Humans are fallible, even IT help desk operatives. Some might say especially IT help desk operatives! There’s an old joke that goes around corporate offices about the guy whose company email stopped working completely, it wouldn’t send or receive mail, he couldn’t even compose a new message on his email client.
So the man gets up from his desk and walks down two flights of stairs to a different floor in the building and walks up to the IT helpdesk section. He collars one of the first people he sees and says; “Hey, my email isn’t working. Can someone please take a look at it for me?”
“Sure, you’ll have to log the job then we’ll put it in the queue…” came the reply.
“How do I log the job?”
“Just send us an email.”
That might seem absurd but that can sometimes be the impenetrable level of problems encountered in IT support help desks in many big companies. Wouldn’t it be great if most IT problems could be understood and fixed by the employees themselves in quick time? We’re talking about fixes far beyond ‘turn it off and turn it back on again’ – and that day will soon be upon us with the advent of the digital adoption platform (DAP).
Predictive Analytics To Prevent Common Mistakes
A DAP is a software package that teaches people how to use software and how to guard against pitfalls ahead by predicting user behavior to prevent mistakes before they happen. It’s effectively a secondary software package that runs alongside the primary functionality of a workflow to guide people through help in an unobtrusive and useful way.
Let’s say for example that a known bug in a certain software instance causes the machine to freeze if the operator enters a comma as a thousand separator instead of a simple space between a set of three zeros. A DAP uses artificial intelligence to understand that the particular user in question has made this time-consuming error several times previously, so before the person reaches that part of the process in hand, the DAP help tooltip might flash up a message: “Please don’t forget that in the next screen, do not use a comma when typing in thousand figures into the debit field…”.
The best part is that the DAP advisory message will only appear to people who have encountered this screen for the first time, or those who have made the same mistake regularly. People who have acted or continue to act correctly at that point in the process, would not be distracted by a help message. That’s all down to the DAP using artificial intelligence to hyper-personalize the help that it offers users.
It Helpdesks Can Be Unburdened From Day-To-Day Problems
Of course, some IT helpdesk software is genuinely useful in ensuring that users don’t have to rely upon their own skills and knowledge to fix certain problems, especially those beyond their control like network outages. But nowadays there is the added complication of people working remotely using their own devices.
How is a IT help technician able to quickly assess whether the problem is on the company network or caused by a cat having walked across someone’s keyboard when they went off to make a coffee? If the remote worker was using a DAP the problem may not have occurred in the first place, even if the cat involved was an extremely clever feline!
DAP – Not Just For Desktop Accounting Software
Let’s not forget that the requirement for help using software doesn’t just end at data entry, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and the like. It won’t be long before people will want a DAP to hold their hands during their first brave steps into the metaverse and many other advanced life and business changing technological innovations happening all around us.
From mining engineering to turning your heating on from your phone on the way home from work, the internet of things (IOT) and everything we do in our daily lives will certainly involve more use of software as technology ever-progresses.
When it comes to IOT, advances in robotics and everything in the home will soon need to be programmed – from when your dog needs feeding by a remote food dispenser if you’re late home from work to a machine that can help an elderly relative if they’ve fallen over. Everything will need some sort of software interface, so in theory, everyone will benefit from associated DAPs.
On a final note, it’s worth remembering that the success of DAPs, what sets them aside from just tooltips or regular help menus, is the user personalization enabled by artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.
It’s Machine Learning (ML) that enables DAPs to use predictive modelling to stop IT problems, at least those caused by human error, to be prevented before they even occur. So the final question is almost a philosophical one- will the AI used in the DAPs inherit the bias of the humans who programmed its AI in the first place? That’s one to ask Alexa…
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