What new opportunities or potential challenges will have the biggest impact on the service desk industry over the next twelve months? Here’s what the experts thought…

Duncan Watkins, Senior Consultant at Forrester

The big trend for the service desk industry is undoubtedly Artificial Intelligence (AI). At present, most bots are not good enough to give a better than human experience so we’ll see them supporting service desk roles. For the wider service management teams, specific elements will be used to improve customer value e.g. robotic process automation. I don’t see AI causing significant job losses yet, especially where technology teams can demonstrate increased business value. The current key question is ‘what is service management in the digital age?’ because governing and managing services using API’s, microservices and cloud requires a different skill set.

Describe the IT profession (now in 2018) in 5 words or less?
At a crossroads (again!)

Pat Bolger, Chief Evangelist at Hornbill

In 2018, digital transformation will move past the hype and finally take hold to redefine the customer, partner and employee service experiences. As the digital workplace emerges, collaboration between IT silos becomes essential, as teams refocus around speed, simplicity and automation. Hype surrounding AI and machine learning will continue, with early implementations automating simple and routine tasks. However, the amount of data generated, and the complexity/limitations of existing technologies, will leave teams struggling to get valuable insight from the data. As current technologies mature, and new technologies emerge, watch what happens in this field.  However, for more immediate and tangible returns, invest in collaboration to improve communication and sharing of information between teams.

Describe the IT profession (now in 2018) in 5 words or less?
Caterpillar, or butterfly… you choose.

Sarah Lahav, CEO of Sysaid

1. More network-connected endpoints to secure and manage – IoT offers many business opportunities, but it also leaves IT support with much more to do.
2. IT security will be higher profile – Service desks need to be involved with education, policy compliance, and incident resolution. Importantly, the board will be watching.
3. Greater DevOps involvement – Include service desks in your corporate DevOps initiative. Get them involved before it’s too late.
4. Increased use of AI – Technology will augment and enhance support people. The benefits will make it so.
5. More focus on value and CX – Aim for better outcomes, not better IT.

Describe the IT profession (now in 2018) in 5 words or less?
Business, no longer IT, professionals

Juha Berghäll, CEO & co-founder of Service-Flow Corp.

Security still is on the rise, but in ways we have never seen before. Many organisations are now acting with haste and urgency to respond to the growing threats presented by the likes of storing data in the cloud, exchanging data across suppliers and of course, the looming deadlines of GDPR.

Multi-vendor organisations utilising or implementing SIAM are most vulnerable to these risks. This is because end-to-end processes require movement of personal and confidential data. There are significant benefits to working in these ways, and so SIAM, in particular, is gaining huge popularity as an effective ITSM strategy. However, in 2018 businesses will require much faster delivery of smarter security solutions to manage such implementations.

Here is a short checklist organisations operating in multi-sourced environments can use to begin preparing for these challenges:

– Review how security policies are applied to integration projects
– Document how integrations meet security and process requirements
– Select an integration delivery partner and review compliance of chosen technology
– Research how your organisation needs to respond to GDPR
– Assess personal data management compliance audit trail availability

Describe the IT profession (now in 2018) in 5 words or less?
Making IT invisible

Ian Aitchison, Senior Product Director – ITSM at Ivanti 

AI and automation will take over day-to-day IT tasks, allowing IT professionals to concentrate on building IT to be a business enabler. AI and automation will run in IT front and back ends. For example, automation will ensure that any requested software is available and will automatically deliver it to an employee’s desktop. Leading on from this, AI will make decisions, based on large data sets, as well as taking action and engaging with users via chatbot: ‘Hey Bob, you need to use a different software package on your computer, other people with your role use ‘XXX’. I’ve raised the relevant request, got approval from your manager, and am ready to install the new software package’.

Describe the IT profession (now in 2018) in 5 words or less?
Efficient, Business-Critical, Enabler, Proactive, AI-enabled

Do you have anything you’d like to add?  Please let us know. Add to the comments section and we’ll try to include them.

Author Bio:
Sharna Waid

Sharna Waid

PR Executive

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