I recently delivered an IT Service Management webinar during which I showed a slide entitled “Man vs. Machine” in relation to process automation. Subsequently, I’ve realized the term “Man vs. Machine” implies there must be a conflict or battle, which is entirely the wrong message.
If we give the impression that machines (ITSM tools) are here to replace jobs currently performed by humans, that immediately creates conflict — dreaded fear, uncertainty, and doubt that can sap the energy and motivation of a great team. Anything that leads to demotivation is simply not good for customer service and the delivery of outstanding IT services.
Therefore, the focus must be “Man AND Machine” and how channeling the appropriate resource to fulfill the required task can result in outstanding performance, fulfilled relationships, increased employee and customer satisfaction and the ultimate goal — business value.
When we consider ITSM and the desire to introduce integrated service management and automation to help create business value, we must consider when it is appropriate to automate and when is it not?
Automation should be considered for processes that require:
- Logic or business rule driven decisions
- Speed of execution
Let’s be honest. Only humans can provide human service qualities, and no amount of automation will ever replace these indispensable talents:
- Building relationships
- Empathy and understanding
- Exception handling and influence
The best organizations and practitioners of service management and automation are those that fully understand that business value is derived from both Man AND Machine working in harmony.