Securing, Streamlining and Scaling with Intelligent SOC Automation

Securing, Streamlining and Scaling with Intelligent SOC AutomationWith security threats increasing in number, frequency and complexity at an almost mind-boggling rate, the need for smart cyber-security solutions at the enterprise level has never been greater. What was once a concern only of larger organizations or those in certain industries, such as finance or medical, is now something businesses of every size and sector must carefully plan for. Simply put, it’s no longer a question of if your company will be attacked, but when. Employing a strategy, particularly one that features intelligent SOC automation as a central component, can help keep the enterprise safer while also optimizing performance and facilitating a more scalable operation. Here’s how.

Process Optimization

Optimization of internal processes is one of the biggest benefits of intelligent SOC automation. Incorporating automation can make almost every process undertaken by the IT department more efficient. To start, all of the day-to-day tasks and workflows that are absolutely necessary but can be described as mundane and repetitive can easily be shifted from human to machine.

Furthermore, by automating as many processes as possible, the risks associated with human error can also be eliminated, creating a more streamlined, efficient, effective and accurate operation all around. And with the right intelligent SOC automation tool, everything can be documented and tracked, which facilitates process improvement through the identification and development of best practices.

Threat Monitoring

Obviously one of the key objectives of security operations is to constantly monitor, review, analyze and manage a massive volume of incoming data. This can be challenging even for the most seasoned IT professional. Developing security algorithms can help to more effectively identify and assess anomalous information, but it can also lead to identifying false positives. Couple this with the increasing number of alerts coming in and it becomes evident that human workers simply cannot keep up, resulting in a large number of incoming alerts going uninvestigated or being missed altogether.

Intelligent SOC automation can aid enterprises in managing this volume of incoming data without the need to hire additional staff and while reducing unnecessary time spent on the process. Leveraging intelligent automation technology, almost the entire threat monitoring process can be streamlined and optimized. All incoming alerts are automatically identified and evaluated for legitimacy, which dramatically reduces false positives. Those that are legitimate threats can then be assessed, prioritized and flagged for attention from the IT staff. What’s more, patterns and anomalies can be quickly and accurately identified and addressed thanks to machine learning algorithms.

Incident Management

Any experienced IT professional will tell you that incident management is more about response than anything else. How quickly can a legitimate threat be identified, isolated and stopped? Unfortunately, most of the damages from security incidents occur in the interim between when the breach is successful and when it is properly addressed.

The most effective and efficient way to handle this critical task is to employ intelligent SOC automation as a central part of the process. Experienced security analysts can help develop best practices and build those into incident response playbooks, which work to thwart potential attacks while also documenting the steps necessary to resolve a breach. Data analysis by artificial intelligence helps to prevent future attacks while also mitigating the damages caused by those that manage their way in.

Resources Allocation

It’s no secret that the IT realm is experiencing a significant skills gap, particularly in terms of qualified security professionals. There simply aren’t enough capable candidates to handle the growing demand. As a result, those who are employed are being stretched beyond their limits, which leads to frustration, dissatisfaction and ultimately much higher turnover.

When intelligent SOC automation is implemented, technology steps in to bridge the skills gap and take much of the pressure off of existing IT personnel. These experienced professionals can then be freed up to apply their skills more effectively, including the training of newer staff members. Not only does operational efficiency and productivity soar as a result, but employee satisfaction does as well.

Risk Management

The goal of successful cyber security incident response isn’t necessarily to address and respond to threats, but rather to identify, develop and hone strategies that will help to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Cyber criminals work tirelessly to find new ways to achieve their malicious intent and, as a result, enterprise IT personnel must take every measure possible to beat them to the punch. This cannot be done by humans alone.

With intelligent SOC automation handling the 24/7 monitoring, assessment, action and resolution of incidents, senior IT professionals can focus their efforts on identifying areas of potential weakness so that the appropriate protections can be put in place ahead of time for a more proactive defense.

Could your organization benefit from intelligent SOC automation? Find out today by taking Ayehu for a test drive today!

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

Visit Ayehu at the 2018 RSA Conference!

Ayehu is excited to announce its participation in the 2018 RSA Conference. RSA Conference 2018 will once again take place at the Moscone Center and Marriott Marquis in San Francisco from April 16th to 20th.

Attendees will learn about new approaches to info security, discover the latest technology and interact with top security leaders and pioneers. Hands-on sessions, keynotes and informal gatherings will enable participants to tap into a smart, forward-thinking global community that will inspire and empower.

The Ayehu team will be providing live demos of our Virtual SOC Operator and demonstrating how closed-loop cybersecurity automation can improve CSIR times by up to 90%. This year, we will be setting up camp in booth #342.

Conference attendees are invited to stop by the Ayehu booth and enjoying ad hoc product presentations. Our security team will also be on hand to answer questions and discuss individual needs of each attendee. We’ll also be handing out some cool free gifts, so be sure to include us in your rounds.

As an added bonus, we are offering those interested in attending our presentations the opportunity to get a free expo pass. Simply enter the code X8EAYEHU when registering.

With over 45,000 attendees per year, RSA Conference has become the world’s largest provider of security events. The real value of the conference, however, lies not in its size, but in the valuable content provide and the opportunity for the community to feel inspired and engaged.

Conference attendees can expect to leave the event feeling better prepared for future challenges in the industry, their organizations and their careers. The multi-day event schedule is made up of seminars, keynotes, interactive learning experiences and much more. (See the full agenda here.)

In today’s digital age, information is a very highly valued commodity. Safeguarding that information, therefore, has never been more critical. If you are interested in learning more about how you can protect yourself and your organization against the constantly growing threat of security incidents, this event is a must-attend!

We look forward to seeing you!

How does intelligent automation impact the changing role of CIO?

With the ever-increasing volume and complexity of data coming in (thanks in large part to trends like the IoT, BYOD and, of course, Big Data), the role of the CIO has also begun to rapidly evolve over the past decade or so. These individuals are now facing pressures to keep infrastructure updated as well as analyze and leverage the data available to them for the benefit of the organization, and all while keeping costs down and internal networks, systems, applications and information secure. This is no easy feat, but thanks to intelligent automation, it is entirely achievable.

Due to the heavy volume of data being shared today, integrating automated workflows and processes has become increasingly necessary in order to analyze and derive value from that data, and in a way that is as cost-effective as possible. If IT departments are to remain relevant, drive efficiency and support a profitable operation, it is imperative that they employ the use of intelligent automation, and with the CIO as the key decision maker, it’s up to him or her to ensure that the right resources are in place.

As recently as just a few short years ago, the general public was becoming aware of the IoT, but today organizations of every size and industry are capturing insight and achieving real, sustainable ROI from this advanced (and ever-evolving) technology. Furthermore, intelligent automation is virtually revolutionizing everything from the SOC and NOC to the service desk and data center. Intuitive technology and artificial intelligence are being utilized to proactively monitor systems and devices, gather and evaluate complex data, remediate incidents and resolve issues – in many cases before any human worker is even made aware.

As a result of all of these changes, more basic requests, like password resets and system refreshes, which used to be handled almost exclusively by L1 support professionals are now being shifted to intelligent automation technology. Self-service portals are empowering the end-user like never before while simultaneously alleviating IT personnel of the heavy burden associated with these routine, repetitive (but necessary) tasks.

Of course, this hasn’t necessarily made life perfect for IT professionals. Increased consumerization of IT has resulted in the services of many IT departments being compared and contrasted against that of external service providers. Expectations of faster service and the demand to take on more while also minimizing costs as much as possible continue to rise, subsequently increasing the pressures on top IT personnel. Perhaps no one is feeling the pressures of these demands more than the CIO. Embracing intelligent automation is no longer an option, but a critical requirement.

At the same time, the IT world is witnessing a significant change in responsibilities for the CIO, shifting from the old way of the maintenance and provision of physical infrastructure and devices to more of a data management role with an emphasis on innovating and creating value. Digitalization is now the focus, with CIOs playing a lead role in developing and implementing it throughout the entire enterprise. Paradoxically, these high-level IT professionals are being forced to orient and align themselves more with value creation than the efficiency that once defined them.

Data analytics is now being hailed as one of the primary contributors to driving this value, particularly given the ever-increasing pool of available information. It’s important to point out, however, that CIOs and other top IT managers must take the time necessary to understand what data is available to them, what that data equates to and, most importantly, how they can best leverage that information to improve operations across all functions of the organization. Savvy CIOs will leverage this data to obtain key insights that will support current and future business goals as well as identify new insight and make data-driven decisions that will give the company competitive advantage.

Finally, the evolving role of the CIO will involve more engagement, inspiration and education of others than ever before. To fulfill these duties, it’s absolutely essential that the CIO develops into a strong visionary and consistent innovator for the organization. Through better data analysis and the more widespread use of intelligent automation, those in this important role will begin to morph into the position of strategic advisor, driving the business onward and upward toward increasing and sustainable success well into the future.

Are you a CIO that is struggling to adapt to your changing role? Intelligent automation powered by AI and machine learning could provide the foundation upon which you can continue to build your career and your legacy. It starts with a simple demo.

Experience the power of Next-Gen Intelligent Automation today!

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

Can AI Solve Your Business Problem? Here’s How to Tell

Can AI Solve Your Business Problem? Here’s How to TellThe terms artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and big data have all become buzzwords of late, and you may be wondering whether you might be able to utilize these innovative technologies for your own benefit. Figuring out which problems in your business would be suitable for AI is a good place to start. Furthermore, determining whether those problems are automation problems or learning problems is equally important.

Automation without machine learning capabilities is appropriate for problems that are relatively straightforward in nature (i.e. automation problems.) These are the tasks and workflows that have a predefined sequence of steps currently being carried out by a human worker, but that could feasibly be transferred over to a software robot. This type of automation is not new. It’s been leveraged for decades.

For the second type of problems traditional automation isn’t sufficient, as these types of problems require learning from data. Machine learning technology uses statistical methods and built-in algorithms to identify patterns of predictability in datasets. This is particularly helpful in determining how certain data features are related to certain outcomes.

So, what business problems are a good fit for AI technology? In general, any problem that either requires prediction as opposed to inference, or is relatively self-contained or insulated from outside influences.

Basic examples of AI problems include predicting the likelihood that a specific type of user will click on a specific type of ad or evaluating how similar a particular piece of text is to previous ones. Examples where AI isn’t yet fully capable would be predicting profits from a brand new and/or revolutionary product or forecasting next year’s sales based on past data when a significant new competitor has recently entered the market.

Once you determine whether your business problem is suitable for AI, the next step is verifying whether you have the appropriate data to solve said problem. This data can come from a variety of places, both internal as well as external resources. If you are obtaining data from an outside source, it’s wise to ask enough probing questions so that you can ascertain what the data’s scope is and whether it’s likely to be a good fit for what you’re trying to achieve.

The good news is, with the right platform, you should be able to tackle both automation problems as well as learning problems. In fact, armed with the right technology, you can conceivably automate almost any task, process or workflow – even ones that are especially complex and require the use of many disparate systems. If you’re unsure where to begin, here are four business processes that are ideal for AI technology. And here are a few tips for adopting AI and automation to get you started.

Want to experience automation powered by AI and machine learning? Take Ayehu for a test drive today.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

How Intelligent Automation is Disrupting the Future of Work

How Intelligent Automation is Disrupting the Future of WorkWill a robot make your job obsolete? This is a question that is a very real concern to many individuals, and it’s valid to a certain degree. In fact, Gartner has already predicted that one in every three jobs will be shifted from human to machine by the year 2025. In reality the concept of intelligent automation and its ultimate impact on the workforce is nothing new. What’s changed and become more relevant, however, is the fact that this technology is no longer simply a threat to those working in an assembly line on a manufacturing floor. Now, robotic software is making its way into every office and every industry across the globe.

Over the past couple decades, intelligent automation has evolved from basic hardware robotics into the new age of complex, intuitive and smart technology that can be programmed to automate almost any activity, task or workflow. Let’s face it, automation is something most of us encounter several times a day, whether it’s transferring money between bank accounts at the ATM, choosing the self-checkout line at the grocery store or coming and going through an automatic door. It’s only logical that intelligent automation will also be disrupting the workplace. In fact, in many instances, it already is.

Given the combination of artificial intelligence becoming more sophisticated and capable of mimicking any number of rules-based tasks previously performed by humans, and the overall savings it can afford the enterprise, both in terms of time and money, it’s no surprise that companies of all shapes, sizes and industries have adopted intelligent automation to some degree. Many others are waiting in the wings, but it’s just a matter of time before they jump onboard as well. Like it or not,  this innovative technology is reshaping the way we do business.

So what does this mean for work in the not-so-distant future? More specifically, how will affect your job and your career moving forward? Will you be forced out of work and made obsolete as robots take over? Will corporations and enterprises phase out human workers altogether? The answer to that ultimately depends not just on what type of job you perform, but also how agile you are. What many refer to as the race against the machines is likely going to turn into a collaborative effort between the two, with humans and robots working together toward a common goal.

Will some human workers be displaced? Undoubtedly. Will they all? Highly unlikely. In reality, intelligent automation will be a positive thing for human workers, as it will eliminate much of the mundane, repetitive workload from their daily routines and allow them to focus on more intelligence-driven, engaging tasks and projects. Additionally, work will be completed faster, more securely and error-free with a workforce that’s available 24/7. Meanwhile companies can take advantage of knowledge workers and put their skills and experience to better use.

What’s driving the push toward more widespread adoption of intelligent automation, however, isn’t necessarily the businesses that are reaping the benefits. It’s actually society as a whole. As consumers continue to seek instant gratification, desiring to get whatever they want the moment they want it, the need to supply these requests on-demand continues to rise. Human workers simply can’t keep up. Furthermore, employing, training, managing and engaging this type of on-demand workforce is becoming increasingly challenging, if not insurmountable. Robots provide the ideal solution on both sides of the coin.

So where do humans come into play? Well, in the most basic of terms, someone will be needed to manage and maintain the software, applications and other automated functions. As intelligent becomes more of a mainstay, new roles will be developed and in demand, creating additional opportunities to those willing to learn, adapt and evolve alongside technology. In fact, Gartner predicts that as AI technology continues to evolve, it will actually create more jobs than it will eliminate.

Overall, the impact of robotics on the future of work will be much like that of the first era of automation – improved efficiency, increased productivity, enhanced flexibility and a much greater output of quality, error-free work. Those who embrace these changes will ultimately be the ones that come out prosperous and successful in the end.

Which side of history will you be on? Take Ayehu’s NG Automation and Orchestration tool for a test drive today to learn more.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

The Consumerization of IT through Intelligent Self-Service Automation

Gartner defines the term consumerization as “the specific impact that consumer-originated technologies can have on enterprises. It reflects how enterprises will be affected by, and can take advantage of, new technologies and models that originate and develop in the consumer space, rather than in the enterprise IT sector”. One area of technology that is dramatically changing the face of the modern workplace is that of intelligent self-service automation. Here’s how.

In the past, for most organizations, the IT department was like an island. Any and all IT functions were managed and controlled exclusively within that group. With the introduction and more wide-spread adoption of self-service automation, however, the onus has markedly shifted. Today’s end-users are much more comfortable handling their own devices and applications, and many prefer the autonomy to be able to manage their needs on their own, without the assistance of IT.

Today’s self-service options allow the end-user to easily access and leverage the content they need the moment they need it, safely and securely, thanks to predefined controls running behind the scenes. Individual workers outside of the IT department enjoy the freedom and empowerment of sharing and restoring their own files and handling an array of technical issues on their own, without having to place added strain on the help desk and with little to no security risk.

This consumerization has resulted in tremendous benefits on both sides of the fence. For IT, it has provided the opportunity to remove time-consuming, menial (but necessary) tasks from IT – such as routine password resets, freeing highly skilled professionals to focus their efforts on more complex projects and mission-critical initiatives. From the end-user’s perspective, having the ability to advocate for his or her own needs has dramatically increased satisfaction levels.

As a result, the organization as a whole benefits from consumerization through self-service automation. With IT no longer bogged down by routine tasks, these valuable resources can be better allocated for the good of the company. And because users are able to handle their own needs, there is a significant boost in productivity thanks to the reduction in costly delays. Practically speaking, self-service automation removes the middle man, thereby eliminating bottle-necks in routine processes.

The ever-increasing investment by large organizations into mobile technology, whether it’s supplying devices to employees or adopting BYOD policies, is further evidence of how self-service automation has become an integral part of today’s workplace. And, when used as a component of an intelligent IT process automation strategy, the overall efficiency level of the entire enterprise can be maximized. So, it really is a win-win.

Is your organization taking advantage of this technology? Click here to experience intelligent automation for yourself today.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

4 Business Processes that Are Ideal for Intelligent Automation

4 Business Processes that are Ideal for Intelligent AutomationWhile the concept of robotics is gathering speed and capturing the attention of more and more executives across multiple industries, there is still a huge barrier to overcome before it can become fully embraced. Many decision makers still feel that human capital is more valuable than automation, and in some cases, they’re correct. There are, however, a number of processes that not only could but should be handled by intelligent automation. Here are four such processes.

Processes that don’t require much human intervention. Think about the many manual, repetitive tasks that are performed, not just in IT, but across your entire organization on a day to day basis. Those mundane tasks that do not necessarily require a ton of input from your human workers, such as payroll batching and other accounting functions, are ideal for intelligent automation. Furthermore, with automation that is powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, even decision-heavy and complex workflows can be automated.

Processes that are prone to human error. Like it or not, people make mistakes. Even those employees who are well trained and possess years of experience can commit an error from time to time, and errors can cause major problems for your business. Look for processes that require a lot of repetitive work, which can often cause the human attention span to waiver. Then, let intelligent automation handle those tasks and you’ll automatically see a reduction in costly mistakes.

Processes that require multiple systems to work in sync. One of the biggest benefits of intelligent automation is its ability to tie together several systems and work with them, either simultaneously or in various intervals. Rather than have your personnel juggling multiple programs to get simple tasks done, let automation do it for them and free up your staff to focus on those tasks that do require human input.

Processes that have clear-cut, defined sets of rules. Software robots are capable of following well-defined rules, so any workflows that present specific, “If A, then B” rules would be perfect for intelligent automation. In fact, the right automation platform can also handle more complex and less straightforward rules, provided you have a robust, quality product in place.

Of course, this is just a general guideline. You know your business best, and may determine that additional tasks or workflows would also benefit from intelligent automation based on your particular needs. Additionally, as technology continues to improve, so will the capabilities of automation, which will further benefit businesses around the world.

Learn more about intelligent automation by taking Ayehu for a test drive today!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

4 Enterprise IT Trends to Watch For

4 Enterprise IT Trends to Watch For2017 was an incredible year for enterprise IT. Not only did advanced technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) become mainstream, but businesses began leveraging these technologies to better serve their clientele. This has given SMEs competitive advantage like they’ve never known. Now, just a few months into 2018, we are already beginning to see many of the technology predictions and expectations come to fruition. Here are four trends that will make an impact on the enterprise over the coming months.

AI and robotics will enable better business operations.

Automation is certainly nothing new, but thanks to advances in machine learning and AI technology, it’s becoming a force multiplier for the enterprise. Not only does AI powered automation eliminate manual tasks and workflows and streamline operations, but thanks to the intelligent technology it is backed by, it’s also facilitating better data-driven decision making. As these tools are leveraged, they will continuously evolve and improve on their own, making them invaluable to the humans behind the helm.

DevSecOps will become a priority.

Cyber-crime is not going anywhere. In fact, it’s becoming much more invasive and damaging, both from a monetary standpoint as well as reputational. As such, the enterprise will continue to look for better ways to address these looming security concerns, which will pave the way for what’s become known as the DevSecOps approach. Security teams of today and tomorrow must be equipped with next-gen IT tools and incorporate security into the development lifecycle. This will more effectively prevent high-profile data breaches from occurring in the near future.

Augmented reality will infiltrate the workplace.

It’s hard to ignore the immense popularity of augmented reality (AR) in the gaming world. The explosive success of Pokémon Go is a prime example. Deloitte Global predicts that tens of thousands of AR capable apps will become available this year. Enterprises in specific industries – namely that of auto, real estate and manufacturing – will experienced the biggest impact from AR technology. Many experts believe, however, that AR will make its way into a variety of other industries, including IT. An example of this would be AR tutorials to help data center workers deploy and maintain hardware.

SDN is expected to really take off.

Along with SDN advances, businesses across the world are already exploring the possibilities of virtual network services. The near future will likely see a broader adoption of SDN technology. A model that is software-defined will likely take over IT infrastructure and the concept of application-aware networking will play a significant role in managing the functionality, security and performance of apps in the increasingly complex digital world. As 5G, IoT and cloud technologies converge, it will give rise to SDN solutions and machine learning. This will improve the experience for employees as well as customers.

Along with these four trends, it’s likely that we will also see the rise of other technical aspects, including those that relate to automation and interoperability. Regardless of where you stand currently, the time to embrace advances in enterprise IT is now. This will provide your organization with the competitive edge it needs to remain successful in the future. Get started today with our next-gen automation and orchestration platform and position your company ahead of the curve.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

How Intelligent Automation is Disrupting the Business World

How Intelligent Automation is Disrupting the Business WorldAutomation has been used for centuries to some degree, helping organizations across all industries to maximize efficiency, cut costs and improve service levels. One area of technology that is currently poised to disrupt the business world is intelligent automation – that is, automation powered by machine learning and AI technology. This growing movement is making big waves and has the potential of having the most significant impact on the way we work since the internet was introduced.

What is Intelligent Automation

For those who aren’t yet familiar, intelligent automation is the term given to smart technology that is used to automate repetitive manual tasks, processes and workflows that were formerly performed by humans. Not only does this automation afford the ability to complete task much faster, regardless of the size of the workload in question, but it also dramatically improves accuracy levels. Greater output with fewer mistakes can help businesses achieve the growth they’re after. And because it’s powered by artificial intelligence, it can also help with decision making.

How is Intelligent Automation Different?

There are a number of distinctions that differentiate intelligent from other forms of automation. One area in particular is how this advanced technology is capable of incorporating cognitive intelligence – that is, it has the ability to automatically analyze situations and proactively correct errors in a way that is similar to, yet much faster and more meticulous than human workers. Intelligent automation is also versatile enough to be leveraged in almost any industry and business process, from service desk operations to human resources and just about everything in between.

Benefits of Intelligent Automation

At the enterprise level, intelligent automation offers a number of distinct benefits, such as:

  • Little upfront investment required equals greater ROI
  • Lowers expenditure associated with maintaining full-time employees (FTEs)
  • Frees up skilled employees to focus the efforts on higher-value work
  • Increased speed and enhanced scalability without the need to bring in additional staff
  • Ability to produce work 24/7
  • Improved accuracy levels, which is particularly helpful for compliance purposes
  • Automated documentation, which is ideal for auditory purposes
  • Easy to deploy and manage, regardless of IT experience/ability

Based on these substantial benefits, and the low cost of adoption, intelligent is now being leveraged by businesses large and small. Service providers in particular are taking advantage of how automation can help them significantly cut costs while also increasing output at the same time. This can be a game changer in terms of competitive advantage and the ability to remain profitable in an ever-changing economy. It’s also proving to be a much more affordable alternative to leveraging outsourced labor, with some of the numbers coming in as low as 1/3 less. And, because keeping processes in-house provides greater security and control it’s a win-win.

Intelligent Automation is Here to Stay

Given the many benefits and increasing adoption across all industries, it’s clear that intelligent automation isn’t going anywhere soon. The time for organizations to sit up and take notice is now, before they end up behind the curve and ultimately being priced out.

If you’re not yet leveraging this powerful tool for your business, get started today by taking Ayehu for a test drive.

5 Simple Ways You Can Improve Your IT Automation ROI

Despite the fact that IT automation presents a tremendous benefit for organizations, there are still many decision makers that fail to recognize the value this technology can have for their own enterprises. In order to demonstrate how important automation is for the future of business, IT managers must find a way to improve ROI and demonstrate the quantifiable benefits to the powers that be. Here are 5 simple strategies for getting those ROI numbers headed the right direction.

Clearly Define Needs, Benefits and Expectations

You can’t focus on improving anything – whether it’s efficiency through IT automation or the actual ROI it offers – unless everyone understands what to expect. Time should be taken to identify and define the specific needs of the organization, and then specify how automation can solve those problems and meet those needs. Once this information is gathered, you can then more accurately measure all of the specific areas where automation is producing a solid return and how. Factors to measure include effort reduction, mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR), lowered rate of error, compliance and system up-time. Improving each of these things will directly boost ROI.

Understand the Process and Where Automation Fits

The driving purpose behind IT automation is to use technology to replicate repetitive, manual tasks. To improve automation ROI, one must dig much deeper than this basic concept to understand the entire process at hand and identify exactly how automation can be integrated for optimum results. Important questions to ask in this analysis include: What factors should trigger an automated process? What must occur before and after the automated process? What variables and inputs will be necessary to achieve the best outcome? Most importantly, how does automation fit with the big picture – the larger business process as a whole? While individual tasks could certainly be automated, automating the entire process may actually produce a greater value for the business.

Recognize the Context and Customize Accordingly

Capturing true ROI involves understanding the specific context in which the automated process in question is running and customizing that process for optimum results. For instance, the automated response to a critical incident, such a systems outage, during peak business hours should be markedly different than the response to a similar outage that occurs in the middle of the night. These contextual considerations should be built into the automation process and they should also be considered whenever measuring results. By customizing the process, the IT automation platform can execute different actions based on each scenario, thereby producing enhanced ROI.

Perform Comprehensive Testing Prior to Release

Testing an automated process manually or in a development system can certainly be time consuming, but it’s absolutely critical to achieving optimum ROI. Before an automated process is rolled out into the live environment, it must be adequately measured to ensure that it is producing the desired results consistently and successfully. Once the automated process is released, ongoing testing is still highly recommended, as this helps to ensure that the triggers, inputs, actions and outputs are all running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Routine audits can also help to identify areas that could be improved for even greater benefit.

Ongoing Evaluation and Improvement

IT automation may feel like a “set it and forget it” solution, but those organizations that reap the greatest rewards from this technology do so by taking a continuous improvement approach. Regular evaluation of how automated process are working and analysis of where they may be expanded to produce even better results is a must if you are looking to improve your ROI. IT professionals should be asking whether additional tasks could be automated, or whether existing automated processes could be integrated with one another or built upon for greater efficiency.

Individually, each of these 5 tips can have an impact on your overall ROI. When combined, however, they can help to improve both short-term goals as well as drive long-term strategies to produce the desired results of reducing human effort, improving operational efficiency, boosting service levels, reducing errors and downtime, remaining compliant and much more. The end product is a consistently favorable return on investment, which can help to win over those who are not yet on board with automation.

Have questions about how to measure ROI for your process automation project? Grab your copy of our free eBook below!

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