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Learnings from Pink24 – A tale of two IT worlds

Two ITSM worlds clashed at the recently-concluded Pink24 conference and here are our big learnings.

The Atomicwork team was at the Pink24 conference (by Pink Elephant). I’ve since been reflecting on the conversations from the show and trying to connect the dots.

From what we saw, there are two ITSM worlds. And they’re at opposite poles.

One where everything modern and shiny is being experimented upon – it’s all about innovation and AI is top-of-mind. 

At the other end of the spectrum, there’s a world where AI seems extremely far away in the future – legacy ITSM tools and age-old practices still rule the roost.

I think the real potential for massive disruption lies somewhere in between. IT leaders need a healthy dose of scepticism about the “magic” of technology with a focus on the business goal, competitive landscape, and customer/employee problems. The technology is a means to propel the business toward these.

At a tactical level, this would mean more streamlined and fulfilling work lives for the frontline IT workforce and a seamless and integrated experience for IT end users. 

Here’s a quick summary of what we learned and observed after interacting with IT leaders and frontline IT support folks. 

I’ve also tried to connect the dots with the data gathered from our recently published study, ‘State of AI in IT’ report.

1. A lot of firms are still using legacy ITSM tools and on-prem systems

While some firms, especially the government, have to use on-prem solutions for compliance, others are stagnant and have yet to adopt the cloud. 

While we heard a few concerns that loosely translate to ‘Will AI replace me?’, overall, organizations and IT folks can tremendously benefit from their move to the cloud. 

Like they say, you can either compete with AI or compete with AI. Big difference.

2. Not just software, processes are archaic, too

We met IT folks who were still responding to queries 1:1 because the knowledge only existed “in their head”. Underneath the pride, we could sense that they viewed it as grunt work but an unavoidable part of their job. These mundane jobs just suck a lot of the IT teams’ time and energy.

The question we were asking ourselves was, what if we could bring IT to the modern era? A bulk of the daily grunt work could be handled by tech easily – frustration and burnout are not a big problem for an AI assistant.

They can reduce the time spent on mundane work and focus on improving their skill level to see a multi-fold increase in efficiency and even career growth.

Here’s a quick take from the ‘State of AI in IT’ study: IT folks weighed in on where AI can help in IT. 

Most of these tasks are what one would ideally classify as ‘grunt’ work. A GenAI assistant armed with the organization’s knowledge base can help end users with their queries and IT agents with the heavy lifting.

3. Are support portals still relevant? 

Today, in a vast majority of organizations, users are required to remember the URLs for portals (or a support email ID), say for HR, Finance, Facilities, and on and on. They use these portals 1-2 times every six months. 

According to our survey, the IT support portal only accounted for 6% of primary contact methods.

The most common (primary) methods of accessing support were: Email (26%), Phone calls (25%), and Chatbots (20%), with 80% of these being AI chatbots. 

Now, imagine being able to access solutions to your problems and answers to questions on Microsoft Teams or Slack, where one generally reaches out to colleagues whenever they have a “quick question”.

That’s the future of ITSM.

While these are a few quick takeaways, we saw that the attendees were really excited about the potential possibilities.

While that is great, it is important to start where you are. And for a lot of IT organizations, it’s time to crawl, walk, and then try running.

AI isn’t really about the technology. It is more about using it for the right problem statement so that the overall business reaps the benefits. 

Closing thoughts

The “Digital Transformation” era had winners and, well, companies that just couldn’t execute and got left behind.

Some of these companies are hoping that they leapfrog into the AI era and stay relevant in a world that’s changing faster than any other point in history.

A few might just redeem themselves this time around.

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