Virtual Agents vs. The Help Desk: Which Option Is Best?

Virtual Agents vs. The Help Desk: Which Option Is Best?

You’ve heard about virtual agents, AI, and machine learning, but the question is whether they’re ready for your company’s needs. Read on to learn a straightforward way to use both methodologies to deliver great service to your employees.

How to Execute Routine and Complex IT Tasks Effectively

As an IT leader, you need to provide high-quality service to your employees. You might be more excited

about innovation, scaling, and cutting-edge technology, but your business users have a different perspective. They want timely, effective support from IT when they ask for it. Given these expectations, you need to find the right mix of tools.

Most IT requests, including cybersecurity, can be organized into two categories: repetitive and complex. Repetitive requests include requests for password resets, changes to access levels, and setting up new hires with user accounts. These routine tasks are far from interesting, yet staff needs them done.

Complex IT tasks are a different story altogether. In IT security, you may be asked to evaluate a new cloud service provider’s infrastructure. Alternatively, you may have to inspect a third-party data center. Finally, you’ll need time to design effective IT security policies and procedures and train staff on how to execute on those expectations. Virtual agent technology is best suited toward addressing routine tasks that bore employees.

Signs You Need to Implement Virtual Agents

While virtual agents are an excellent way to improve productivity, they’re not right for every company. If you have two or more of the following indications, then you need to implement virtual agents.

1. Difficulty meeting service level agreements for IT support

Since IT departments don’t produce sales or products, they usually develop balanced scorecards and service level agreements to meet performance. For instance, you may have an internal standard that all service calls from end users are acted upon within two hours. If you keep missing that schedule expectation, the IT department’s reputation will gradually decline.

2. Retention and employee experience problems in the IT organization

Variety, skill development, and career growth are important considerations for professional employees. If your environment requires IT support staff to work on the same kind of tickets over and over again, you’re going to face problems. To put it into dollars and cents, consider the following. The average salary for an IT analyst is $86,427, according to Indeed. If you spend 10% of that salary in recruitment, the costs of replacing staff quickly become high. On a non-financial front, high turnover organizations also tend to have lower morale.

3. Increasing backlog of IT projects

If you’re constantly saying “not this year” to innovative technology projects, you have a problem. Those projects are what you need to create productivity in the future. Fortunately, you can create more capacity for IT projects by implementing virtual agents.

With your newly won staff capacity, consider investing in better tools to improve IT security. To win support and budget for those projects, use the tips from this article: Build Your Business Case for Single Sign-On.

4. Increasing service expectations from a global workforce

The global workforce isn’t limited to the Fortune 500 anymore. Consider how many contractors and consultants your company has in different time zones. One way to provide the same level of support to everyone is to provide always-on support through virtual agents.

5. Reactive mindset in the IT organization

When support becomes the primary focus of IT, it changes your entire outlook. You start to think like an “order taker.” You wait for the business to provide requests, and you have less time to explore new ideas. When the CIO is seen as a reactive leader, it slows down the entire organization’s capabilities.

Imagine Gaining 10 Work Hours per Week for IT Employees

After you bring virtual agent technology to your organization, you’ll have more capacity. Focus on the IT support department, for example. Instead of working overtime to complete tickets, they’ll have more variety and challenge in their daily work. They may get the chance to learn new technologies or earn new technology certifications, both of which could add more value to your company. From an IT leader’s standpoint, you might also use the extra staff capacity to increase your service levels to the business. That kind of change positions IT as a leader!

Written by Nelson Cicchitto