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How advanced AI strategies can transform application maintenance and support

Februar 22, 2024 / Madhukar Govindiah

Short on time? Read the key takeaways:

  • Organizations have traditionally relied on the tiered approach of Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 technical support. 
  • Modern technologies like AI and machine learning have introduced new levels of IT support that benefit from these technologies. 
  • The adoption of Levels 0 and 0.5 signifies a significant shift in IT support, evolving from a premium service to a standard practice.
  • This transition underscores the necessity of automated solutions to prevent financial and reputational damage, redefining tech support in the digital age. 

A seismic shift is reshaping industry norms in the evolving application maintenance and support landscape. Organizations are seeking more innovative support models.

Beyond traditional support levels (L1 (help desk), L1.5 (left-shifted functional), L2 (functional), and L3 (technical)), they’re adding Level 0 (self-healing) and Level 0.5 (self-help) solutions. These new strategies, empowered by AI, generative AI and machine learning, are transforming how tech support operates, enhancing efficiency and proactivity in the IT industry. These emerging trends are impacting and streamlining tech support operations. Here’s how.

The appeal of L0 and L0.5 in modern tech support 

The drive for innovation is redefining tech support. Traditional models, while reliable, are being augmented by these advanced, AI-driven approaches that offer a more nuanced and anticipatory form of problem-solving to address challenges before they have the chance to disrupt operations. The following sections examine the distinct advantages and real-world applications of these levels, starting with Level 0's AI-powered automated self-healing solutions and their significant implications for businesses today. 

Level 0 - AI-powered self-healing solutions 

Level 0 focuses on automated detection, analysis and prediction of events, showcasing an advanced capability to identify potential issues pre-emptively. This level foresees problems and initiates proven automated resolutions without requiring any manual intervention from end users or help desk staff. 

Level 0 offers a transformative scenario that can be illustrated by closely examining the implementation of an e-commerce giant. 

Imagine an e-commerce platform gearing up for an anticipated flash sale, a moment when surges in website traffic are expected and crucial for business success. This surge could lead to server overload in the traditional support model, resulting in sluggish performance or system downtime during the peak shopping window. However, with Level 0 automated self-healing solutions at play, the platform employs advanced machine learning to recognize and predict the surge in traffic, proactively preparing for the impending load. 

Business Savings : By dynamically optimizing server resources in real time, the e-commerce giant prevents downtime and significantly enhances overall customer satisfaction. Avoiding a few minutes of downtime during a critical flash sale can translate into substantial financial gains. A seamless shopping experience, facilitated by Level 0 solutions, retains existing customers and attracts new ones, amplifying the revenue potential. 

Quantifiable Value : Consider the potential revenue loss associated with just a 5-minute downtime during a flash sale - it could be substantial, especially for high-traffic e-commerce platforms. Level 0 solutions avert this loss and contribute to increased sales, improved brand perception and customer loyalty. This impact underscores the transformative power of AI in application support. 

In essence, Level 0 support serves as a strategic business enabler that propels organizations into a realm where operational efficiency converges with financial value. The e-commerce scenario illustrates the immense potential AI-powered self-healing solutions hold in shaping a future that enables you to minimize downtime and maximize customer satisfaction to thrive in an increasingly competitive digital landscape. 

Level 0.5 - End-user self-help with easy-to-use resolution assets 

Level 0.5 in the context of end-user self-service refers to a stage in the evolution of support systems where end-users can address incidents or service needs independently, leveraging self-service tools and accessible step-by-step assistance for self-remediation. At this level, the end-users have access to resources and tools that empower them to resolve common issues on their own without requiring assistance from the help desk. The following illustrates the user autonomy in proactively resolving issues. 

Consider a user encountering a software issue on their computer. Rather than reaching out to the help desk, they access the self-service portal, which now features a smart AI assistant. The smart AI assistant engages in a conversation with the user, understanding the nature of the problem through natural language processing. It then guides the user through a series of interactive steps, providing personalized assistance based on the specific issue and helping successfully resolve the issue. This interactive and conversational approach makes the self-service experience more engaging and user-friendly. 

Business Savings : Integrating a smart AI assistant into Level 0.5 user self-service enhances business savings. The AI assistant's ability to handle a wide range of queries and incidents reduces the need for human intervention, significantly reducing support costs. It operates 24/7, providing continuous support without the constraints of human availability and continuously learns and evolves using these conversations. 

Quantifiable Value :The quantifiable value of incorporating a smart AI assistant intelligent into Level 0.5 end-user self-service manifests in various metrics. Automating routine issue resolution through the smart AI assistant results in faster mean time to resolution (MTTR) compared to traditional self-service methods. This efficiency saves time for end-users and also contributes to increased productivity across the ecosystem. Additionally, the smart AI assistant logs and analyzes user interactions, generating valuable insights into common issues and areas for improvement. This data-driven approach allows organizations to continually refine their self-service resources, ensuring they remain effective and aligned with end-users evolving needs. The result is a sophisticated and responsive IT support ecosystem that maximizes efficiency minimizes costs and elevates the overall user experience. 

Consider the value of modern IT support 

As organizations wholeheartedly embrace intelligent operations, the application maintenance and support landscape undergoes a profound and extensive transformation with in-built Level 0 and Level 0.5 solutions. What was once considered a premium service is swiftly becoming standard practice as the industry integrates AI, Generative AI and machine learning concepts into the fabric of application maintenance and support.

You can reap the benefits of recognizing the value of proactive, automated solutions in an era where downtime means tangible financial losses and reputational damage. This offers a glimpse into the future where automation and self-healing are redefining the standard in application support and paving the way for a more resilient and efficient IT landscape. 

Discover how Unisys can empower your organization to unlock the limitless potential of AI to make swift, data-driven decisions, automate tasks, streamline processes and free up valuable employee time for strategic initiatives.