Why Automation is a Must for IT Operations

Why Automation is a Must for IT OperationsIT process automation is certainly nothing new. In fact, it’s been somewhat of a buzzword for the past 5-10 years or so, maybe longer. Yet, despite the widespread acknowledgement that automation is virtually revolutionizing the business world, there are still some organizations that have not yet adopted the powerful tool. If you happen to fall into this category, we’d like to share some compelling reasons why your IT operations should start automating today.

Two things IT professionals are dealing with on a day to day basis are the demands on them to offer more support on fewer resources and the increasing complexity of the technologies around them. Each of these challenges causes talented personnel to struggle. Simply put, humans are beginning to fall behind. As a result, costly mistakes are made, customer satisfaction (both internal and external) is dropping and the competitive landscape is becoming even fiercer.

Automation is specifically designed to help alleviate much of the pressure that IT operations groups are currently experiencing. First, routine tasks, like password resets and system restarts, can be shifted from workers to machines. These tasks are then completed faster and are virtually error-free. Meanwhile, personnel are freed up to focus on other business-critical activities, like further developing their skills and handling higher-level items that cannot be automated.

A more efficient and productive workforce translates to smoother IT operations all around. It also means a much greater output of work and enhanced services since technology is now doing all the heavy lifting. Naturally, this leads to a higher level of customer satisfaction, regardless of whether those customers happen to be internal workers in other departments or external clientele who depend on the organization.

Another important benefit of automation is that it helps to make IT operations more responsive to change. There’s no question that we’re living in an ever-evolving world where technology is advancing quicker than we even realize. The ability to scale and adapt is absolutely critical, particularly in IT. A slow evolution simply won’t cut it, especially in a field that is so hyper-competitive. Automation allows for agility, which is essential to an organization’s ongoing success.

As the demands on IT operations continue to grow and become more complex, there will be an even greater need for automation. Only those organizations that are forward thinking enough to adopt these innovative technological tools will remain competitive and continue to achieve their business objectives. Where will your company stand? Will you come out on top or get left behind? Start automating today and position your firm as a front-runner of the future.





eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




Managed Service Providers (MSPs) – 4 Automation Best Practices

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) – 4 Automation Best PracticesOne of the greatest challenges today’s managed service providers face is keeping up with the increasing demand on their time and resources. These days, MSPs are being expected to perform at the highest level, maximizing their output while also minimizing costs as much as possible. To remain competitive, these professionals must find a way to do more with less, which is where automation comes into play. But simply choosing an automation tool isn’t enough. Let’s take a look at 4 specific best practices to ensure the biggest ROI.

Be Proactive

Beyond just taking existing manual tasks and workflows and automating them, successful managed service providers are able to anticipate and identify additional areas where ITPA can further benefit them. As an experienced professional, you’re already intimately aware of your clients’ pain points. Being able to offer the best solution at the lowest cost by leveraging automation ahead of time will provide the competitive advantage you need to stay on top.

Create a List of Standards

Sure, every client is different, but for the most part there will be a good number of strategies that you will be able to apply universally, regardless of which client you happen to be serving at any given moment. Standardizing these practices can help you save time and also provide for a much better client experience, which, in turn helps with retention and word of mouth marketing. Automation can be the piece that completes this puzzle, allowing you to keep your operations running like a well-oiled machine and wowing your clientele at the same time.

Manage Policies Better

Another critical role of managed service providers is that of IT governance, or understanding the specific policies that are in place with each of your clients and ensuring that users adhere to these regulations. This might cover everything from who has access to which applications and who is authorized to action updates to simple things, like password refreshes. Establishing a system of proactive policy management can help you and your customers stay compliant and prevent risky actions from occurring in the first place.

Continuously Review & Re-Evaluate

While implementing the above steps will likely help you reduce the amount of tickets you receive, you’ll never reach a point when there are none. To that end, use those remaining incoming requests as a tool for learning and identifying other areas where additional best practices can be established and implemented. By regularly reviewing and improving your standards, policies and automation, you’ll be able to further streamline your operations.
To be successful, managed service providers must continually find ways to keep costs at a minimum while also providing exceptional service using limited resources – not an easy feat, especially in such a competitive landscape. Automation can provide the perfect vehicle through which to drive these best practices forward, thereby improving service levels and ultimately increasing business.

Could your managed service providers use a boost like this? Try our IT process automation tool free for 30 days and experience for yourself what a difference technology can make.

eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s


IT Process Automation is Awesome…But Not for Everyone

IT Process Automation is Awesome…But Not for EveryoneOn a daily basis, organizations around the globe are learning just how valuable IT process automation can be. But it’s not necessarily for everyone – at least on such a large scale. Determining which tasks and workflows to automate is the first step in the process of figuring out how much, if any, ITPA is right for your business.

First and foremost, while IT process automation can be great even for smaller sized companies, those with fewer than 5 VMs may find the benefits not worth the expense. Of course, there are probably still plenty of tasks that you can (and should) automate, such as routine checks, updates and backups. For best results, list out what items could be left to technology and then weigh your options. If you find the right product that suits your budget, even if your organization is smaller, it could work.

Businesses that feature 50 to 100 VMs will likely reap greater rewards from IT process automation, since templates, building and operating systems deployment can all be automated. If you do plan on leveraging an automation tool for VM management, the sooner the better. Ideally, having all VMs built using the same automation will make the entire process easier going forward. Checks and backups can also be handled by technology.

Where IT process automation really pays off, however, is in larger organizations. Not only can the things mentioned previously be automated, but at this scale, businesses can also begin using self-service options. Additionally, backup scripts and health checks can be married with configuration and compliance checks so that they can be automatically run. Manual review and high-level human oversight can bring everything together.

Finally, for businesses at the enterprise level where hundreds of visualization hosts exist, along with thousands of VMs, IT process automation isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity. Otherwise, costs will get out of control. Key areas where ITPA is a must include the host building and provisioning processes as well as storage provisioning. Ongoing checks to ensure everything is working properly should also be handled by the automation tool. Again, human intervention will still be needed, but automation should handle the brunt of the activities.

Automation is a powerful and highly effective tool for organizations of all shapes and sizes, but the concept of simply automating everything doesn’t always make the best business sense. There must be a comprehensive needs assessment conducted and a clear understanding of the costs and benefits of implementing ITPA must be achieved prior to moving forward.

Not sure if IT process automation is right for your company? We can help! Contact us today to get started.





IT Process Automation Survival Guide




5 Tips for Choosing the Right Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Product

You may already be aware of the many benefits robotic process automation can have for businesses, both large and small and across any number of industries. Figuring out which product is right for your particular company is a whole different ballgame. To help you make a more informed decision and ensure that you end up with the RPA product that best suits your needs, here are 5 things to keep in mind.

1. Ease of Use

First and foremost, you want a robotic process automation product that will be easy and efficient for your employees to use it. Otherwise, you’re defeating the purpose of implementing RPA in the first place. Look for a software provider that has experience in the RPA realm and offers either a demo and/or free trial period.

2. Core Developer Capabilities

A good RPA product essentially runs complex codes behind the scenes. That product should provide back-end developers with the following core competencies:

  • Ability to integrate seamlessly with other major software platforms
  • Out-of-the-box functionality
  • Extensive range of supported inputs and outputs (i.e. email, text, xls files, etc.)
  • Software provider support

3. Scalability

One of the key benefits of robotic process automation is the ability it provides an organization to effectively adapt to the changing needs of their workforce on a whim. To that end, you should look for a product that has the capability to scale up when demand calls for increased output and back down again as those needs wane.

4. Analytics

Another advantage of a good RPA product is the ability to collect, organize and analyze workflow metrics to identify areas where improvements can and should be implemented. This essentially allows an organization to truly optimize operational efficiency.

5. Multi-Faceted

Finally, a quality robotic process automation product should be functional on both the end-user side as well as the technical side. As an organization, you may decide that one of these two areas is more important than the other and adapt your evaluation accordingly, but both sides should always be part of the selection process.

Ultimately, your decision as to which robotic process automation product is right for you will also depend on many specific circumstances that may be unique to your business. The five criteria above, however, should at least provide you with a starting point from which to build.

Want to learn more about robotic process automation and how you can put it to use in your organization? Click here or download your free trial today to get started.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide




Using eyeShare IT Process Automation to Create Self-Service Portal Workflows

Over the past several years, Ayehu’s eyeShare IT process automation tool has helped countless businesses – both large and small – streamline operations and optimize efficiency levels. We’re excited to announce that eyeShare now features a convenient, easy-to-use “Self-Service” center, making the platform even more beneficial to organizations across the globe.

Simply put, the eyeShare Self-Service Portal feature allows end-users to trigger designated workflows without accessing the eyeShare studio or sending an email. Using a simple web-browser, the end-user may simply select the desired workflow to activate, enter the appropriate information into the required fields and submit. It’s that simple! Let’s take a closer look at how this process works, step by step.

First, let’s create a user in Active Directory for use in the Self-Service portal workflow. To do this, go to the Workflow section next to the Active Directory folder and select “New.” This will open a workflow designer window. In order to create a new user, you’ll need to generate a temporary password. Do this by clicking on “Tools”, choosing “Memory & Functions” and dragging over the “Generate Password” action. Be sure to double click on it to ensure the password adheres to the system requirements.

Next, you’ll need to drag the “Create Active Directory” function over. Double click and enter the data for your new account. Now, follow the steps below:

  • Enter the OU
  • Select the active directory server
  • Input first and last name
  • Input login name
  • Select the recently created password by typing in “generatepassword.password”
  • Enter email address
  • Check the text box to change the password at next login

The next step in the process involves taking care of two potential scenarios with a condition for successful and unsuccessful (or failed) user creation. For successful user creation, the goal is to show the status to the end-user via the self-service response action. In cases in which a user wasn’t created correctly, the response should include the error message received from the active directory server.

When you’re finished inputting each message, click “Save” at the top to save your workflow. Here you can enter your workflow name and also include a description.

Now, let’s delve into how to create a self-service interface using the self-service portal designer feature. First, go to “Self Service” near the “User Management” folder and click “New.” Enter the title of the self-service and select the workflow you just created. Now, click “Generate Blocks,” which loads all the variables exposed during the self-service workflow. Here you can choose between the options of text box, label or combo-box. Once this section is complete you can click “Ok” to create your first self-service workflow.

IT Process Automation Self Service portalFinally, let’s move on to the self-service portal web page. Log in using your eyeShare or active directory credentials. Here you will be able to view all the self-service options that have been completed and are available for use. For instance, you may have created a “New Employee On-Boarding” workflow, which will include whatever parameters and variables you’ve chosen for that particular process. Once these fields are filled out and “submit” is pressed, the request triggers the appropriate workflow in eyeShare with a confirmation sent upon completion.

The self-service portal is also available for use on any smartphone or other mobile device.

For more information on this feature, click here or watch our video tutorial to see it in action.





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




3 Things Every security operations center (SOC) Should be Automating Now

3 Things Every security operations center (SOC) Should be Automating NowBy now most security operations centers (SOCs) are aware of the value of automation. Not only does this technology reduce errors and improve efficiency and effectiveness, but it also frees up IT personnel, allowing them to focus their talents on high level tasks and workflows that cannot be automated. For those just starting out with security operations center automation, it can be challenging to figure out where to begin. Let’s take a look at 3 key areas where SOCs can and should start automating today.

Identifying False Positives

SOCs spend far too much time sifting through incoming alerts to determine whether they are truly threats. This massive task is not only prone to costly error (when real threats slip through the cracks), but it’s a tremendous drain on resources. One of the most effective ways to handle this monumental yet time consuming necessity is to leverage Security operations center automation. All incoming alerts can be instantly assessed, verified, prioritized and assigned without the need for human input, thereby eliminating the false positive dilemma.

Help Desk Tickets

Believe it or not, many companies still have highly skilled IT professionals copying and pasting responses to incoming support tickets. Imagine paying a senior staff member to do such a simple task when his or her time could be much better spent elsewhere. Security operations center automation can help you maximize your staffing budget by allowing technology to handle this simple, repetitive task. As an added benefit, your top level personnel can then focus their energy on things like mitigating threats and training entry-level workers.

Generating Reports

Tracking and analyzing metrics is an important part of an SOC’s job, but the act of manually gathering all this information and converting it into reports can be daunting. The good news is, SOC automation can help take this time-consuming yet business-critical task off the plates of security operations center staff. CIOs and other powers-that-be will still be able to review, evaluate and confirm the department’s efficiency levels while IT personnel can shift their efforts to more important activities.

Of course, these are just three of the many different tasks and workflows that can be streamlined by security operations center automation, but they’re a great place to start for a company that’s just hopping on the automation band wagon.

Still need convincing? Here are 5 compelling reasons you should start automating your security operations center today.





eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




4 Common Challenges with Robotic Process Automation Outsourcing

4 Common Challenges with Robotic Process Automation OutsourcingRobotic process automation is one of the biggest advances benefiting businesses today. The ability to shift a large number of tasks to technology as well as scale up or down instantly based on need is helping companies of every size become more efficient and subsequently more competitive. The problem is, when you choose to have this handled anywhere other than in-house, things don’t always go as smoothly as anticipated. If you’re thinking of outsourcing RPA for your firm, here are 4 common challenges other companies have faced so you can prepare for them ahead of time.

Time-frames and Red Tape

Inevitably, if you are going to rely on an external resource for your robotic process automation, there will be plenty of contracts, legalities and other red tape to deal with. There is also a longer time frame for getting up and running because the process almost always involves competitive bidding, provider evaluations, negotiations and then the actual implementation.

In-house robotic process automation, on the other hand, does not come with nearly as many burdens. Additionally, because it is built upon a much deeper knowledge of the business in question and can be tested and improved over time, the results are typically much more favorable.

Technological Limitations

Because outsourced RPA requires providers to offer a robust, enterprise-level global solution that can scale to support the highest capacities, the robotic software technologies these providers rely on may be somewhat limited. This isn’t to imply that the offering is a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather that there aren’t nearly as many options to choose from as there are emerging technologies.

Handling robotic process automation internally provides a greater degree of flexibility and the luxury of choosing from a wider pool of platforms based more on what your business needs are and which product has the best features for meeting those needs.

Roles, Responsibilities and Job Security

When an organization chooses to outsource RPA, the resulting shift in the roles and responsibilities of existing IT personnel can be quite disruptive. Many day to day tasks will no longer be handled in-house, and without adequate work to go around, downsizing will likely be a necessity. This can lead to an overall dip in morale across the entire organization, which is never good for business.

Conducting robotic process automation in-house, on the other hand, creates a completely different dynamic in the workforce. While efficiency levels will go up, operating costs will drop dramatically. Those employees who were once responsible for the tasks that are now automated will still be valuable to the company, it’s just that their roles will evolve. Furthermore, they will be freed up to take on more challenging work while the costs associated with keeping everyone on board remain constant or may even come down.

Governance/Compliance

Since outsourced automation means that human processes and activities will be reduced, the benefits to the business will naturally be more outcome-based rather than focusing on full-time equivalent (FTE). As a result, the delivery model will need to be closely reliant on customer business processes. This can complicate the internal governance process because any unanticipated changes could potentially impact automated workflows.

Because of this, workflow governance and compliance structures must be designed to incorporate complete transparency of any and all business process changes. Without an adequate plan in place ahead of time, a potential disruption could cause significant problems for the business as a whole. These challenges are mitigated when robotic process automation is handled in-house.

If you have questions about whether handling robotic process automation within your organization might make more sense than outsourcing, we’d be happy to discuss your specific needs. Contact us today!





eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




How to Establish a Solid Cyber Security Incident Response Plan

10 Ways to Reduce Cyber Security Threats with IT Process AutomationIt’s been said time and time again that the best defense is having a good offense – that is, being prepared ahead of time can tremendously improve the outcome of any adverse situation that may arise. Perhaps in no context is this statement more accurate than that of cyber security incident response. These days, no business is safe from would-be attackers, so planning ahead is essential. Let’s examine the steps involved in developing such a plan.

Assemble a Team

Each member should understand his or her role in the event that a serious security breach is detected. The more prepared this team is ahead of time, the more smoothly the entire process will go, which means a much more favorable outcome.

Employ the Right Tools

A cyber security incident response plan is only as good as the tools you’ve got in place to deal with the situation at hand. The goal should be not just detecting potential risks, but employing additional tools, like automation, to effectively close the loop. This will ensure that every incident is properly assessed and prioritized and the appropriate parties are notified to take action.

Keep the Process Transparent

Having a clear and accurate picture of who is handling what can dramatically improve how well and how quickly a security incident is resolved. This is why leveraging the right software product is so important. Look for a platform that provides real-time updates that show incident ownership, severity, priority and status.

Gather and Analyze Data

There is something to be learned from every security incident and doing so can position your company in a more secure place moving forward. IT personnel should be designated to thoroughly analyze information received and assess the entire process as it exists currently to identify areas of weakness and places that need improvement.

Keep the Process Fluid

A quality cyber security incident response strategy isn’t something you simply set and forget. As cyber criminals become more and more savvy, the methods we employ to thwart their efforts must also evolve and become more sophisticated over time. As best practices are defined and implemented, your security response plan should also adapt accordingly.

Like it or not, if you’re in business, you’re at risk of a cyber-attack. Preparing ahead of time by developing a robust and comprehensive cyber security incident response can vastly reduce the chances of you becoming a victim.

Could your cyber security incident response plan use a makeover? Learn how the right automation product can make all the difference. Download your free 30 day trial to get started today.





eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




Join Us For a Live Webinar: How to Integrate SolarWinds with ServiceNow in Minutes

imageSolarWinds and ServiceNow are respectively, two of the most popular network management systems and ITSM ticketing solutions available on the market.

They’re found everywhere, and often together in the same IT department.  Smart enterprises are integrating these two platforms to create a closed-loop process where alerts from SolarWinds automatically generate tickets in ServiceNow.

Upon remediation of the underlying incident, the ServiceNow ticket is then closed, and SolarWinds is automatically updated so the original alert is updated & dismissed.

This bi-directional information flow leverages the best of both platforms, and increases their ROI to the enterprise.

Questions that the webinar will answer:

  • How long does the integration take?
  • What technical skills are needed to do the integration?
  • What kinds of things can I do with SolarWinds & ServiceNow after the integration?

Speakers:

Yaron Levy, VP Professional Services

Yaron Levy,
VP Professional Services

Guy Nadivi, Director, Business Development – North America

Guy Nadivi, Director, Business Development – North America

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking forward to e-meeting you!

*If you’d rather watch the recording, simply register and we will send it to you.

 

HOW TO INTEGRATE SOLARWINDS WITH SERVICENOW IN MINUTES

Ayehu Mentioned in Prestigious Gartner Research Report for Security Operations

Ayehu Software’s Security Automation Product Mentioned in Prestigious Gartner Research Report

Palo Alto, CA. Tel Aviv, Israel October 15, 2015 – Ayehu Software Technologies Ltd., leading developer of enterprise-grade IT process automation software is pleased to announce its inclusion in a recent Gartner research report. In this publication, Ayehu has been specifically recognized for its impact in the realm of Security and Cross-Team Workflow Operations Automation.

The report, entitled Maverick Research: Is it Time to Fire Your Security Team and Hire the Machines, delves deep into the importance of automation for cyber-security incidents. This topic is becoming one of the most critical aspects of IT departments across the globe, particularly given the increase in number and complexity of cyber-breaches and attacks. The research further explores the concept of digital business potentially marking the end of human-centric security processes.

Straying from its traditional, more constrained style of research of the past, Gartner is now offering these “Maverick” reports, which are designed to offer fresh insight and deliver innovative, disruptive and breakthrough ideas to organizations interested in the future of technology. Under this new format, the report covers everything from the current state of security to how the firm believes things will unfold as automation becomes more widely adopted.

Along with other noteworthy and established IT vendors, Ayehu was mentioned as one of the sample vendors for workflow operations automation.

“In terms of IT research and advisory firm, there is perhaps no firm that is more respected than Gartner and it’s a great honor to be mentioned by them” comments Gabby Nizri, Co-Founder and CEO of Ayehu. “We’ve been working tirelessly to deliver a quality product that provides a real security incident response automation solution and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be recognized for our efforts.”

To learn more about how automation can streamline and solidify your organization’s security incident, download Ayehu’s free eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response. The company also offers free 30 day trial.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. They specialize in conducting, compiling and delivering technology-related insight to help IT professionals and business leaders make sound decisions. Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, CT and currently employs 6,600 associates, including more than 1,500 consultants, research analysts and clients in 85 countries. For more information, please visit www.gartner.com.

About Ayehu

Ayehu provides IT Process Automation solutions for IT & Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents, simplify complex workflows, and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure through automation. Ayehu solutions have been deployed by major enterprises worldwide, and currently support thousands of IT processes across the globe. The company has offices in New York and Tel Aviv, Israel. For more information please visit www.ayehu.com





IT Process Automation Survival Guide