by that?

Well, let’s talk about some actual data. According to the IMF, a whopping 60% of jobs in advanced economies are exposed to AI, primarily due to the prevalence of cognitive-task-oriented jobs.

This includes professional and managerial occupations, office workers, and technician occupations.

So, what does this all mean?

Well, this means that advanced economies are at greater risk, but they are also better positioned to exploit the benefits of AI. If we look at the global market – some major organisations, such as Microsoft, Alphabet, and Amazon, are projected to attain more competitiveness and profits due to advancements in AI. And since these companies have the financial resources, they will attract the best AI talent, which will play to their advantage when creating new innovative AI products and services. And we can also expect them to use AI to enhance customer and employee experience.

Resume Builder actually recently shed light on what business leaders actually think about AI and the workforce. Now, catch this – 53% of companies already have AI in their toolkit, and another 24% are jumping on the bandwagon in 2024.

This means that the majority of businesses will be harnessing AI’s power sooner rather than later. But here’s the catch!

Around 37% of these AI-using companies reported they had to let employees go because, well, AI took over the job.

Yes, you heard that right! Automation isn’t just a buzzword! It’s reshaping the employment landscape. And 2024 is looking like a pivotal year. Almost half of the surveyed companies expect AI to cause more layoffs. Now, we need to pause here.

That’s around 44% of companies bracing for a significant enough shift to predict cutbacks. It seems that AI may not only change the way we work, but also affect whether we work at all.

Google, for instance, is reportedly substituting AI for some of its sales employees as part of a larger restructuring of its ad sales operation. The company is increasingly depending on machine learning to provide advertising with copy and marketing concepts. So, this move could potentially lead to layoffs or job reassignments.

But despite this somber news, there’s a sliver of hope for job security, and it spells out — AI skills. Many companies hiring in 2024 place a high value on these competencies. In fact, some Canadian companies are gearing up for their 2024 hiring plans, and one skill stands out as a top priority: yes, artificial intelligence.

So, getting familiar with AI tools isn’t just recommended; it may become necessary for your career success. Plus, if you know your way around AI, you’re more likely to keep your desk, your chair, and, you know, your salary.

But it’s not just about hanging onto jobs. Is it? It’s also about adapting and thriving in a disrupted world. So maybe it’s time we start asking ourselves, “What can’t be automated?” And then, become indispensable in those areas. After all, it’s about staying ahead and staying relevant.

Now, when we dive into the service support industry, the burning question at the forefront is:

Can AI truly step into the shoes of end-user support professionals?

It’s a mix of excitement and fear for those whose jobs are tied to this field. But let’s unpack the reality behind this question. For starters, AI is making some serious waves. It’s transforming the way companies interact with their customers by automating routine queries, which, let’s be honest, can sometimes be as monotonous for the agent as they are for the customer. But, this isn’t just about cost-cutting. It’s also about enhancing efficiency and, believe it or not, improving the overall experience for the customer.

Recently, we came across research indicating that by integrating AI, companies can ramp up productivity by 40% by 2035. Just imagine handling more customers with fewer hiccups. Now, that sounds intriguing.

So, when implemented correctly, AI solutions such as virtual assistants, chatbots or automated sentiment analysis can really help agents optimise their workload and automate repetitive and mundane tasks. But AI can also enhance the customer experience and address some industry challenges, such as employee burnout and inefficiency.  The important thing to mention here is that in order to achieve this, the integration of AI and human agents must be seamless. Customers don’t want to repeat themselves when they’re transferred from a bot to a human agent. It should feel like passing a baton in a relay race – smooth and effortless.

This way, customers get efficient and frustration-free service.

But, let’s not forget the challenges. The truth is, relying on AI alone won’t necessarily boost service desk productivity overnight. Integrating new technology into an organisation can be a daunting task. We all know that seamless integration isn’t exactly a walk in the park. But by letting the AI take the lead on initial engagements, and human agents, tackle the more sensitive issues, it could just bridge that gap.

⭕ But, AI still runs the risk of hitting a few bumps with inaccurate responses. There are also ethical implications of AI in the workplace. And they need careful consideration. Issues like bias in algorithms, or transparency in decision-making. This is especially true when it comes to adopting AI in IT service management, as companies may encounter a range of challenges including:

  • Skills and expertise shortage,
  • Budget constraints,
  • Resource availability

They can also have compatibility issues with current IT infrastructure, lack of clear AI strategy, security and privacy concerns. Or simply resistance to change.

So, what can you do to overcome these challenges?

You should establish clear guidelines, provide adequate training, and develop a strategy that sets realistic expectations — for both, customers and service agents. This is important as it will ensure that everyone involved understands capabilities of AI. And can use it effectively. So, let’s go back to our question.

Can AI replace end user support professionals? The short answer is no. AI in customer service isn’t about replacing humans. It’s about enriching support we already provide. That’s the future unfolding before us. A future where AI and humanity converge to bring out the best in customer support services.

Take for example, ChatGPT. It has been reshaping the workplace learning and productivity. But it’s not just about simplifying tasks; it’s much more really.

ChatGPT can be your collaborative ally.

If you’re new to using it, start by clarifying your learning goals. It’s an important first step in making the most out of your experience. Think about what do you want ChatGPT to help you with? Good chances are there’s an abundance of repetitive tasks in your workflow that could be streamlined. So, why not automate these to save your precious time for the bigger picture?

For example. If you’re staring at an inbox clogged with similar customer queries, the thought of typing out those responses manually sounds daunting. Right? Now, imagine an AI-powered system churning out personalised, accurate responses while you focus on other tasks! Well, that’s precisely what generative AI can handle with ease.

AI’s efficiency with your empathy and problem-solving flair is a win-win combination. For instance, teach ChatGPT your company’s tone so its emails feel less robotic and more like you. Just make sure you’re not feeding ChatGPT any sensitive data—or if you must, that your company’s protocols are strictly followed.

As someone who works in customer service, you can really benefit from ChatGPT by practising various scenarios. It’s like having a sparring partner available 24/7, helping you handle even the most challenging customer issues with newfound confidence.

So, you can really use ChatGPT to improve your workplace learning in 2024.

Now, let’s talk about some of the latest ways AI is being used in IT service management.

Let’s cover some examples first. Today, AI-driven tools deal with customer queries in real-time. They aren’t just reacting to problems, but they’re also predicting and resolving issues before they become frustrating. AI-powered assistants are becoming increasingly popular due to the growing demand for quick responses from customers. Chatbots and conversational AI have come a long way from their clunky and robotic predecessors. Today, they are much more advanced.

➡️ They have evolved into sophisticated virtual assistants – capable of delivering conversational and personalised support. It’s remarkable, how these AI chatbots, leverage natural language understanding to discern the context and emotion behind customer queries, providing not just answers, but meaningful interactions.

➡️ They manage FAQs, aid in basic troubleshooting, and escalate more nuanced issues, ensuring a seamless transition from AI to human support when necessary.

➡️ Another way that AI can help is with knowledge management. AI can help businesses organise and expand their knowledge repositories.

This makes it easier for IT teams and customers to find the information they need. With AI’s help, IT staff can focus on innovation, and customers can get quicker, more informed solutions. AI can also help with customer support. It can use past interactions and customer preferences to personalise the experience. This means customers get tailored recommendations and the right support, whether it’s AI or human.

When companies use AI to suggest products based on a customer’s history. Or when they use ChatGPT to craft personalised emails for sales engagements. We witness how AI is no longer just an accessory. It’s now a fundamental part of providing excellent customer care. AI technology plays a significant role in enhancing operations and improving efficiency, from direct customer interactions to predictive maintenance in the backend. And though its capabilities are impressive, it’s this synergy between AI and human ingenuity that is the true powerhouse behind ITSM today.

As we embrace AI, we’re not just simplifying tasks; we’re enriching interactions and powering through to a smarter, customer-centric era in ITSM.

So, while the overall feelings about AI in the workplace are mixed. We are currently at a point where every worker globally should have access to education, and training, not only to survive, but also thrive, in a future where AI is integrated into so many aspects of our lives.

And, if you have ever wondered if AI will completely replace end user support professionals? Well, it turns out that it’s not that simple. Despite their impressive capabilities, AI still struggles with understanding human emotions and nuances in speech. That’s why, the goal is to create a balance between AI and human agents, where AI takes care of the repetitive tasks, and humans handle the more complex issues that require a personal touch.

And that brings us to the end of our quick dive into how AI is shaping the future of work in 2024. It’s fascinating to see how almost half the world’s jobs could be influenced by artificial intelligence, but it can also create some challenges like increasing inequality and potential job displacement. However, we’ve also seen some scenarios where AI can’t replace the human touch.

We really appreciate you taking the time to join us on this exciting journey. Remember that our next episode is just around the corner with more insights, discussions, and the latest ITSM trends.

Thank you for tuning in to our first episode of The ITSM Spotlight. Stay ahead of the curve with our insights, and don’t forget to join our global community!

Until next time!

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