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AI in IT Support: Unveiling the Pros and Cons.

Organisations everywhere are leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to perform tasks that humans once did. It is having…

AI in IT Support: Unveiling the Pros and Cons

28th May 2024

AI in IT

Organisations everywhere are leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to perform tasks that humans once did. It is having a huge impact across most industries, and the likelihood is your business is using AI in one form or another, be it to streamline operations, analyse data, improve accuracy and decision-making, provide 24/7 customer support, or enhance your IT Support function in the face of advanced cyber threats. 

Also, with security teams under more pressure than ever before to safeguard systems, protect sensitive information, manage user access, and detect and respond to cyberattacks, there’s a constant need to adapt and build more robust IT defences. One way to achieve that is with AI and machine learning. 

Technology firm ramsac who are IT support experts in Surrey, have been highlighting the many benefits AI can bring to your business and your IT support, while also exploring the criticism that also exists. 

The Pros of AI in Your IT Support 

Mountains of data, a widening attack surface, multiple devices, and increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals intent on exploiting vulnerabilities are just a few examples of the challenges IT departments face. The ever-changing technology landscape means that businesses depend on IT solutions and services to function, and AI is playing a leading role. From streamlining customer service processes to detecting and responding to malicious cyberattacks, there are many benefits of having AI in your IT support, including: 

Greater Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction 

AI has revolutionised the way businesses interact with customers. It can support helpdesks, handle repetitive tasks such as responding to FAQs, direct requests to the right departments, and troubleshoot issues which significantly improves efficiency and customer satisfaction. Automating aspects of technical support with AI can also reduce workloads, customer waiting times, and human error which will free up time for workers to focus on more complex tasks. Another major benefit of AI in technical support is that it operates around the clock without the need for breaks which delivers cost savings by reducing the need for humans to handle common enquiries. AI can also increase brand loyalty by delivering a personalised service based on a customer’s history and preferences. As businesses continue to embrace AI, they’re likely to unlock more and more opportunities that will help drive long-term success and ever-greater levels of customer satisfaction. 

Enhanced Learning Capabilities 

By leveraging data, analytics, and machine learning, AI can enhance the overall performance and innovation of technical departments. It can provide deep insights and provide recommendations for IT support to follow up to improve efficiency. AI also helps staff identify any patterns, trends, and gaps in the service which will improve their own knowledge and understanding of subjects and work patterns. Essentially, AI empowers support staff, allowing them to collaborate with experts and access vital information, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.   

Accelerated Threat Detection and Response 

AI-powered cybersecurity enables you to identify potential security threats faster by sifting through vast mountains of data to identify suspicious behaviour and malicious activity. AI can also integrate with existing systems and automate security functions including patch management and upgrades, as well as divert traffic away from vulnerable servers while alerting your IT team about any potential dangers. Similarly, AI makes security systems more efficient and accurate compared to traditional IT solutions. For instance, AI can monitor numerous devices such as laptops and smartphones for potential cyber threats in a fraction of the time it would take humans to perform the same checks. Not only that, but automated AI algorithms can scan your organisation’s datasets to search for suspicious patterns that humans would find almost impossible to spot. 

Enhanced Scalability and Capability 

One of the key benefits of AI is that it is easily scalable and will align with business growth and the level of IT support you require. Whether you’re looking to streamline and improve your company’s customer service department or obtain additional cybersecurity protection but without the expense of extra hardware and personnel costs, AI will provide significant benefits according to your needs. Additionally, by automating important security tasks, AI allows valuable resources to be directed elsewhere in a business while continuously monitoring for cyberattacks and data breaches. 

The Cons of AI in Your IT Support 

The ability to analyse mountains of data at incredible speeds is undoubtedly one of AI’s biggest assets in your IT Support. It delivers numerous benefits to businesses across multiple industries as well as unparalleled protection in the war against cybercrime.  However, as we increasingly rely on AI to manage our workloads and cyber defences, it is not without its risks and ethical and social challenges. 

Lack of Emotion and Bias 

At this time, AI lacks emotion and empathy which can be problematic when dealing with angry customer complaints or responding to complex queries that require human intuition, creative thinking, and problem-solving skills. Aside from that, AI also raises questions about privacy, security, transparency, and fairness in technical support. How, for example, can IT support be certain that AI will protect customer data and ensure it is used correctly and for the right reasons? Can technical support staff actually trust the actions and decisions of AI? And can they be sure AI won’t discriminate against anyone? The concern is that biased decision-making can creep into AI solutions through software containing contaminated data, or algorithms that lack the objectivity to make informed, sensitive decisions. Such biases could give rise to discrimination against groups or individuals that may have negative consequences for a business and cause lasting reputational damage. Biased AI could also end up blocking legitimate users from accessing company systems resulting in reduced productivity or even the loss of customers. 

Lack of Transparency 

AI can be hard to interpret, making it difficult for users to understand the decisions it makes, why it made them, and how they can be improved. This is because the algorithms it uses aren’t always transparent, opening the door to potential bias or manipulation. Not only that, but this lack of understanding can be to blame for poor decisions in the workplace and the negative consequences those decisions may have. 

Open to Abuse 

It’s not only the good folk in your IT Support team that benefit from AI technology. When in the wrong hands, AI can be hacked and manipulated by malicious actors to access sensitive data or attack a company’s digital infrastructure. While AI’s ability to scan huge amounts of data and detect suspicious patterns is one of its main benefits, the possibility of it being exploited by cybercriminals remains. Then, for instance, what if an AI chatbot provides customers with wrong or misleading information? These are just some of the risks AI poses when it is used in technical support. However, despite these concerns, AI continues to provide numerous advantages in IT support, from improving customer satisfaction to protecting systems from cybercrime through real-time monitoring, rapid threat detection, and quicker response times. However, cybercriminals will also try to exploit AI’s powerful capabilities in a bid to break security defences and access sensitive data. 

According to Rob May, ramsac’s Executive Chairman, AI is set to power cybersecurity technology for many years to come. He said: AI is driving advancements that promise enhanced protection against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. As cybercriminals employ more complex tactics, AI’s ability to rapidly analyse vast amounts of data becomes invaluable, enabling real-time threat detection and response that far exceeds human capabilities. This includes leveraging machine learning algorithms to identify patterns and anomalies that may indicate potential security breaches, thereby accelerating the response time to threats and minimizing potential damage. Moreover, AI’s scalability ensures that as businesses grow, their cybersecurity measures can adapt seamlessly, providing continuous protection without the need for proportional increases in human resources. While there are challenges, such as ensuring AI systems operate without bias and with full transparency, the ongoing development of ethical AI practices is set to mitigate these risks. Therefore, AI not only enhances current cybersecurity measures but also offers a dynamic foundation for future innovations in cyber defence, underscoring its critical role in the security strategies of tomorrow’s digital landscapes.  

Overall, AI offers numerous advantages in IT support including 24/7 monitoring, greater efficiency, significant cost savings, scalability, and consistency. However, it also poses challenges around context, understanding, complex problem-solving, data privacy, and more. Organisations must weigh up these pros and cons to leverage the power of AI to enhance their IT support. 

Categories: Articles, Tech

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