Five Steps to a Quick Return on Your IT Process Automation Project Investment

The faster you can identify and measure ROI on your IT Process Automation project, the better.

Five Steps to a Quick Return on Your IT Process Automation Project InvestmentHere are 5 simple ways to quickly identify and quantify results.

The most important component of any business decision, particularly in terms of IT, is being able to measure the results as quickly as possible. Ongoing success depends heavily on whether or not the money you’re spending is truly getting you the type of return that warrants continued investment; otherwise you may end up wasting cash and resources. Obviously, the sooner you can identify what is and isn’t working, the better. If you’ve recently launched an IT Process Automation project, or are about to do so soon, here are five simple ways you can quickly identify results.

1.       Identify Quick Wins or pain points that can show quick value – What was it that ultimately drove you to make the decision to adopt IT Process Automation for your organization? What pain points were you hoping to address with this technology? Perhaps you identified areas where your team was being bogged down by time-consuming manual tasks, which was killing their productivity. Or maybe you realized that writing scripts was becoming a huge waste of valuable time and resources. Whatever the reasons, when you clearly identify them, you can quickly match the appropriate solution with each one, making it much easier to see the results.

2.       Clearly Define Your Outcomes – Know ahead of time what your desired outcomes are and how you can anticipate achieving them. Then, calculate the potential savings you will realize by automating these steps. This gives you a clear picture of future savings and ROI that you can use as a benchmark to measure against as you work further into the process of shifting to automation.

3.        Choose the Right Tool – Understand that not all IT Process Automation tools are created equal. Be careful and diligent when evaluating your available options and know ahead of time what to look for in a quality IT Process Automation tool. For instance, some of the criteria you should be using includes determining whether the product is easy to use, modular, offers any type of pre-designed templates, and if so, what kind of customization is available. You should also be particularly aware of the 80/20 rule – that is, avoid tools that require 80% of your time, but that you will only benefit from 20% of the time.

4.       Get the Right Sponsorship and team engaged in the process– Make sure that you’ve got the right team in place to help see this process through to fruition. Not only do you need buy-in from the “decision makers” and those high level team members that will lead the project, but you’ll also need to ensure that everyone involved remains focused and motivated to achieve the end result. This will help you stick to your timeline for implementation, avoiding costly delays that can affect your overall ROI.

5.       Measure Results of this project and Identify Other Areas for ExpansionIT Process Automation isn’t something that only presents solutions for the here and now – it’s a long term solution that can help streamline your operations, improving ongoing efficiency and productivity, and enhancing your bottom line over the long haul. Don’t just focus on the short term benefits. Measure results on a regular basis. This will help you determine your long term ROI as well as identify other areas for expansion that could further benefit your firm.




EBOOK: HOW TO MEASURE IT PROCESS AUTOMATION RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)




How IT Process Automation Can Work for Healthcare Organizations

How IT Process Automation Can Work for Healthcare OrganizationsIf there were ever an industry in which the demand for cutting costs and increasing efficiency was growing, it’s the health care field. The amount of equipment and high level technology required to run a health care facility can make this duty seem next to impossible to IT professionals who are tasked with keeping systems running smoothly. Thankfully, with IT Process Automation (ITPA) , this job becomes much more manageable. It also helps to achieve the overarching goal of doing more with less.

The crux of where resources are drained is in system administration. Additionally, ongoing monitoring and managing the help desk efficiently can become an overwhelming duty. When you introduce IT Process Automation into the mix, however, these tasks can become much more streamlined. In fact, many of them can be handled almost entirely by the ITPA product, requiring little to no human intervention. Tasks will be completed more quickly with fewer errors and IT personnel will be freed up to focus on other key areas.

There are a great number of benefits that come as a result of health care providers using IT Process Automation. First and foremost, IT departments typically realize significant savings of both time and money, something most in the health care industry strive to achieve on a regular basis. Another area that ITPA can aid in this particular field is its ability to provide a higher level of transparency and overall visibility. By being aware of how systems are being used and who is using them, IT personnel can better manage those systems accordingly.

Incorporating IT Process Automation can provide the following benefits to the health care industry:

  • Cost Savings
  • Reduction in User Errors
  • Enhanced Visibility
  • Increased Productivity
  • Improved Efficiency
  • Reduced Downtime
  • Boost in User Satisfaction

In addition to this, IT Process Automation provides remote support capabilities, so any IT issues that arise can be handled swiftly from anywhere. This makes things much easier for the IT department and helps the entire health care organization run a smoother and more secure operation with less worry of system issues causing downtime.

For more detailed information on how one particular provider, Clalit HealthCare, has successfully leveraged ITPA to streamline operations for both its IT department and the entire organization as a whole, check out this case study.

Are you’re ready to get started with IT Process Automation for your own health care operation?

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




How can IT Process Automation help you solve 5 major NOC issues?

NOCMaintaining a 24/7 well-functioning Network Operation Center (NOC) is not an easy task to accomplish. To help you rise to the challenge, we have compiled a list of 5 major issues you may have run into and proposed a way to resolve them.

Extremely busy shifts

The NOC is usually a pretty hectic place: there is always an incident to escalate, a service to restore or a report to produce, and all that while having to keep monitoring other services. However, usually there is not enough manpower to accomplish all of these tasks successfully. To take the load off a busy shift, make a list of all known recurring problems or downtime with a clear procedure for solving. Then use eyeShare (IT Process Automation tool) to build a simple workflow that will solve the problem for you. Take for example a situation of a critical application that crashes twice a week and the solution is to remote connect to a server and restart a service. The NOC operator has to open the procedure every time, check the server name, check the service name and then start connecting to the server. Solving this incident can take any time between 5 to 30 minutes, assuming that the operator noticed the alert right away. If the monitoring system reported directly to eyeShare, the whole resolution process would end in less than a minute, including sending an email to the application’s manager and updating a ticket. By following these suggestions you will accomplish 2 things: a less busy shift and a shorter MTTR.

Daily tasks are highly time consuming

The NOC is responsible to carry out many day to day tasks – reports production, manual monitoring, or preventative tasks such as disk space cleanup and service resets. Naturally, executing all of these tasks is very time consuming and prevents NOC members from getting ahead with other projects that can potentially advance the team. Map out all tasks that have to be executed every shift, daily or weekly, and take the load off of your people by automating them.

Few of the team members lack technical knowledge

Not all NOC members necessarily have the same technical skills and knowledge. Therefore, some people might have more difficulties while handling an incident with a solution that requires advanced troubleshooting skills. The best solution in these cases is to have an expert to solve the problem for you: an expert can identify all troubleshooting steps and all possible options, and create an automated workflow that solves the problem perfectly every time.

Incidents are not solved within the NOC

Many times the NOC is required to escalate incidents to other teams who are more qualified to handle them, or who have the necessary permissions to solve them. Automate such solutions to save the valuable time of a higher tier team, or to avoid contacting on-calls in the middle of the night (which is always an unpleasant task). Another option is to semi-automate the workflow, meaning, that it can communicate with who’s on-call while making important decisions.

Escalation process is unclear or complicated to follow

When getting to the point that an escalation is required, one might get confused from the complexity of the escalation procedure, or from the fact that each service/system has a different procedure. In a busy shift it can be quite difficult to keep track of the time that has passed from the previous step of the escalation, and which steps were already executed, especially if there are several open incidents at the same time. Automating the escalation processes of frequent incidents or top services will prevent the confusion and will assure that your customers get their information correctly and on time – every time.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes




What Does the Future of Service Management and Automation Mean to You?

IT Process Automation is the Way of the FutureOver the next several years, the relationships between technology, business and the IT organization will be changed significantly by three distinct driving forces. In order to adequately plan and prepare for these changes, IT professionals and business leaders alike must begin to change the way they view the role that the IT department plays within the business. They must also embrace the fact that the three determining forces that are set to change the world of IT as we know it will also dramatically increase the adoption of Service Management and Automation (SMA) as a key component to business success.

 “As-a-service” will become commonplace.

According to industry research conducted by Forrester, the amount spent by IT on platform, cloud software and infrastructure services is forecasted to increase from the present amount of about $28 billion to an incredible $258 billion by the year 2020. That’s 45% of the total IT services spend in just 7 short years. These numbers are based on the fact that more and more business are seeing the appeal of “as-a-service” products, particularly infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), because of their lower cost, rapid feature enhancement and faster time-to-productivity.

The role of Service Management and Automation in this concept lies in the ongoing adoption of cloud-based services and technology. This adoption will help IT operations to further improve and mature their SMA initiatives so that they will be able to quickly and efficiently adapt to change, and dramatically improve a variety of business processes, thereby improving the overall operational efficiency of the organization as a whole.

The workforce of tomorrow will be more tech-savvy and self-empowered.

As consumer technology improves and becomes more available, and the workforce demographic shifts toward younger, more tech-savvy individuals, the way IT operations are run will also evolve. Rather than stick to traditional IT processes, employees, both in and outside of the IT department, will become more empowered to leverage the new technology that is available to them in order to do their jobs more efficiently.

As this shift begins to take place, Service Management and Automation will play a pivotal role in helping IT operations to better serve these empowered workers, taking on a more consumer services role than that of the present private IT service provider. Instead of simply supplying IT services as a package deal, employees will be allowed to take a more active role in the process. For instance, employees can be presented with a catalog of self-service portal options from which they can pick and choose, empowering them and freeing up IT personnel to focus on other business critical tasks.

New markets and increasing consumer interest will create a more customer-centric business environment. 

The future of technology is not only making employees more empowered, but is also changing the way businesses must view and interact with their empowered customers. With so much information readily available to consumers, and new markets emerging every day, the only way businesses can stay competitive is to improve their knowledge of and engagement with the customer. What’s more, the very face of today’s consumer is evolving, meaning that the customers you serve in 2020 will likely be vastly different than those that you serve today.

In order to remain successful in these changing times, enterprises must find a way to develop innovative products, offer superior services and most importantly, do so at a more competitive price. Because IT services are continuing to play a more prominent role in virtually every aspect of the business cycle, including sales, marketing and customer satisfaction, it’s more important now than ever before that these services are reliable, scalable and flexible. SMA will play a key role in the necessary transition toward a more consumer-centric business model, particularly in terms of providing the flexibility and agility that is needed to meet the growing and ever-changing demand of customers.

Is your business ready to take on these exciting changes?

As you can clearly see from the results of this research, the IT world is poised to experience a significant and permanent change in the very near future. As this change begins to take shape, SMA will begin to take on a more critical role in helping businesses adjust and adapt successfully and stay afloat in competitive times.

The future of IT Service Management is fast approaching. Don’t get left behind

5 Ways to level up your service desk using it process automation

Too Many Cyber Security Alerts, Not Enough Teams? No Problem!

Too Many Cyber Security Alerts, Not Enough Teams? No Problem!As security breaches continue to plague companies across the globe, it’s becoming increasingly evident that assembling and launching cyber security incident response teams is vital. So what happens when you’re working with a tight budget and simply cannot afford to gather a group of top IT talent to handle your incident response needs? Does that mean you’ll just be left to fend for yourself, assuming unlimited risk of cyber-attacks? The good news is no. Here’s why.

Too Many Cyber Security Alerts, Not Enough Teams? No Problem!

IT Process Automation (ITPA) can provide the ideal solution to the needs of organizations of every size and industry, whether it’s a smaller operation or an enterprise level firm. After all, budgetary restrictions affect businesses in every class. Rather than bringing in more IT professionals to handle incoming alerts and manage the response process, these companies can instead rely on technology to help close the gap while they remain a step ahead of potential security breaches.

What an automated incident response play book does is it detects alerts as soon as they occur. These notifications may be nothing to be concerned about, but they may be indicators that someone unauthorized to do so is trying to access sensitive data. As the world learned from the Target debacle of a few years ago, not staying on top of these incidents can cause catastrophic problems for the company. Sadly, the retailer simply didn’t have the resources in place to weed through every incoming alert and determine whether they were actual threats that required attention.

Had Target employed the use of IT Process Automation, either solely or in conjunction with other existing monitoring platforms, the breach that cost millions of customers their personal information could have been avoided. It’s not that they needed more personnel. It’s that if they had the right tools in place when the initial incident occurred, the right existing IT personnel would have been notified and action could have been taken immediately.

With a sophisticated automation product, the entire incident response process can be run smoothly and effectively. The moment a threat is made, it is detected by the system and evaluated for accuracy and seriousness. Actual incidents are then prioritized and the appropriate steps are taken to address the situation. This may be completely automated, or it may trigger the need for human input. In the latter case, the appropriate party will be notified and the system will wait for instruction on how to proceed. With a quality IT Process Automation product, this can be done from anywhere through remote capability.

There are a lot of options when it comes to building an incident response play book. They can be developed based on real-life use cases to make them more effective in detecting and resolving incidents in a timely manner. Furthermore, this type of IT Process Automation tool can be integrated with existing threat and vulnerability detection systems to create a more robust and solid security strategy. With the right system in place, incident response time can be reduced from hours to mere minutes.

There’s no question that organizations across the world are facing the need to beef up their security plans and improve their incident response processes. With IT Process Automation, the need to take on more staff at a much higher expenditure is no longer necessary. Instead, technology can be seamlessly implemented to create a more efficient and highly effective process, giving your organization greater protection against future cyber threats.

Is your business as safe as it should be?
eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




Ayehu is growing fast and looking for a Sales Executive for Eastern USA.

Join Ayehu Team!Are you looking for an exciting role that will allow you to make a difference at Ayehu?

Your role will be to drive the full sales cycles from first contact with leads through contract negotiation and close deal with some account management.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four year College or University
  • 4+ years of previous IT Software sales experience in a B2B and account management capability
  • Preferred experience selling to C-Level, VP and Director levels in IT as well as technical teams
  • Proven track record of achieving and exceeding sales quotas and revenue goals
  • Strong experience building a pipeline, qualifying, and identifying deals you can close
  • Demonstrated experience managing the full sales cycle from prospect, demo, contract negotiation and through close of initial deals and renewals
  • Successful experience selling into diverse companies including medium and large enterprise companies

Goals & Responsibilities:

  • Manage and drive the full sales cycles from first contact, qualify leads through contract negotiation/close and account management.
  • Hands on the company software, product demonstrations both in person and via web presentations.
  • Achieve sales quota through identifying, qualifying, and closing business in your territory.
  • Maintain updated sales records and prospect status in salesforce.com.
  • Work closely with a Sales Engineers team in allocating resources for new prospects requests & requirements.
  • Forecast sales activity, revenue achievement, and update activity/prospect status in weekly sales meeting.

Skills & Abilities:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Technically savvy with strength in communicating business value
  • Integrity and credibility
  • Positive attitude, ambitious, and a passion for building a valuable business
  • You are flexible, adaptable, and understand that in a start-up things are not always perfect
  • Listening and Interpretive skills
  • Confidence and resilience
  • Excellent follow up, Takes initiative and Goal Oriented
  • Planning and organizational skills
  • Ability to work and engage a variety of different audiences
  • Ability to work in a fast paced, team player!
  • Must be highly motivated and a self-learning
  • Dig in and be hands on in learning our product and services
    Strong computer skills, including Salesforce.com, MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel

Travel: Ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed. Expect around 20% of your role to involve travel to industry events.
Location: NYC
Start Date: June 2015
More information: email us at hr@ayehu.com

Ayehu is looking to recruit an experienced Office Administrator & HR Assistant

workOffice Administrator & HR Assistant

Role Summary:
We are looking to recruit an experienced Office Administrator & HR Assistant.
As an Office Administrator & HR Assistant you will be responsible for maintaining an efficient office operations, interaction with vendor and clients, from sales to production, billing and delivering hi-quality of customer care and satisfaction at all times, and on-boarding new employees.

To be successful in this role you will be an effective communicator with an excellent phone manner and an ability to work independently in a small but dynamic team. Proficiency with Office tools.

Duties:

  • General administration, office operations, including updating/maintaining company customer relations
  • Taking telephone and email enquiries and follow-ups
  • Processing sales orders, billing and invoices
  • Working directly with management, external clients and suppliers
  • Daily Office organization & ongoing administrative support
  • Assist HR with new employee onboarding, recruiting coordination, and other projects as needed.

Requirements:

  • Proven office and sales based experience
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good team worker, reliable and adaptable
  • Able to work unsupervised and on own initiative
  • Good attention to detail; maintaining our high standards for delivery, quality & accuracy
  • Fluent English – reading, writing, talking
  • Proficiency with core Office products
  • Academic education
  • Full time position (8:00am – 5:00pm)

Location: NYC
Start Date: June 2015
More information: email us at hr@ayehu.com

Improve Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) with IT Process Automation

Improve Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) with IT Process AutomationWith the growing use of cloud technology today, risk management is becoming an increasing priority among businesses across the globe. But simply employing Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) isn’t enough to truly keep an organization protected. Critical security events require real-time responses to mitigate risks and reduce costs. After all, catching an incident after the fact isn’t much better than not catching it at all. So what’s the best way for businesses to manage their security events in the most effective and efficient way possible? The answer is IT Process Automation.

When a critical incident, security breach or security violation occurs, time is of the utmost importance. Every moment that passes following a security event can cost your organization. With automation, the very instance an incident occurs an alert notification is immediately sent and appropriately escalated. This eliminates the risk of human errors and inaccuracies and saves time by replacing the need for manual escalation.

Automated responses to security events help to:

  • Create standard security processes, reduce manual work and provide more consistent, reliable response actions
  • Reduce workload – respond to weaknesses or policy violations with automated review and remediation through automated processes while preserving best security practices
  • Reduce response times – integrate with both configuration assessments and event management to provide the fastest response to incidents with the maximum information available to your security administrators
  • Reduce costs of securing systems and networks while achieving compliance, enables more scalable, repeatable compliance programs and streamlines your organization’s compliance efforts

A few examples of automated Security Information and Event Management processes include:

  • Automatic response to security events such as password resets or privilege changes
  • Automated analysis processes using context for security events including assessment reports relevant to the event and remedies
  • Rapid and targeted escalation of monitoring for privileged user activity associated with insider threats

Not all IT Automation products are created equal…

While automation is, indeed, a highly effective method to manage security event response for your business, it’s important to point out that not all IT automation products  on the market are created equal. It’s not enough to simply send out notifications or provide a list of incidents. To truly be effective, the program you choose must be feature-rich and comprehensive. Some of the critical features to look for include:

  • Real-time status reports of all incidents across the organization
  • Distribution of incidents by severity and priority
  • Verified ownership assignment
  • Immediate contact with incident owners
  • Customizable escalation path
  • Remote respond and auto remediation

The more comprehensive the suite, the better your security event management will be handled. This means a significant reduction in mean time to resolution (MTTR), which means improved performance and mitigated damages. In fact, with the right product you can reduce downtime by as much as 90% simply by automating incident management processes, providing sophisticated notifications and escalations procedures, and delivering full transparency of the entire incident management process to all IT operational staff and management.





eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




How Automated Security Incident Response Can Help Reduce Cyber-Security Risks

How Automated Security Incident Response Can Help Reduce Cyber-Security RisksIn light of recent events with retail giant Target, where massive security breaches have had a devastating impact on consumers and big brands alike, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that security incident response is a critical aspect of IT. The solution seems easy – have IT personnel become more vigilant about managing alerts so that such situations can be avoided at the get-go. Seems obvious, right? Not necessarily. In fact, it’s much more challenging than one may think.

The ultimate cause of the Target debacle was how they used their malware detection technology. The software did its job in successfully detecting the POS memory scrapping code. The problem was, Target’s IT group was operating on detection mode instead of prevention mode. In order to avoid the whole messy situation, personnel would have had to have taken manual action to address and remove the malware. Unfortunately, as we all now know, this did not happen and millions of people had their sensitive information stolen.

The question most people ask is, why on earth didn’t Target use their malware software the way it was designed to be used? Were they incompetent? Misguided? Asleep at the wheel?

The truth is, it’s not so straightforward. Because many of these malware technologies take a more specialized or limited approach, they often generate alerts that are inaccurate, non-critical or worse – false positives. Because of this, IT security professionals tend to view these alerts one of two ways. They either take the alert at face value and investigate it further, or they acknowledge the alert but do nothing.

If the security professional chooses the former, it’s not always as simple as conducting a quick investigation. These analyses can require a great deal of time, resources and expertise. Should they choose the latter approach, it’s likely because they’re afraid of the dreaded “false positive”. In this case, personnel will typically wait for additional alerts to further substantiate the problem before finally taking action.

While it may seem negligent to ever ignore an incoming alert (especially given the consequences that Target employees experienced for doing so), the results of reacting to a false positive can seem even worse – at least to IT personnel. Imagine for a moment the security team for a major eCommerce site responds to an alert by immediately blocking systems or shutting down network access completely. Not only does this disrupt normal business operations, but it could cost the company quite a bit of revenue. If the threat was actually a false positive, it’s the IT department that will bear the brunt of the blame. In other words, IT heads will roll.

So what’s the solution? Obviously, we cannot simply sit back and ignore security alerts, or even take a chance and wait to see what happens (just ask Target how that worked out). Yet, based on the previous scenario, we also cannot jump at every alert that comes in. There needs to be a more sophisticated solution that helps to better manage incoming incidents, weeding out false positives, and effectively notifying the appropriate personnel when immediate action should be taken.

The solution is incident response automation.

Automated incident response technology can provide greater monitoring of a company’s networks, users and IT assets. It can also recognize what behavior or patterns of behavior deviates from the “norm” so that critical incidents can be identified and addressed in the most timely and effective manner possible. In order to achieve best results, security professionals will also need to gain more experience with IT Process Automation so they can further fine-tune and manage these tools most effectively.

As cyber threats continue to evolve and become more sophisticated and complex, so will the requirements for incident management. There has simply never been a greater need. Don’t take the chance that your company will become the next Target.

Get an IT Process Automation solution in place today to protect your business, your customers and your future.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

Meet Your Busiest Employee – The IT Process Automation Robot

Meet Your Busiest Employee - The IT Process Automation RobotImagine: you’re in an important company meeting and your boss announces who has been the busiest, most productive employee over the past month. Now, imagine if he completes that statement not with the name of y
ou or any of your co-workers, but instead uses the term IT Process Automation (ITPA). In other words, a robot. Can a robot really take the place as employee of the month? The answer is, yes. Here’s why.

It’s no secret that the IT department is continually being asked to do more with less. That is, be as productive and efficient as possible while limiting the number of resources it uses. So, IT professionals have to find a way to maximize output while also minimizing the time and costs associated with producing that output. With humans, this isn’t possible without either extending the hours worked or hiring additional staff, neither of which will achieve the goal of keeping expenditures down.

Another area of pressure IT professionals experience is that of customer satisfaction, both internally and externally. Service levels and other demands are increasing at a rapid rate, and if you can’t meet those demands effectively, you will lose your competitive advantage. In other words, your bottom line will suffer. Yet again, in order for human workers to achieve these goals is to either work more or hire additional team members.

Enter IT Process Automation, or the robot who can basically take on all the time consuming day to day tasks that the help desk currently handles. Whether it’s password resets, system monitoring, incident management or some other complex workflow, IT Process Automation can be leveraged for it all. As a result, the work will be completed faster, with fewer mistakes, driving productivity and efficiency up while also bringing costs down.

Many IT professionals erroneously view this so-called robot as a threat to their very livelihood. After all, if a machine can be used to do all these tasks, what’s the point of keeping humans on staff? Why not automate the entire operation? Well, for starters, many automated processes still require some type of human input. Secondly, while IT Process Automation may take some of the work away from humans, it will inevitably free those humans up to apply their skills to more complex and important business matters. So, it’s not a replacement, but rather a shift in responsibility. As such, it should be embraced rather than feared.

So, when the big boss stands up and hails IT Process Automation as the company’s busiest employee, that doesn’t necessarily mean bad news for the people who work there. As long as automation is leveraged properly and viewed as the powerful and innovative tool it truly is, its role as employee of the month (or decade) is something that will drive the ongoing success of the company and make the jobs of human workers much easier.

You can make IT Process Automation your star employee!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate