You want an IT strategy that can succeed within the increasingly complex and comprehensive infrastructure of today’s digital zeitgeist. To achieve this, you need to spend your time and resources where they’re most valuable and can produce the best results while automating repetitive tasks that typically slow your team down and make them less efficient.
Automation of repetitive workplace tasks has become a staple practice of major industries across the globe—and for good reason. A McKinsey Global Institute study predicts that automation could increase productivity internationally between 0.8% and 1.4% annually.
While COVID-19 has been a catalyst for the rapid growth of automation in recent years, the fact is that automation is here to stay. Yet automation is a broad term, with a wide variety of applications depending on your particular business and its needs.
For IT departments, certain tasks are more laborious, slow, and expensive than others. These may include jobs such as new account provisioning, managing support tickets, workflow orchestration, and cloud management.
The performance of IT departments can have far-reaching implications for the overall success of a business. Implementing automation in your IT strategy can help lower costs and increase productivity by avoiding redundancy. Thus, automation allows you to optimize both your technology and business goals.
1. Business Benefits of Automating IT
2. Onboarding and Provisioning New Employees
3. Support Tickets
5. Cloud Management and Provisioning
Just as a slow, ineffective, and expensive IT strategy can hinder many parts of a business, a fast and optimized IT strategy can elevate that business to new levels of efficiency.
Implementing automation may seem complicated for broader business processes—but automation can be easier than you think and pay dividends over the long haul.
Some benefits of IT automation include:
Automation of repetitive manual tasks gives your staff more time to innovate at a rapid and focused pace. It also saves your business time and money and brings a new level of consistency and optimization.
By focusing on the following four areas of automation in your IT strategy, you can see important benefits.
Many companies have adopted remote work policies for their employees. In many ways, remote work has become the new normal. But even for shared office spaces, you must often provide new employees with access to network resources as part of the onboarding process.
Automation can help your IT department streamline this process in a few key ways.
· Deploy applications from a single platform
Leveraging platforms like Microsoft Teams to deploy and manage applications on workstations allows your IT team to create a reusable template for new employees. A new team member can receive their company laptop with their AD account, email, and permissions set up and ready to use. Those settings can be changed remotely if an employee gets a promotion or leaves a job.
· Sign on with a single login
If employees have ten different sets of login credentials for ten different applications, this creates nine extra opportunities for something to go wrong that might require IT to step in and resolve an issue. This is obviously not the best use of your team’s time. Single sign-on simplifies the process and lowers the chance of someone getting locked out of their account by allowing users to sign on to the entire system using a single set of credentials.
· Role-based access control
Granting privileged access every time a new employee joins the team can be laborious and time-consuming. By automating this process using role-based access controls, you can assign a new employee a role within the system and they’ll automatically be granted the appropriate level of access.
Walking new employees through all the tedious onboarding procedures is a waste of your IT team's skills. Automating this process lets them focus on more important tasks and step in only when necessary to resolve issues.
Although effective IT teams do much more than fix employees’ workstations, there’s a reason TV shows and movies focus on this aspect of the job. Help desk services form an important core of IT services.
Yet as businesses scale, it’s difficult to resolve support tickets at an effective pace. Automating the support ticket process allows your team to scale with the business.
Automation can remove several steps of the process by routing requests to the right person without the need to tediously sort through forms or emails. With digital signature functionality, you can approve requests quickly, and your IT technicians can prioritize tickets intelligently. You can sign off on completed tasks and automatically maintain an entire audit trail. Some IT service management systems even flag issues and create tickets automatically.
No matter how big or small your business, in the current digital landscape, you rely on complex systems that involve numerous apps, tasks, clouds, and servers. Even the most basic workflow can pass through dozens of these separate parts of the larger infrastructure.
The orchestration of several tasks in these workflows can be streamlined using automation.
· Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL)
The process of moving data from one source and format to another can be cumbersome and prone to error. Automated updates can be set to occur at specific times or triggered by events that kick off dependent workflows, which reduces the potential for mistakes and streamlines the process of transferring and reformatting data.
· Data warehouse management
The ETL process is the first step in managing a data warehouse and laying the groundwork for end-to-end automation. IT teams can automate the data warehouse management lifecycle, including reporting, process monitoring, and status checks, all while creating an audit trail for compliance.
· File Transfer Protocols
When transferring data between servers, transfer protocols often don’t notify users of a delivery failure. They also require a manual decluttering of files once they are transferred. With automation, you can create these types of alerts. If a transfer fails, you can automate the system to automatically retrigger the workflow until it succeeds.
Whether you run a public, private, or hybrid approach to cloud storage, most businesses have seen the advantages of adopting some level of cloud infrastructure. By moving applications and processes to the cloud, businesses can perform in a way that’s more flexible, dynamic, and cost-efficient.
However, when traffic on cloud servers increases, the computing power necessary to accommodate that traffic increases, too. This can ultimately inflate costs for your business.
While you could pay for the computing resources necessary to handle peak traffic, you’d simply be wasting money whenever the business isn’t running at maximum capacity.
Automation and "auto-scaling" allows you to adjust the amount of computing resources allocated to your business by the cloud computing platform. In other words, you're only paying for what you're using at the time.
This can save teams time, especially when you manage auto-scaling of all your servers from a centralized platform.
The fact is that automation helps IT teams do their job more efficiently. As systems and data grow more complex and ever-present, technology specialists need to adapt so their IT strategy can keep pace with their business needs. By building automation into your department workflows, your team can focus on the goals and tasks that will help your business thrive.
At Vudu, we are technology wizards who want to bring IT magic to your business and achieve supernatural results. Want to learn more about how to optimize your IT strategy with automation? Tell us more about your goals.