There is a growing interest in how robotics can support many tasks beyond their original function in industry.
What is now known as service robotics has the versatility for a range of things, such as complying with social distancing rules by delivering food and medicine to Covid-19 patients in hospitals. Equally, there is demand for disinfecting robots for use in restaurants, hotels and health services.
In the past decade, with access to more powerful, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI), robotics has developed with greater intelligence at the heart of the machines.
However, there is still the problem of robots lying dormant in storage areas because organizations bought them without knowing what to do with them!
New service robotics applications
Using AI, there are three main applications now possible with service robotics – enabling robots to perceive, think and act. This means:
- Perceiving: speech, handwriting and facial recognition plus natural language processing
- Thinking: machine learning and decision making
- Acting: interaction with humans – hearing a voice, translating it to text and sharing with a cloud service to respond in a specific way. Also, customizing robot voices with different accents for localization.
There are new algorithms which generate data to support sentiment analysis. For example, recognising that from 100 people who entered a shop, 50 of them were smiling, therefore creating a better understanding of customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX).
With access to this level of data analytics, companies will be able to train their own algorithms to devise unique business strategies and obtain competitive edge.
Deploying service robotics and ITIL 4
If you think you want to deploy a new customer experience based on service robotics, you need first to know what you want to achieve from a customer, user and value perspective. For this, you need to have a strategy. That’s where ITIL® 4 comes in and involves considering the four dimensions of service management:
- Organizations and people: how difficult will it be to adopt robotics in your environment?
- Information and technology: how will robotics connect with your existing systems and service desk?
- Partners and suppliers: what providers are available in the robotics and telecommunications industry?
- Value streams and processes: Since service robotics needs high technical and AI orchestration, most of the 34 ITIL practices need to be considered, from initially working on a minimum viable product (MVP) to continually delivering value through robotics products and services.
ITIL’s agnostic approach to technology enables organizations to recognize technology as a means to an end. Therefore, it helps ask the right questions, such as:
- Why do I need a robot?
- How does it fit my business strategy?
- Are we delivering a function or solving a problem?
- Are we trying to impress customers with a robot? If so, this becomes a marketing challenge and taps into a marketing budget.
The following White Paper provides an introduction to AIOps and how it can be utilized in ITIL® 4
Delivering better CX/UX in the customer journey
Identifying the issue you want to solve means you can develop the right strategy and then specify the right robot. Without this approach, it will be a very costly process of trial and error for the organization.
One example of this thinking is happening in a Mexican hospital, which is analysing how a robot can help the health service to improve patient experience. This involves analysing every point of contact for the patient, from exiting the elevator on the right floor, guiding them to the waiting area, informing the staff of their arrival and taking them to the consulting room.
Understanding that robotics is only as valuable as the problem it solves – and mapping the customer journey – needs a solid framework to begin with and ITIL provides that.
Having this knowledge is vital to inform the C-suite perspective and decision making: investing in robotics that will enable products and services to deliver new customer and user experiences and, ultimately, value.
Future-proof your organization with ITIL 4
Want to learn more about ITIL 4, including how it can help future-proof your organization?