IT service management (ITSM) teams that have standardized on the ServiceNow software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform can expect to take advantage of a wave of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities arriving via a major update dubbed the Washington, D.C. release of the company’s Now platform.

While artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) has been around for some time in one form or another, ServiceNow is making the case for adding AI capabilities to its core platform rather than requiring organizations to deploy and manage a separate platform.

Specifically, the latest release of the Now platform adds generative AI capabilities that enable IT teams to interact with the platform using natural language. That capability is based on a set of large language models (LLMs) that ServiceNow has specifically trained using data specific to the ITSM domain.

In addition, there is also an AIOps Experiences in a Service Operations Workspace for IT operations management (ITOM) module that ServiceNow makes available and an Express List for tracking historical trends and automation alerts. The AIOps capability being added to the platform will make it easier for IT teams to identify the root cause of an issue while simultaneously streamlining the volume of related alerts that might otherwise be generated.

ServiceNow has also added AI chat capabilities to its Now combined AI Search and Service Catalog to extend the capabilities of the Virtual Agent tools it provides. This enables IT teams to set up self-service portals for end users.

A Workflow Studio tool also makes it possible to weave Flow Designer, Automation Engine, Process Automation Designer and Decision Builder tools into a common framework for automating workflows.

Other capabilities added with this release include analytics capabilities to streamline reporting, tools for managing security operations (SecOps) and support for use cases involving operational technology (OT) teams.

At the core of the ServiceNow platform is a Common Services Data Model (CSDM) that makes it simpler to integrate various tools and capabilities embedded within the Now platform. Rather than acquiring separate tools that ITSM teams then need to integrate and maintain, for more than a decade, ServiceNow has been making the case for a single integrated SaaS platform that promises to reduce the total cost of IT.

Each ITSM team will need to decide for themselves whether it makes sense to build and deploy AI models to automate various tasks, but the path of least resistance may be to wait for IT vendors to provide these capabilities along with examples of how best to apply AI.

Jon Sigler, senior vice president of platform at ServiceNow, said the company has already identified more than 20 AI use cases within its own IT operations that are shared via a ServiceNow AI Impact Accelerators initiative.

At this juncture, it’s not so much a question of whether AI will be applied to ITSM as of how soon and to what degree. The immediate challenge is to identify the tasks that lend themselves best to automation today, enabling the humans who actually manage ITSM to focus more of their time on tasks that deliver a lot more value to the business.

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