Supercharge your IT support with 5 innovative technologies

By: Jens Rathgeber

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But when it comes to technical support, the traditional break-and-fix support model can’t keep up with business needs.

Why? Because IT is deeply woven into our business and private lives, and IT consumers don’t tolerate service disruptions. Waiting for an outage and then reacting to it isn’t a practical solution. To stay competitive, technical support providers must embrace a smarter, more proactive approach.

See the big picture with analytics and service data

There’s a lot of value in unstructured service data: error messages and action plans, photos or videos of failure situations, even audio files capturing strange noises. Companies that embrace those data sources and combine them with the analysis of traditional, structured machine data often see far better results, including reduced problem determination time and better resolutions. Analytics technology also enables proactive support and predictive maintenance — pattern recognition or anomaly detection, for example, can be used to build early warning systems.

Widen accessibility and enhance expertise with augmented and virtual reality

With augmented reality, you can separate the expertise of remote competence centers from the location where service tasks need to be performed. During an online audio and video session, a remote expert can enhance a field technician’s field of sight with information like text, shapes or drawings to guide tasks. Virtual reality revolutionizes service personnel education by providing realistic training scenarios and enabling cost-efficient, agile remote education.

Streamline processes with blockchain

The technology to create a shared-ledger might be a bit over-hyped these days, but blockchain offers many applications in technology support — streamlined billing, tracking spare parts usage, even the concept of smart contracts can help increase efficiency.

Enhance self-help capabilities and support human agents with chatbots

Self-help is something that many support customers are looking for. Chatbots have gained a lot of popularity as tools that initiate and drive conversations to narrow down a problem. And chatbots are certainly not gunning for human agents’ jobs; the most successful implementations of chatbots assess requests, make smart decisions and escalate complicated problems to human agents.

Support ongoing education and expertise with cognitive solutions

In our increasingly complex world, it’s getting harder to help support professionals keep their knowledge current. Cognitive systems can help. They crawl electronically available structured and unstructured information, evaluate and rank the results, and adapt based on users’ feedback. Organizations that use these learning systems have a good chance of outperforming their competition.

Through all of these innovations, technology support organizations can change how they provide service. In turn, this helps customer enterprises provide superior services, regardless of the complexity we see in modern multivendor IT environments.

 

Business transformation is an ongoing conversation. What’s your experience with innovation in technology support? What are the service innovations you need from your support partner? Let’s keep the conversation going. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn, and explore our other technical support offerings on YouTube.

About The Author

Jens Rathgeber

IBM Distinguished Engineer & CTO, IBM Multi-Vendor Support Services

Jens drives innovation initiatives for the IBM Multi-Vendor Services portfolio and leads the IBM global community of technology support experts. As a recognized technical leader, he works with clients to streamline their IT support and transform after-sales-service organizations. In addition he leads the Editorial Board of the Zero Outage Industry Standard Association. With 20 years... Read more

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