Where will the traditional “help desk” role be in 5 years? It might be in the hands of a robot. I’m not crazy (I swear)… just bear with me!
Our company focus is grow our clients businesses through the use of technology. In a perfect world, the solutions that we implement would remain stable and consistent forever but we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in the world of computers.
Help desk support is a required component of our larger business objective and it comes with the territory. However, help desk is arguably the least scalable component of an IT vendor’s business model. One help desk person cannot handle multiple support calls simultaneously leaving companies looking into hiring additional help desk staff with the addition of very few new clients.
With that in mind, it seems logical that help desk is a role that companies like ours would like to minimize. Advancements in technology are so rapid that it is easy to see how this may actually happen in the very near future.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the decreased requirement for help desk; applications moving to subscription based models, Hardware as a Services (Haas), more intuitive operating systems, etc. You might find those topics kind of boring, but it gets better, don’t worry. Let’s talk about the juicy stuff. Artificial Intelligence (AI). Oh yes – you must fear Skynet…
Consider Otto, the self-driving vehicle intended for material transport. Here you have Artificial Intelligence (AI) driving a truck. Advantages include less accidents, more efficient full consumption, no “distracted driving” concerns. My point here isn’t that a truck can drive itself – this really comes as no surprise. My point is that AI has advanced rapidly enough we now have a truck that is trusted to drive itself. This means the AI involved isn’t pre-programmed with every possible cause and effect scenario related to driving. As my mother used to say “it’s not you I worry about, it’s the other drivers on the road”. Otto must be able to identify and react to various situations and conditions, using its own logic .
Now transition into the world of computers. The technology for a computer to monitor itself already exists through a variety of Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) tools. A computer can recognize a failing hard drive and alert the user of a predicted failure. This is obviously a benefit because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I would much rather replace a hard drive on my terms, rather than while trying to meet a deadline on a proposal for a client.
Hey, if AI can now successfully drive a truck and beat a human opponent in Go, it’s not hard to believe that AI could recognize that a program isn’t working properly and reinstall it for you.
Identifying a failing hard drive is currently done without the use of AI, and the actual replacement of a hard drive is not currently a task that AI can handle (unless Skynet really IS out there #cringe). However, there are a number of bugs that occur within computers that current AI technology could recognize and logically handle. Hey, if AI can now successfully drive a truck and beat a human opponent in Go, it’s not hard to believe that AI could recognize that a program isn’t working properly and reinstall it for you.
At our company, we have recognized the potential for computers to fix themselves and already started implementing self-healing for our clients. Now before you get too excited, no, we don’t have a robot secretly fixing computers for us. What we do have is a sophisticated system of monitors and self-healing actions to eliminate a large number of minor computer issues for our clients. This means that our clients call us less to fix their computers and more to advance their business.
If you would like to know more about how our system reduces the need for help desk, or the other factors contributing to the extinction of traditional help desk, give us a call at (403) 456-2009 and mention Skynet.