As more and more companies are choosing to outsource part or all of their I.T., what is the future for I.T. Support?
As technology advances, I.T. Support needs to adopt new technologies to keep up with the wider technology industry. However, advancements in technology will need to be carefully balanced with quality of service as customer expectations increase.
Automation on the increase
Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings many improvements to I.T. Support: automation eliminates routine tasks that take up valuable technical engineer time, freeing them up to resolve major issues; automation also speeds up processes, enabling customer enquiries to be resolved quickly and easily.
We are already seeing an increased adoption of self-service portals for non-urgent and non-critical service requests and this will continue to increase as AI takes off.
There are already advanced monitoring tools in use which help I.T Support teams to detect and automate the logging of new incidents and we can expect AI to only enhance these tools further. We should expect advances in alert periods so that issues are picked up well before they could impact live services, more accurate automated ticket creation and customer notifications, plus full end-to-end triage and resolution.
It is highly likely we will see tools that will fully automate the end-to-end process from detection to resolution in the near future. Some tools are close to achieving this right now but it will remain extremely important that intelligence exists within these tools so that tickets that fall outside the norm are assigned to a multi-skilled engineer to investigate.
There is no doubt that automation will continue to evolve and play an important part in I.T. Support, however it will need managing and implementing effectively so there is, at least for the foreseeable future, a human requirement within I.T. support.
Automation clearly has a place in I.T. Support, however, from my experience, customers will always want a personal touch that isn’t possible with machines and robots.
Customer service over cost
AI will mean that I.T. support staff spend less time on direct end-user services, however customers will still need a consumer orientated approach that involves strong interpersonal skills.
The personal touch is becoming increasingly important and customer service is paramount in a competitive environment.
Whilst bigger service providers push I.T. support off shore to reduce costs, many customers are choosing to opt for better quality of service realising this provides better value for money. Increasingly UK businesses are expecting a high level of service; research shows the preferred option is a UK based service desk for ease of communication and understanding. Script-reading offshore call centre operatives can lack a grasp of the urgency or gravity of a situation.
At Claritas, all of our technical consultants and engineers are UK based, highly experienced and readily available by phone and email so we can provide a first class personal service.
Emphasis on multi skilled engineers
Vendors are continually introducing new, cheaper and better alternative products. It is hard for in-house I.T. departments to keep track of all the new products and technologies. Outsourcing companies will need to be on top of these developments in order to stay ahead of the competition and provide the added value that customers expect.
Good outsourcing companies will have highly skilled engineers, accredited in multiple vendor products. A Support company will take away the time-consuming job of managing multiple vendors, freeing up your valuable time. This will continue to be an important part of I.T. Support in the future.
I.T. Support will continue to evolve as technology advances, getting more efficient and sophisticated. Out of all of the standout technology that is making its way into business environments, AI is the area that I believe will have the biggest impact on the I.T. Support industry going forward. A good I.T. Support company knows that, coupled with advances in technology, looking after the customer is key. There is no doubt that we have exciting times ahead!