ServiceNow and IBM this week announced that the Watson artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) platform from IBM will be integrated with the IT service management (ITSM) platform from ServiceNow.
Pablo Stern, senior vice president for IT workflow products for ServiceNow, said once that capability becomes available later this year on the Now platform, IT teams will become on average 20% more productive. This is good timing, as most teams currently are struggling to adapt to the increased demand for IT support from employees working from home and in the office in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
Mike Gilfix, vice president of cloud and integration and chief product officer for Cloud Paks at IBM, said IT teams will also be able to proactively identify anomalies in IT environments 60% faster.
IT teams interact with IBM Watson AIOps via a chatbox interface such as Slack. The platform will surface recommendations based on ServiceNow data and enable IT teams to query IBM Watson AIOps to provide a faster mean time to resolution for IT incidents, said Gilfix. That capability is provided via a configuration management database from ServiceNow that tracks the operational state of all business services in real-time.
IBM Watson AIOps, which can be deployed in the cloud or on-premises, also can surface additional context the next time similar issues arise, in addition to being able to record actions and insights for auditing purposes. IT teams can also feed data from other systems into IBM Watson AIOps to automate a wider range of processes.
AIOps platforms won’t be replacing IT professionals anytime soon. However, IT teams that are not able to access AIOps platforms will find themselves working harder than their peers. As IT environments become more complex, the number of potential issues that can adversely impact end user experience are moving beyond the capabilities of an IT team’s ability to track manually.
AIOps platforms, meanwhile, continue to advance in sophistication. Given the structured nature of IT environments, IBM Watson AIOps is now able to have a significant impact on productivity with 24 hours of being deployed, Gilfix said. As part of this launch, IBM is expanding its global ServiceNow services offering to include additional capabilities that provide advisory, implementation and managed services on the Now Platform. IBM also has formed an AIOps Elite Team that will help prepare organizations to transition to AIOps free of charge.
IT may take a while still for IT teams to adjust culturally to AI, but there are many rote tasks that many IT professionals would like to see eliminated. Over time those tasks conspire to increase the level of drudgery IT professionals experience as they perform the same repetitive tasks. In theory, at least, AI should reduce overall IT staff fatigue in a way that could reduce turnover while at the same time freeing up resources to tackle more complex IT challenges.
It may take some time for IT teams to trust the recommendations surfaced by an AIOps platform, but the more those platforms learn about the IT environment, the more accurate those suggestions become.