As technological progress continues apace, IT support is set to undergo a radical transformation in the years and decades ahead. Two key technologies – Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence – look set to revolutionize the IT support experience, and the way IT support is delivered.
From improved efficiency and minimized downtime, to autonomous proactivity that rectifies issues without human intervention, AI-powered innovations will introduce a host of benefits for both IT support providers and clients.
Based in Youngstown, Ohio, Cyber Express provides IT support and managed technology services to businesses across Boardman, Youngstown, Mahoning County, and the wider region. We pride ourselves on an innovative approach to IT support, where we’re always on the lookout for the latest, most innovate solutions to deliver value for our clients and improve their end user experience. Looking to the future, it’s now clear that AI and Machine Learning will have a profound impact on our lives, both inside and outside of the workplace. In this article, we’ll look at the exciting prospects for this technology in the field of IT support, to give you an idea of how the IT support experience might change for your business in the coming years. First, let’s start with the basics…
How Do You Define Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are two closely related concepts with a couple of key distinctions.
“AI” is a relatively broad field of computing science that centres around developing machines and systems with human-like intellectual capabilities. Some of the capabilities that distinguish AI-powered technology include reasoning, problem-solving, learning from past experience, natural language interpretation and autonomous decision-making. AI contains numerous subgenres, with some of the most common including natural language processing, machine learning and computer vision.
Machine learning (ML), as we’ve just explained, is a subfield of AI. ML develops algorithms and statistical models, and applies these to large data sets in order to spot correlations, make informed predictions, make decisions based on deep insights and spot subtle, imperceptible nuances that human analysts might struggle to identify.
When we think of AI, it’s natural for our minds to wander into the realm of science fiction. We think of advanced robots acting completely autonomously, and omnipotent computer systems with intellectual capabilities that far surpass the smartest humans. The truth however, is that this type of AI is still largely conceptual.
Almost all of the AI systems that are likely to emerge in the near future, leverage what’s known as ‘Narrow AI.’ This type of AI develops algorithms and models for specific circumstances and tasks, and while these systems can be exceptionally accomplished at performing these tasks, the intelligence is not generalized, and cannot be extended outside the domain it was designed for.
So, in summary, AI is a broad term that defines machines and systems capable of human-like reasoning, decision making and problem solving. Machine learning is a subset of AI that applies algorithms to data, in order to extract insights and make informed predictions. Now let’s look at some of the most exciting and promising applications for AI in the field of IT support.
AI-Powered Chat: Revolutionary Customer Service Channels
Chatbots with AI-powered capabilities are becoming more common as a way to deliver automated customer service across many industries, including IT. Acting as virtual helpdesk agents, these simple programs can respond to FAQs, resolve common issues using user prompts and even deliver sequential instructions for resolving a wide range of issues and complaints.
Unlike human operatives, AI programs don’t need rest, so support can be made available 24/7. AI can also handle many enquiries at once, providing relief for IT support teams and allowing technicians to focus on more complex troubleshooting.
Furthermore, due to the self-learning capabilities of machine learning algorithms, response accuracy and efficiency will improve over time as the program ingests and analyzes data from hundreds or even thousands of support requests. Eventually, the chatbot’s effectiveness will reduce the burden of routine support requests significantly, allowing IT staff to focus on strategic tasks and complex challenges that require broader, human intelligence.
Pre-emptive Issue Detection and Response
Machine learning programs can absorb vast amounts of data from multiple sources, and analyze it to identify patterns, spot anomalies and make accurate predictions. The more data the algorithm is fed, the more effective, efficient and accurate this analysis becomes.
By leveraging these capabilities in routine network monitoring, IT support staff can predict network performance issues, outages and other issues, and take pre-emptive action that avoids downtime and optimizes network performance. This proactive approach alleviates pressure on IT support staff and ensures robust, high-performance IT for end users.
While humans will continue to play a key role in the delivery of IT services, some aspects of IT support are likely to become fully or semi-autonomous in the future. We can expect to see AI programs managing, maintaining and fixing IT systems autonomously in the coming years, both at application and network level: applying patches, developing and applying fixes to misconfigurations and continuously monitoring and resolving network issues. The benefits of this extend to both IT support providers and their clients, with reduced downtime, lower maintenance costs, improved network performance and a slicker end user experience being the likely outcomes.
Greater IT Support Personalization
The best IT support teams expend every effort to deliver a personalized experience to their clients. This is likely to be enhanced further in the future, with AI-powered programs that extract insights from historical support interactions to deliver a truly unique, personalized experience for end users. Chatbots will be able to provide advice, recommendations and experiences informed by each user’s preferences, habits and behavioural trends, to deliver satisfying support that’s tailored to the individual.
Next-gen Cybersecurity and Automated Threat Detection
The cybercriminal underworld is increasingly turning to AI to launch more potent and damaging cyberattack campaigns. Fortunately, the same technologies being used to inflict harm can also be used to thwart the efforts of the threat actors themselves.
Machine learning is already seeing widespread use in extended detection and response (XDR) systems. These game-changing cybersecurity platforms gather and analyze data across numerous sources, including applications, operating systems, devices, networks, cloud services/assets and user identities. Algorithms scrutinize this data, looking for signs of anomalous activity that might pose a risk to data security or signal an imminent cyber breach attempt. Security teams are swiftly notified of emergent threats, allowing swift countermeasures to be deployed. Automated responses are also programmable, allowing near instantaneous threat neutralization that operates 24/7.
These cutting-edge systems combine with traditional, signature-based threat detection methods to deliver unrivalled networkwide protection. For businesses, advantages include greater peace of mind, a significant reduction in online threat exposure, and greater confidence in data protection and compliance measures.
AI and Machine Learning programs get better at what they do the more data they are exposed to. Businesses capitalizing on AI in their IT support functions can therefore expect outcomes to improve over time in whatever area this exciting technology is being applied. This means fewer security incidents, less downtime, better network performance and a more stable, secure IT environment with every passing month and year. Plus, unlike error-prone humans, AI doesn’t forget! This means every interaction, security event and network activity is permanently logged in the collective intelligence of the system, ensuring the same mistakes are never made twice.
In Ohio’s dynamic business climate, embracing innovative solutions can give businesses the performance edge they need to thrive and remain competitive. AI and Machine Learning offer wide-reaching benefits and opportunities to organization’s willing to explore their potential.
IT support is just one of many areas set to undergo an AI-powered transformation. Acting as a digital assistant to IT support teams, and providing an optimized, secure and resilient IT environment for businesses and end users, the emergence of AI in the IT industry will be a win-win for all concerned.
We’re Cyber Express – Exceptional IT Support, Cybersecurity and Technology Solutions for Ohio Businesses
From our home in Boardman, Cyber Express provides IT support, technology management, cybersecurity services and class-leading solutions to businesses across Youngstown, Mahoning County and the wider region. Our approach to IT support ensures our clients enjoy a proactive, friendly and tailored service that addresses key challenges and delivers growth-enabling technology. Get in touch today, to discuss your IT support or computer repair needs. Our friendly team can’t wait to take your call.