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Preparing for AI-Enabled IT Services: Method-Induced Noise


Vice President — Technology and Innovation at SLK-Softwarean automation company with three decades of experience in IT transformation.

In my last article, I discussed machine-induced noise, and in the previous article, we discussed the need to eliminate the noise needed to embark on an AI and ML-based transformation.

Let us now examine the noise induced by the method and the elimination of this noise.

We define method in IT services as what is a process or workflow. This workflow may be due to the requirement of machine health or services management providing support to this machine. For example, server support consists of several tasks that would require following a process – these processes would follow a workflow depending on the configuration of the IT service management system, depending on whether it is service desk operations or Data Center (tier 1 to tier n support) .

Method-induced noise

Unlike machine-induced noise, method-induced noise is “man-made”. IT support teams have created processes and workflows with the true intention of making things simple and easily manageable. With surveillance, the intention was to avoid an error. During the process, a flood of events can occur and cause threshold alerts that produce false alerts. This requires the removal of these false flags, and the intent of prevention turns into a reactive, labor-intensive set of processes and workflows.

Usually, a service management system then creates a set of workflows to handle the generated ticket, outlining the level of service required and who should be assigned to the issue. These processes impact service levels and end-user experience.

In recent times, many digital transformation initiatives have been spearheaded by CXOs in the form of RPAs, chatbots, and several other automation initiatives. Every ITSM product and monitoring product on the market today claims to have enabled AI/ML chatbots and robotic process automation features, encouraging organizations to upgrade to newer versions. Monitoring was introduced to help – if it’s not needed, find a way to weed out the ticket it creates and not automate it.

Anything that can be configured for monitoring can also be configured at the same level to process it in a simple and elegant way. If it was not necessary to act immediately, there is no need to monitor it. This simple rule can help reduce that noise.

The example above provides a design principle to eliminate noise induced by machine-generated tickets. Another key point to examine induced noise is the service configuration.

Noise generated by service configuration

Whether it’s a monitoring alert, a task failure, or a user having a problem, a trouble ticket is created. Then, the ticket follows a life cycle defined by ITSM: it is first assigned to level 1, or the service desk, then is escalated to level n until it is resolved by assignment groups . Over time, these assignment groups grow into hundreds in organizations as needed. They can include compute, storage, network, application platform, client development platforms and middleware, etc.

Similar to the monitoring case where inefficiencies lead to unnecessary initiatives in cases such as service desk voice systems and multi-channel support (via chat, email, web and more recently voice assistance) and unnecessary automation . AI/ML-based solutions are being introduced again as ITSM products in the form of intelligent routing and automated assignments, but ultimately lead to more noise.

The thing is, if the requirement for responsive user support is eliminated, then naturally, all of these digital transformation initiatives wouldn’t be necessary. If the hundreds of assignment groups can be converted into a smaller set of self-contained groups aligned with business processes, the ticket routing requirement can be reduced.

Reduce bloating, reduce noise

Just as it is important to identify and eliminate machine-induced noise, it is essential to identify and eliminate method-induced noise. The good news is that if proper care is taken when eliminating machine-induced noise, it can eliminate some method-induced noise that is directly related to the machine. Identify method-induced noise through two simple compartments: one driven by machine monitoring and one driven by service configuration.

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