This year I have been talking a lot about the growing popularity of smart machines, the Internet of Everything (IoE), and Virtual Agents. I typically write about these topics from a customer support or customer service perspective in the PC market, though. I recently came across a document from Gartner explaining that similar trends hold true for the IT Service and Support Management (ITSSM) industry. Gartner predicts, “By 2016, 35% of IT operationsorganizations will have 75% of IT service desk contacts from the businessresolved by virtual assistants” (Predicts 2014: Automation Brings Promise to IT Operations Management, But at What Cost? December 2013). With BYOD, WYOD, bid data, and more, IT organizations are in need of extra hands to eliminate some of the work load. Using Virtual Agents to answer tier one questions open up a huge amount of time for IT professionals to focus on other important aspects of the business, all while reducing the cost within the IT department. In a population that demands technology, self-service is the norm to most people and is quickly becoming the preferred channel for support. Employees want to find the answers to their own questions fast and avoid long resolution times. Providing them with Virtual Agents, allows them the capability to help themselves.
As I mentioned, artificial intelligence is one of the few, big disruptive technologies emerging into the tech world in 2014. More and more big name companies are recognizing its popularity and becoming more proactive in their journey towards automation and Artificial Intelligence. Just recently, IBM invested over one billion dollars into developing a new business unit for Watson (IBM’s Watson for Business: The $1 Billion Dollar Sire Slayer). The market is getting dominated by smart machines fast and experts agree that there will be a strong demand for artificial intelligence in the coming future. It is beneficial to stay ahead of the curve and be prepared for the undergoing changes. Gartner recommends, “Act now to initiate exploration, build expertise, assign resources, and launch smart machine initiatives. This area is in the early state of evolution, but holds enough promise that early adopters should benefit more over time” (IBM Bets on New Watson Unit to Ignite Smart Machine Era Growth, January 2014).