Software-Defined IT Process Automation Solutions – How CIOs are Adapting

Software-Defined IT Process Automation Solutions - How CIOs are AdaptingA recent survey revealed that today’s IT leaders identify software-defined solutions as a critical component of successful operations in the digital world. In fact, nearly 2/3 of all CIOs acknowledge that they’re willing to invest not just into the software itself, but also the skills necessary to maximize the use of said software-defined solutions (SDx). One key area where this increased investment is evident is in IT process automation, both for improving operational efficiency and productivity as well as fortifying security against cyber-attacks. Let’s take a closer look at how senior IT leaders are adapting.

Primarily, studies are showing that the increased adoption of SDx solutions has also created a growing need for CIOs to recruit an entirely new breed of IT professional – one who is capable of being a liaison between IT and the rest of the organization. This ability allows the company to stay ahead of the curve in terms of the advanced technological solutions it employs, such as IT process automation, and to effectively bridge the gaps between other existing systems and departments to create a more cohesive and streamlined infrastructure.

Not only is this a fundamental shift in the skillset being sought by executives, but it’s also created an obvious need for additional financial investment in the process itself. As it turns out, many CIOs, CISOs and other key IT leaders are more than willing to step up to the plate and produce. In fact, 25% of those surveyed anticipate paying anywhere from 5-10% more while 22% say they expect to increase expenditure by 10-20%. This is closely aligned with the rate at which global organizations are adopting software-defined solutions.

The majority of polled professionals agree that the timeframe of the expected shift to more software-defined solutions will take place over the next three years, though a smaller percentage (34%) believes it will happen sooner, over the next two years. Furthermore, a bold one in 10 IT professionals is anticipating the impact of SDx to occur over the next 12 months. Regardless of where you happen to stand on this point, one thing is certain. The shift is happening, whether you like it or not. The best way for CIOs to prepare is to start actively investing in the addition of specific skillsets to their IT teams.

A significant challenge to this plan is the fact that the skillsets necessary to meet the changing landscape are currently in short supply. In the meantime, forward-thinking organizations are leveraging IT process automation as a way to bridge the skills gap and maintain strong marketplace presence, despite the lack of available qualified professionals. This can provide the foundation on which to build stronger, more effective teams of skilled human workers in the future while creating a valuable relationship between people and machine.

The so-called skills gap is also partly responsible for the changing viewpoint CIOs and other IT leaders have in terms of the types of abilities, backgrounds and strengths that they now look for in candidates. More than two thirds of those surveyed actually list business skills, such as communication and service management, as higher priority over technical abilities. Furthermore, the vast majority expect to redefine their IT department at some point in the relatively near future to make it more service-oriented. Growing adoption of automation tools and other integrative software solutions are expected to facilitate this shift in priorities.

In conclusion, as we forge ahead, the role of CIOs and other key IT leaders must adapt to the changing landscape around them. For many, this will require a fundamental shift in the way they think, plan and operate from a technology-based perspective to that of a more service-based mindset. This will enable more strategic hiring and adoption of the right tools – like IT process automation – to facilitate a smoother transition and create a more dynamic, competitive workplace environment.

Where does your organization stand? Are you forward-thinking or are you at risk of being left behind? Position yourself for ongoing success by putting IT process automation to work for you today.

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Humans Managing Robots: Robotic Process Automation in Action

Humans Managing Robots: Robotic Process Automation in ActionWhile robotic process automation has been touted as the be all and end all of workplace optimization, in reality it’s not necessarily the magical quick-fix that many in business leadership envision it to be. It’s much more complex than that. Will it ultimately lead to greater efficiency and productivity levels? Definitely. Robotic process automation is certainly poised to dramatically change the way we work, but it’s not as though we’re going to be turning our jobs entirely over to machines. To be truly effective, RPA still requires a certain degree of human management.

Human input and oversight is critical for RPA to be successful. In a perfect world, it would be great to simply plug and play, putting the robots in place and just letting them do their thing. But that’s not what you’d do with human workers, right? Just like your employees, the robots you implement must first be told what to do. The tasks, workflows and processes they’re employed to do must be built and communicated, and that’s where humans come into play.

The good news is, with the right software solution, this is relatively straightforward (i.e. it doesn’t require any advanced coding or programming skills). Regardless, however, building and implementing a complex RPA process still time and attention. The most important step is determining what processes can and should be automated to achieve maximum efficiency, and this cannot be done without human input. It’s also equally important that the process be tested regularly, particularly during the building and implementation process, to ensure that it’s working properly. Again, this requires human intelligence.

Those who have already been successful at adopting and leveraging robotic process automation within their organization recommend establishing a dedicated team to oversee and manage the automation process. It shouldn’t be assumed or expected that IT will simply add RPA to its list of other functions. Those in charge of RPA should specifically be assigned the duties of managing and modifying workflows, allocating the appropriate number of robots to daily tasks, prioritizing work and, of course, dealing with exceptions as they arise. The latter part in particular demonstrates the important role of humans in ensuring that RPA runs as smoothly and effectively as possible.

Furthermore, just like their human counterparts, robots will require routine performance reviews. Obviously this won’t require tact and two-way interaction, but rather its purpose is to improve the automated processes whenever and wherever possible. Once up and running, the robotic process automation team will need to oversee processes at various intervals, fixing anything that goes awry and identifying areas of potential improvement. Additionally, human input is required to go through, analyze and leverage all of the data and documentation reported by the robots.

So, while the ultimate purpose of robotic process automation is to streamline operations, it’s not meant to replace human workers. In fact, at least as of the time of this writing, this wouldn’t even be possible. In reality, RPA is meant to enhance and improve the work environment for humans and only with their support, input and management can the true benefits of automation be realized.

Curious about how RPA works and whether it would be a good fit for your organization? Request a free product demo today or download your own trial of eyeShare to experience it for yourself.





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Cyber Security Incident Response – A View from Inside the C-Suite

Cyber Security Incident Response – A View from the C-SuiteToday’s security executives are under increasing pressure to keep sensitive data, networks and systems safe from ever-evolving, ever-increasing threats. It’s no surprise that CIOs and CISOs are in the hot seat when it comes to cyber security incident response, and their roles are changing along with the new challenges they face on an almost daily basis. And despite drastic differences in terms of size, industry and even geographical location, there are certain consistencies that are present across most C-suite security professionals the world over.

Executive Perspective

The seemingly endless stream of news reports about successful cyber-attacks on large corporations and high-profile organizations combined with the subsequent backlash that follows – both financial and in terms of reputation – is certainly something that keeps security executives up at night. What once was of significant concern only for certain sectors, such as finance, is now something that leaders across all industries are beginning to take more seriously. Beyond the monetary impact, the underlying sensitivity centers primarily on loss of productivity and brand reputational damage.

Greater Risk = Greater Investment

Another hot topic behind closed doors of the C-suite is that of investment. Obviously, with the increased risk and greater awareness of sophisticated, complex and persistent threats, there is a much greater need for a strong cyber security incident response strategy. More and more security professionals are recognizing that traditional security methods are no longer adequate against today’s cyber-attacks. Furthermore, the focus is shifting from reaction and remediation to prevention. Still, a good number of executive remain unaware of the actual time and money being invested into security within their firms. As the landscape continues to change and evolve, however, this trend will likely also shift to reflect that.

The Rise of Ransomware

Not surprisingly, security practitioners at the executive level are working hard to remain abreast of the latest in cyber-threat news. With malicious programs like ransomware on the rise and cyber criminals developing new and improved ways to expose and exploit vulnerabilities, IT leaders have no choice but to re-examine their cyber security incident response plans to ensure that they are strong enough to withstand the variety of incoming threats they face.

Perhaps somewhat alarming, a recent study found that the vast majority of security executives who have not yet been targeted by a ransomware attack insist that they wouldn’t pay the ransom, yet nearly half of those who have been targeted actually did end up ponying up the demanded fee. This can be avoided by investing in an incident response strategy that features automation as the first line of defense, thereby providing the added protection of instant identification and isolation of the threat before it has a chance to wreak havoc.

Other areas of concern among C-suite security executives include the growing risks associated with increased adoption of the IoT, the need for greater awareness over security spending and the importance of leveraging automation as part of a comprehensive and heavily fortified cyber security incident response plan. Those interested in the latter can experience it for themselves with a free 30 day trial by clicking here.



eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




Why Automated Cyber Security Incident Detection and Response is the Only Solution

Why Automated Cyber Security Incident Detection and Response is the Only SolutionWhile cyber-threats are growing at an exponential rate, organizations are only capable of increasing their capacity and ability to prevent and defend against them arithmetically. At least that is the case when it comes to existing monitoring tools and skilled personnel. Unfortunately, this substantially limits the ability to keep up with the ever-changing, ever-increasing and relentless stream of cyber-attacks that are occurring on a daily basis. In order to level the playing field, security professionals must focus their efforts on using automation to fortify and improve their cyber security incident detection and response strategy. Here’s why.

Stronger Incident Detection

The use of old tools, such as traditional monitoring for malware and viruses, has become virtually obsolete as cyber criminals have become much savvier and their attacks more sophisticated. Not only have these threats become more advanced, but they’re also so frequent that even an army of experienced human workers would not be capable of fielding all of them. And, unfortunately, all it takes is one malicious attack that sneaks in past the existing defense mechanisms to wreak havoc on the organization.

When automation is introduced into the cyber security incident detection and response process, however, every incoming threat – regardless of time, context or complexity – can be instantly and expertly identified, verified and prioritized to be addressed accordingly. Not only does automation provide round-the-clock protection, but it also leverages advanced analytics, threat intelligence and actual machine learning to accurately evaluate each potential attack and formulate the appropriate response based on the information gathered.

Immediate, Effective Response

Detecting incoming threats is only half the battle. Just ask Target or any other recent high-profile victims of successful attacks. In fact, even the most well-intentioned tools and IT personnel cannot eliminate the possibility of a real threat slipping through the cracks. Most of the damage caused by cyber-attacks occurs in the time it takes to A.) understand that an incident has occurred and what it entails, and B.) take the appropriate measures to mitigate damage and get critical systems back up and running. This is something that even the best security professionals cannot handle on their own.

Enter automation into the cyber security incident detection and response process and the mean time to resolution (MTTR) drops significantly. That’s because automated technology is designed to pinpoint serious threats and take the right steps to thwart the attack and limit its progress. The sooner a cyber-security incident is addressed, the quicker it can be isolated and resolved. Faster response means diminished likelihood of significant impact both financially as well as reputation-wise.

Enhanced Prevention

Another key area where automated technology dramatically improves the cyber security incident detection and response strategy is in the ability it provides security professionals to prevent future attacks from occurring. With advanced data analysis and comprehensive documentation, IT leaders can gain valuable insight into the ‘who, when, why, what and how’ of each attack. This helps to identify areas of vulnerability and also provides the opportunity to modify and improve policies, procedures and processes moving forward.

In many cases, the information gathered and the subsequent actions taken by the IT department can effectively prevent an attack from occurring in the first place, eliminating the need for remediation and keeping assets and sensitive data safe from potential harm.

Other Benefits

In addition to the obvious benefits automation can have on the cyber security incident detection and response process, there are a number of other advantages implementing such technology can provide. In particular, when the bulk of security tasks – including detection, analysis, decision, containment, eradication and recovery – are shifted to intelligent technology, human workers are then freed up to focus on higher-priority tasks and projects. This allows the organization to fully avail itself of the valuable resources skilled IT professionals bring to the table.

In conclusion, it’s becoming increasingly evident that the defense strategies of yesterday are no longer adequate in preventing today’s complex and relentless stream of cyber-attacks. The only logical and cost-effective solution is to leverage automated technology to fortify the cyber security incident detection and response process, protecting against current threats and preventing future attacks.

Could your strategy benefit from this type of technology? Why not try it and see for yourself? Click here to start your free 30 day trial today.





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How IT Automation is Making Outsourcing Obsolete

How IT Automation is Making Outsourcing ObsoleteThe subject of IT outsourcing has long been one of staunch debate over the past few decades or so. It seemed that with the increasing use of cloud computing, having IT operations managed elsewhere would become the norm rather than the exception. Yet, there’s one thing that is now giving outsourcing a run for its money and making the need for it nearly obsolete. That thing is IT automation, and here’s why it’s tipped the world of outsourcing on its side.

While the concept of outsourcing is by no means going away anytime soon, the need for it – at least in terms of the IT industry – seems to be shrinking. The reason is simple, really. IT automation has provided a solution to each of the main reasons organizations turned to outsourcing in the first place.

Cost – For small to medium sized businesses, the costs associated with managing IT operations in-house were simply too high to justify. Instead, they turned to outside sources to provide these services, reducing expenditure. Automation makes managing IT operations internally much more affordable, so there’s really no need to rely on a third party provider.

Scalability – Another common reason businesses choose to outsource is the ability of these services to evolve along with the changing needs and demands of the business – something managing IT in-house couldn’t easily accomplish in years past. With IT automation, however, businesses can scale up or down with ease.

Resources – Finally, there is the topic of logistics. Housing IT internally once meant the need for bulky and complex equipment, something that many SMBs simply could not accommodate. IT automation, combined with cloud technology, eliminates this need, streamlining IT and making it simple to manage in an office of any size.

Essentially, IT automation is enabling enterprises of any size to do more with less. No longer is it necessary to employ a huge group of professionals to manage IT operations. Rather, the day to day IT tasks needed to keep the business running smoothly can be handled by just a handful of people. Now, what once made sense both financially and logistically – outsourcing –  is becoming more of a hassle than it’s worth.

As we’ve pointed out in previous articles, there are many benefits to keeping IT operations in-house. These advantages include, but are not limited to:

  • Increased control over procedures and processes
  • Enhanced security due to limiting access to only internal employees
  • Improved flexibility and customization (unique to each organization’s specific needs)
  • Time savings – no more relying on a third party
  • More cost-effective option than outsourcing to an MSP

For those businesses that choose to continue outsourcing their IT needs, automation will likely still play a significant role, as IT service providers leverage automation to deliver timely, precise and efficient results to their clients. So, either way ITPA will impact your business in some way, even if that impact is indirect.

In any event, as automation continues to become a household name, it’s becoming more and more evident that the decision to outsource IT operations will be an increasingly complicated one. Overall, the trends indicate that ITPA will ultimately win the battle and provide businesses of all shapes, sizes and industries the ability to run efficient, effective internal IT departments.

Want to start harnessing the power of IT process automation for your own organization? Begin your free 30 day trial today by clicking here.





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Protecting Against Ransomware: Don’t React. Prevent.

Protecting Against Ransomware: Don’t React. Prevent.

 

 

 

 

*This article was written by Ayehu Founder & CEO Gabby Nizri and originally published on CIOReview.

If there’s ever been a group of individuals who were dedicated to their craft, hackers would win the award, hands down. It seems these crafty criminals are finding new and improved ways to access the sensitive data they’re after on an almost daily basis. In 2016, the latest form of security threats to take center stage has been ransomware. If you’re not yet aware, this is a malicious program that, when deployed, locks up a device and holds all of its data ransom unless and until a specified amount of money is paid to the perpetrator. For an individual, this can be frustrating and costly. For an organization, it can be nothing short of catastrophic.

The key to avoid falling victim to a ransomware attack is to take a proactive approach, preventing rather than reacting. Here’s how.

Back up your data. First and foremost, you should be backing up your critical data to an external drive or via a secure backup service on a regular basis. The fundamental basis of ransomware is the encryption and disabling of personal and/or proprietary information. If the malware is successful but your data has been sufficiently backed up, the hackers will have zero leverage to collect on their demands.

Use technology to your advantage. The reason cyber criminals are so successful is because they are remarkably tech-savvy. They spend all of their time identifying vulnerabilities and taking advantage of these weaknesses to pursue their criminal intent. They’ve also found ways to assault their victims at an alarmingly relentless rate. The best and only effective way to combat this is to leverage technology in much the same way. Start with solid monitoring system and fortify the process with automation.

Conduct regular audits. If you’re not making a concerted effort to identify areas where your organization might be most at risk, you can bet those who seek to do you harm will. Stay a step ahead of the game by conducting regular audits and tests to determine where you are most vulnerable and then adjust your approach accordingly. This will improve the chances of correcting potential weaknesses before they become a point of entry for hackers.

Develop and document best practices. Use the information you’ve gathered throughout the above steps to develop, document and hone a series of best practices for future protection against ransomware and other similar cyber-attacks. Remember to stay abreast of new methods and directions that cyber-criminals are using so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Be prepared to fight fire with fire. Cyber-attacks aren’t limited to business hours. Hackers are working around the clock to find points of entry, and in many cases, will attack at times that they feel they’ll be least likely to be detected. Unless you can afford to employ an army of security professionals to work 24/7/365, your best chance of preventing an attack is to automate your incident response strategy. This will ensure that any and all threats are immediately identified, prioritized and addressed any time, day or night.

Have a plan in place to mitigate damages. Of course, despite our most valiant efforts, there’s no magic formula for completely eliminating the chance of a cyber-attack. Even with the right monitoring system in place and a highly skilled staff of security professionals at the helm, there’s always a chance that a threat might infiltrate your network. Make sure you have a solid plan in place to initiate rapid remediation so that if and when a ransomware attack makes its way in, it can be isolated and its progression halted as quickly and effectively as possible to mitigate potential damages.

Unfortunately, experts believe that incidents of ransomware and other similar security threats are only going to continue to increase, both in complexity and frequency. And considering the fact that everyone, from individual consumers to enterprise-level corporations and even government agencies are being victimized, it’s obvious that nobody is safe. The best way to protect your business and prevent your sensitive data from becoming compromised is to proactively plan ahead, stay informed and be adequately prepared to do battle if and when the time comes.



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Integrating Ayehu eyeShare with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and JIRA Service Desk

backOne of the greatest benefits of the Ayehu eyeShare IT process automation product is that it can be easily and seamlessly integrated with an impressive number of existing systems and applications. Two of the most recent to join the ranks include Amazon Web Services (AWS) and JIRA Service Desk.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud services platform that offers a suite of cloud computing services to establish an on-demand computing platform. AWS provides a broad set of infrastructure services, including computing power, storage, networking and databases – all of which is delivered as a utility: completely on-demand.  Millions of businesses worldwide are leveraging AWS cloud solutions to build sophisticated applications with increased flexibility, scalability and reliability.

JIRA Service Desk is an easy to use, simple to setup help desk software that is popular for its out-of-the-box features, ease of use and simple, straightforward maintenance. The convenient self-service portal also makes it easy for users to request help, search knowledge bases and track progress on issues.

The one area where each of these powerful tools is consistently lacking is that of automation, which is where the eyeShare solution comes into play.

Benefits and Applications

The AWS integration provides the ability to add out-of-the-box activities for working with instances, images, snapshots and other resources. Whether in the development and test environment or the full production environment, the eyeShare integration pack allows users to extend and enhance their AWS environment through advanced automation of workflows. Some of the ways this integration can be leveraged include:

  • Create new images based on existing ones
  • Create and restore snapshots
  • Verify image definitions based on best practices
  • Halt development and test instances during non-working hours
  • Initiate automated responses to AWS alerts
  • Receive notification of shortage in resources

Similarly, the JIRA Service Desk integration allows users to eliminate repetitive, manual help desk tasks and instead create closed-loop process workflows that are designed to accelerate, enhance and extend the existing platform’s capabilities. This can dramatically boost productivity and efficiency levels while also keeping costs down. Some of the tasks and processes that can be enhanced through this integration include:

  • Automatically open tickets based on notification from other applications
  • Update ticket information with the corresponding action performed
  • Notify appropriate parties (via email, SMS or voice message) about new critical tickets
  • Automatically close tickets upon completion of appropriate action

You can view a step-by-step video tutorial on how easy it is to integrate eyeShare with both AWS and JIRA Service Desk by clicking here.

With these seamless integrations, organizations working with JIRA or AWS can optimize the time and resources of their IT departments and foster a much more productive, efficient working environment. Both are part of the complete eyeShare download package.

Cyber Security Incident Response – Advanced Solutions for a Solid Defense

Cyber Security Incident Response – Advanced Solutions for a Solid DefenseWhen digital security first became a thing it was the dreaded virus that everyone was concerned about. IT providers got right to work developing anti-virus protection and it worked. For a while, at least. But times have changed and hackers have upped their game. Now we’re facing much more evolved and complex attacks through things like malware and advanced persistent threats (APTs) and, unfortunately, traditional protection methods are no match. Add to this the IoT, cloud and mobile technologies enabling enhanced data sharing, and it becomes increasingly clear that cyber security incident response must be advanced, intelligent and ever-evolving if it is to protect the enterprise of tomorrow.

Data Protection

Data integration has virtually revolutionized the way we do business. It has broken down barriers and made it possible for businesses of any size and industry to achieve global success. It’s also opened the doors to increased vulnerability to cyber-attacks. The foundation of a strong cyber security incident response strategy begins with making sure that the data being shared within the network is secure. To accomplish this, the following basic steps should be applied:

  • Take inventory of your software and other assets. After all, you can’t protect what you’re unaware you own.
  • Determine the baseline upon which you can measure to identify the presence of potential security threats.
  • Establish a solid foundation based on what you are protecting.
  • Employ cyber security solutions that most closely match your network protection needs.
  • Solidify your detection process. The goal should always be to prevent cyber-attacks rather than respond after the fact.
  • Establish policies and procedures that incorporate advanced, closed-loop solutions.
A Strong Security Team

Once you’ve taken these first foundational steps, it’s time to beef up your strategy and make cyber-security a priority. Start by putting together a team of highly skilled IT professionals that are experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of cyber security. If the skills gap and labor shortage in this area are making this more challenging, consider investing in training for your existing IT staff. You can also leverage technology, like automation, to help bridge these gaps and create a more solid team defense.

Evolving Roles and Responsibilities

The one thing that remains constant when it comes to cyber-attacks is that they’re always changing. Hackers spend 100% of their time identifying new vulnerabilities and developing enhanced strategies of attack. To combat this, enterprise IT must also be ready and willing to evolve as well. This includes the roles and responsibilities of CIOs and CISOs. Today, every single person in IT – from front line to C-Suite – has a duty to do whatever it takes to ensure that the massive amounts of data being shared remain safe.

Fighting Fire with Fire

Today’s security threats are becoming more sophisticated by the day. They’re also becoming more relentless. It is often not just the strength or complexity of the threat that makes an attack successful, but rather the persistence. Organizations must protect their data at all times, not just during business hours, and they must be prepared to handle the non-stop onslaught of incoming threats. Using automation as part of cyber security incident response can provide this level of round-the-clock detection and response.

Regular Testing

To reiterate yet again the importance of approaching cyber security incident response as an ever-evolving, agile function, it’s critical that enterprise IT professionals don’t fall into the “set it and forget it” trap and become lulled into a false sense of security. To maintain a solid defense against new and improved attacks, the incident response strategy in place must be well-documented and tested on a regular basis. By being proactive, the organization will enjoy a much stronger defense that will stand the test of time by adapting and improving right alongside the very threats it’s designed to protect against.

Ready to bring your cyber security incident response to the next level and become a fortress against the attacks of tomorrow? Start by downloading a free trial of eyeShare.





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Using Smart IT Automation to Save Money and Improve Service

Using Smart IT Automation to Save Money and Improve ServiceFor several decades now, IT automation has been developed, refined and continuously improved to help streamline operations and take on the manual, repetitive tasks that nobody wants to complete. It’s becoming more widely accepted that most of these work duties can be handled by software. Beyond these simple, basic tasks, however, enterprises across the globe are now leveraging intelligent technology to do even more. It’s called smart IT automation and it’s helping organizations of every shape, size and industry cut costs, improve service and remain a step ahead of the competition.

Smart automation is being leveraged as a solution to many common issues large businesses face, particularly those in the financial sector. One such area where intelligent automation is proving to be significantly beneficial is in meeting compliance requirements. Big banks, telecom companies, insurance firms and other businesses that deal with a high number of transactions, especially those that are sensitive in nature, are under increasing pressures to remain compliant. Relying on human workers to achieve this is not only expensive, but also more prone to costly error.

Another critical area where smart IT automation is having a positive impact is in the very volume of data itself. These days, there is so much information flowing into an organizations, from inquiries and transactions to authentications and a whole host of other business processes that businesses are finding it challenging to keep up. With smart technology, much of this data can be gathered, analyzed, sorted and prioritized without the need for human intervention, saving the organization time, money and a ton of aggravation.

Think Smarter, Not Bigger

In reality, even larger enterprises rarely have the luxury of increasing staff levels to the degree that is required to keep up with the rising demands being placed on them. Not only does this equate to increased costs, but it also opens the door to increased risk as well. C-suite executives, board members and other key decision makers are often too focused on other critical business initiatives to worry about growing the IT department.

The good news is, today’s smart IT automation software provides the opportunity to develop into a more efficient, highly productive, error-free environment without the need to beef up personnel. It’s providing organizations a way to work smarter instead of bigger while also lowering risks and keeping costs at a minimum. Unlike the rudimentary technology of just a few decades ago, today’s automation solutions are fully capable of analyzing, learning and responding to a mountain of data in real-time.

In reality, with the right strategy and smart IT automation technology, a business can successfully transition up to 90% of all IT functions from human to machine. This includes everything from repetitive, labor-intensive activities to complex workflows. IT automation is also playing a key role in helping companies establish and maintain a much more effective defense against cyber-attacks, providing the added protection of round-the-clock detection, analysis and response.

How Does Smart IT Automation Work?

Once an intelligent automation solution is adopted and implemented, the IT department determines which tasks are to be automated. Essentially, the software is “taught” what to do, when to do it and how each function should be carried out. Beyond the basics, like robotic process automation, smart IT automation is designed to deal with situational data and use that information to perform appropriate contextual functions. The software essentially uses relevant knowledge to decide on how to proceed in much the same way humans do.

Furthermore, smart IT automation also creates complete documentation of the entire decision-making and execution process, providing the ability for IT personnel to view, track, analyze and evaluate the automated process, both during as well as after the fact. This documentation contains all of the necessary details, including the relevant background and contextual information that was used in the decision-making process. Best of all, this information is stored and can be easily accessed in one centralized location.

The Benefits are Astounding

By adopting smart IT automation, organizations are able to achieve significant cost savings while also improving overall operation and service levels at the same time. When the majority of IT service management functions are shifted from human to machine, skilled personnel can focus on more important business initiatives. This promotes an IT environment that is much more efficient, agile, flexible and compliant, all of which can be translated to improved quality and satisfaction. The more complex the IT system, the greater the benefit smart IT automation can provide.

Is your organization taking advantage of these and the many other benefits that smart IT automation can offer? Get started today by downloading your free 30 day trial.





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How IT Process Automation Can Solve the “What If…” Conundrum

How IT Process Automation Can Solve the "What If..." ConundrumWhen it comes to convincing businesses that IT process automation is the way of the future, the biggest objection to overcome is the age-old question, “what if….” Many IT professionals and other key decision makers within an organization carry the fear that automated tasks which are put in place to solve a problem may actually end up causing more harm than good.

What could go wrong? What if the whole thing blows up in our faces and we end up with an even bigger mess on our hands? The answer is simple: when automation is designed and tested properly, everything should work out just as it is planned, and the results will be well worth the effort.

Creating and Designing Your Workflow

The first step in setting up IT process automation so that it works properly is creating and designing your workflows. You have to have your end result in mind, and then figure out the steps necessary to achieve that end result. Various criteria will need to be identified, so that you know whenever a certain function or task occurs, the next step in the workflow will automatically be triggered. So, to summarize, establish your desired end result, and then develop a list of steps to help you achieve that result. List each criterion in the process and determine what next step each criterion would trigger.

Testing 123…

The next important step, once you’ve created your workflow, is to try it out in a controlled environment. Test each step in the process to verify that the desired result for each is achieved. If something isn’t working properly, re-evaluate to determine why and then work to fix that piece until the entire process is functioning correctly. We recommend testing a variety of situations and scenarios to really be sure everything is working properly. Continue this process until you are confident that your automated workflow is working precisely as it should.

Implement

Once you’ve tested your automated workflow enough to be confident that it’s functioning as it is meant to function, it’s time to put it into action. It can be a bit nerve wracking to implement a workflow for the first time live, but once you see it in action, you’ll become that much more confident that it will be there to meet your needs whenever necessary.

Call on the Experts

If, at any time during the above outlined process, you feel as though you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, or you need some guidance and support, don’t be afraid to reach out to the experts. Remember, part of choosing the right automation product is choosing a company that offers plenty of training and support to its customers. Any company will be there for you when you’re in the process of making a purchasing decision, but you want to make sure that you choose someone that will also be there for you after the fact. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or just have a few questions, don’t be afraid to reach out to your software vendor for assistance.

The hands-off nature of IT process automation can make some professionals feel uneasy. They may wonder if the very system that’s being put in place to solve a particular problem within the organization will actually end up causing more harm than good. The truth is when you know the steps to take, and you’re careful to work through each step just as you should, the result will be exactly what you’re hoping for. When automation is created, developed, tested and supported properly, there is no longer the need to ask “what if”, but rather “why did I wait so long to do this?”

What are YOU waiting for? Give us a call today at 1-800-652-5601 or better yet – download your free trial today to start leveraging automation for your organization.





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