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AI Augmentation

Why AI Augmentation Beats

Simple Self-Service Automation

To say that AI can lead to great efficiencies, particularly when it works right, is uncontroversial.

“Ultimately, the rise of AI is raising the premium on tasks that only humans can do: it is freeing workers from drudgery and allowing them to spend time on more strategic and valuable business activities. Instead of forcing people to spend time and effort on tasks that we find hard but computers find easy, we will be rewarded for doing what humans do best — and artificial intelligence will help make us all more human.”

  • Timo Elliot, Forbes

For the service desk, the nuance comes in understanding the difference between simply AI Automation and AI Augmentation.

Here by “Simple AI Automation” we are talking about conversational chatbots. We say “simple” because the function is conceptually simple, not because it’s simple to create one and make it work right. We have great respect for our colleagues at various chatbot companies, and there are quite a few of them.

By AI Augmentation we mean using AI in partnership with a service agent, each doing what they’re best at.

 

 

According to Forrester’s “Chatbots for IT Operations, Q4 2020”, for the IT Operations use cases it’s more realistic to expect 40% deflection.  Also, from the same report, “Making chatbots useful often requires significant development efforts”.

Some Chatbots vendors will claim resolution rates of 70-90%, but you need to be careful about what use case they’re talking about. If your Level 1 first call resolution rate is 70%, what are the chances a Chatbot will resolve all of Level 1 and 2/3 of Level 2 and Level 3 issues?

So let’s stick with Forrester’s number of 40% for now. But how far does 40% deflection even get you?

Let’s look at an illustrative example.

Baseline

If you’re running a 10,000 ticket/month serviced desk operation, and your costs per ticket and resolution rates are industry average, let’s just take the numbers from SDIv9 and MetricNet respectively, then this is where your tickets get resolved:

Ticket Resolution Tier, Baseline.png

Now let’s look at how much it costs to resolve a ticket at each tier, according to MetricNet:

Cost per Ticket, MetricNet.png

Combine the data and you find out that this is where your annual service desk budget is spent:

Cost of Support Tiers, Baseline.png

Whew, those Level 2 & 3 folks are expensive! They don’t do as many tickets, but you can see that the cost at the back end dominates the cost at the front end of the service desk.

I ain't sayin' they ain't worth it, but they expensive

Release the Chatbot!

Let’s say it no-touch resolves 40%, per Forrester. Now, you think your Chatbot is going to resolve Level 2 and Level 3 issues for you? We think not. In this model we’re going to say that it only resolves Level 1 issues, and so the distribution of tickets over tiers looks like this:

Ticket Resolution Tier, Baseline plus Ch

You can see that more than half of the Level 1 workload (blue) has been shifted left to Level 0. Notice that Levels 2 and 3, the majority of the cost in the previous scenario, are unchanged. Nonetheless, an extremely useful capability.

 

So far so good.

Let’s look at the resulting financial picture. MetricNet reckons it’s going to cost you $4 to resolve a ticket via a bot. If we go with that assumption, this is how your money is spent:

Annual Service Desk Cost, Baseline plus

Looks like you saved yourselves about maybe 20% of your baseline budget.

So that’s a good scenario.

 

With a chatbot, in a perfect world of IT Operations use cases you might deflect maybe 60% and that would get you 30% in efficiencies.

 

Pat yourself on the back, take the team out to dinner.

 

However if you really wanted to move the needle you’d need a solution that addressed not only the column on the left but also the column on the right.

Enter AI Augmentation

When you add augmentation into the picture, the “shift left” starts to happen across all tiers of the service desk.

Ticket Resolution Tier, Baseline, Chatbo

Notice that between the “Automate” and the “Automate and Augment” scenarios there is a subtle shift left from Level 3 through to Level 1. It’s not huge, but the effect is disproportionate due to the high cost of those resources.

Annual Service Desk Cost, Baseline, Chat

Comparing the numbers,

Cost Savings Table.png

Pretty significant, right? The surprising thing is that even if you already had a chatbot in place you could save 38% of your annual costs by throwing it away and going with an AI Augmented solution.

Finally, suppose you didn't want to cash in those efficiencies but use them on the service desk to support other ESM use cases. This is how your ticket handling capacity would have increased:

Ticket Processing Capacity.png

With that extra ticket processing capacity you could, I don't know, set much more aggressive SLAs to support business velocity and productivity. Or you could leverage the tool's ESM capability to apply digital transformation to workflows from Customer Service, HR, Finance, Facilities and more.

Finally, suppose you didn't want to cash in those efficiencies or expand your service desk footprint but would rather redeploy those staff to higher-value tasks. This is how much productivity you've freed up:

With that extra ticket processing capacity you could, I don't know, set much more aggressive SLAs to support business velocity and productivity. Or you could leverage the tool's ESM capability to apply digital transformation to workflows from Customer Service, HR, Finance, Facilities and more.

Finally, suppose you didn't want to cash in those efficiencies or expand your service desk footprint but would rather redeploy those staff to higher-value tasks. This is how much productivity you've freed up:

Liberated Staff Time, AI Augmentation.pn

Is this really possible?

"I like your story, but it sounds like a lie" - Nat King Cole, "Straighten Up and Fly Right"

And more importantly, is it possible for you?

If you haven't seen the demo, there's no reason to believe us. What don't you check out the Features page, then fill out the quiz. Your results might be interesting.