With the fast pace of industry digitization, IT help desks are more in demand than ever. However, it’s difficult for these professionals to keep up with service requests, as they’re supporting more applications than ever before.

IT help desks — powered by both human agents, chatbots, or a combination of both — are tasked with providing fast, expert support to employees when they encounter challenges with computer software and hardware. They do everything from resetting user passwords and navigating login issues to providing advice on how to use applications, fixing those inevitable demo environment emergencies, providing security assessments and guidance, and more.

At the end of the day, though, they exist to make employees more productive and corporate environments more secure. If they’re overwhelmed, both of those needs suffer.

Shadow IT and knowledge sprawl

In response to the pandemic and the associated surge in demand for IT support during remote working, a study conducted by the Service Desk Institute found that organizations were shifting priorities to optimize their service desk performance. Organizations are streamlining processes (59 percent), implementing collaboration platforms (56 percent), providing additional training and knowledge articles for self-service (39 percent), implementing self-service (37 percent), and providing additional training and knowledge to improve support (35 percent) to increase IT help desk capabilities.

The reality, however, is that these changes likely won’t keep pace with the demand for IT help desk services.

IT teams are supporting a growing distributed infrastructure, including applications they know about and those they don’t. As just one example, enterprises run an average of 364 SaaS applications, with more than half operating in the shadows, purchased directly through business units. As a result, IT may need to troubleshoot applications that are new to them on a moment’s notice.

Adding to the complexity is the fact that many organizations are experiencing knowledge sprawl. IT information spans corporate and vendor websites, Microsoft SharePoint and Teams sites, business databases, internal wikis, and more.

Is your help desk overloaded?

Is your help desk overloaded?

Today’s employees are using more SaaS products than ever. Meanwhile, content and knowledge bases are expanding faster than IT help desks can keep pace with. Learn how Pryon can help.

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The opportunity of AI-based knowledge management

With their relentless pace of work and value to the organization, IT help desks are a natural for artificial intelligence (AI)-guided interactions, specifically those that deal in knowledge management. Despite this fact, only 40 percent of organizations had adopted AI within their IT service function by Q2 2021, while 24 percent had no plans to.

No plans?

IT service desk leaders may feel that support requests are too difficult to be solved by simple chatbots. In this, they’re likely right. While chatbots and virtual assistants can point employees to knowledge bases for simple fixes, like resetting passwords, they can’t handle more complex issues like navigating application functionality. Chatbots struggle to automatically learn companies’ knowledge bases, search and surface deep technical content, and provide exceptionally accurate answers.

The knowledge sprawl issue is also a problem for human agents, as too much experience is required to navigate the maze of the most up-to-date and accurate internal information sources — especially as agent attrition continues to be a problem.

So, what can IT leaders do to help both their human and automated service desk agents find the information they need to serve employees most accurately and efficiently?

Improved service performance — of both humans and chatbots

AI is best at solving problems when it’s paired with natural language processing (NLP) and vision-based technologies. Pryon takes this approach to help IT help desks maximize the full power of their extensive knowledge bases.

The Pryon platform can be deployed across an entire knowledge base in minutes, where it will transform deep technical information into highly accurate answers for IT help desk staff and employees in less than a second. Pryon can also connect to chatbots to expand the range, complexity and accuracy of answers that are delivered, providing the right answer the first time.

In addition, Pryon gets better over time, as users add more information sources, subject matter experts can verify best answers, guaranteeing that the most accurate answer will consistently outrank others. In doing so, Pryon helps IT help desks provide the right answer on the first interaction, preventing escalating costs and productivity losses.