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7 Simple IT Service Desk Automation Strategies

Automate repetitive IT help desk tasks and reduce support agent workload with these easy-to-implement service desk automation ideas.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that every IT team that also does support depends heavily on workflows. By creating effective workflows to manage repetitive tasks and frequently occurring issues, IT agents can provide great service without drowning in manual tasks.

The key term is effective. Thoughtful design and implementation of automation and workflows are crucial for their effectiveness. For example, an automated incident response system setup to handle network outages will not be an 'effective automation' if it sends alerts to all IT staff, regardless of their roles or expertise.

Properly designed automation ensures that tasks are handled efficiently and accurately, while well-structured workflows provide clear procedures and contingencies, reducing the risk of errors and improving overall IT team performance. With this caveat in mind, let’s look at seven effective automation ideas for service desks that can ensure efficient IT support.

1. Get an AI Assistant to automatically answer repetitive employee queries

How do I reset my password? Where can I find tutorials or training materials for company software? What is the process for getting a new hardware or software request approved? These are just a few questions IT support is bombarded with daily. An AI Assistant is a great way to get answers fast, in a conversational manner, almost like speaking to a person.

In fact, as per a study, 66% of HR leaders think their employees feel comfortable using chatbots to get information about policies.

Atomicwork’s AI-powered assistant Atom, provides instant help to employees whether it's a question about expense policies or a request for a new laptop. Atom centralizes knowledge which might be scattered on Slack conversations, docs, Microsoft teams, so that employees don’t have to hunt for information constantly. Atom also personalizes and contextualizes its answers based on the employee’s permissions, location and department.

2. Automate frequently encountered access and password reset requests

Resetting a password may seem like an insignificant task but it costs organizations time and resources. In fact, password resets could sap up to  ~$85K/year from your IT team!

With Atom Skills, you can automate password resets, solve common access requests, troubleshoot issues, and remotely install software. Once you integrate Atomicwork with your tech stack, you can simply sit back and watch the magic.

service desk automation with access request automation

Every time a request matches a skill, Atom will run through the steps and resolve the request entirely. A few use cases include:

  • Resetting passwords
  • Adding users to Azure AD Groups
  • Adding users to Mailing Lists
  • Troubleshooting VPN issues
  • Remotely installing apps on Intune
  • Giving access to GitHub repos

Once Atom helps an employee through to resolution, it logs the request in Atomicwork and resolves it as well so your agents don’t have to step in for the paperwork. Audit trail, set and logged.

3. Automate request routing

Using AI for ticket management and assignment is a great way to increase your IT helpdesk’s productivity and save your IT team from click fatigue. Automating request routing enables organizations to assign tickets to the right agent, based on his or her availability, skills or expertise and more.

AI-driven ticket prioritization can increase agent productivity, eliminating the tedious process of categorizing support requests and allowing them to focus on high-value operations.

Automate request routing in service desk

With Atom, streamline the ticket management process and ensure efficient ticket distribution. This way, tickets are handled in a timely manner, urgent issues can be prioritized and critical incidents escalated without hassle each time.

In Atomicwork, channels can be mapped to different team workspaces so that requests created in a particular channel like 'ask-IT' are routed automagically to the right team. Atom can also intelligently route requests to workspaces based on the contents of the request.

4. Automate stakeholder communication and notification workflows

Agent burnout results mostly from doing repetitive tasks. Repetitive tasks like manual data updates or copy-paste comms lead to low morale, lower productivity and dissatisfaction. These tasks can easily be automated by creating specific workflows in Atomicwork.

Say, a new employee has been onboarded and needs to be added to the company Slack workspace as well as specific channels pertaining to their department. Using Atomicwork, a step-by-step workflow can easily be created which ensures that not only does the new hire get added to Slack automatically but they also get added to the right channels immediately. All notifications can be automated as part of the workflow. Similarly, in the case of incidents, a workflow can be in place which ensures all relevant stakeholders are aware of the situation and approvals happen fast.

5. Automate incident linking and responses

Incident management is a key aspect of your service desk automation strategy. A 2020 report by Software Advice, 57% of organizations use automation to streamline their service desk operations, with the majority automating incident management and request fulfillment processes.

Automating incident detection

With Atomicwork, the service desk can automatically link relevant incidents, alert admins and even send an auto-response to users, ensuring transparent and fast action. You can also setup workflows to notify different groups of stakeholders for different issues.

6. Automate satisfaction surveys

No one likes to give it but IT service desks need timely feedback to improve their service offerings and ascertain if their agents’ time is being wisely spent.

Automate esat surveys in service desks

Using Atomicwork’s workflows, a survey can automatically be triggered once a request is marked resolved. It can be sent across multiple channels - Slack, Teams, Email - depending on where the original request originated. Admins can report on ratings and employee feedback and use those insights to improve processes or tools.

7. Automate onboarding and offboarding workflows

A well-thought out onboarding plan can go a long way can improve retention and productivity by 52% and 60% respectively. Imagine being able to automate the entire employee journey through a series of click-this-add-that tasks - setting your employees up for success from the get go - and leaving you to focus on bigger things. Atomicwork’s onboarding plan can be semi-automated, thus leaving some room for human creative energy to make the onboarding experience special, or fully automated to ensure consistency.

That brings us to the end of this piece on effective service desk automations. This is a subject the Atomicwork team feels strongly about because agent burnout, due to service desk shifts, is a very real problem that IT leaders have to contend with. Equipping agents with effective automations where possible so they can focus on creative problem-solving and strategy can go a long way in mitigating burnout.

And, if you’re looking for more ways to automate your service desk, we’re here to help :)

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