Summer’s here. Take a vacation. Automation’s got your back.

Summer's here. Take a vacation. Automation's got your back. With summer upon us once again, chances are you’re hoping to take some time off in the coming months. For those in IT, this is often easier said than done. In fact, 55% of Americans finish each year with unused vacation time for a total of 658 million unused vacation days. Given the nature of our industry, we’re willing to bet that a good portion of those were IT professionals. But as we all know, time off is important to our health and wellbeing. So, what’s the solution? It may be easier than you think…

For CTOs, CSOs and CISOs, the risk of burnout is extremely high, but it doesn’t stop there. The majority of IT departments across the world struggle with an increasing workload and a growing staff shortage, which leads to teams being overworked and underappreciated. As a result, turnover is higher, which further exacerbates the problem. Staff numbers go down but the workload doesn’t, which means remaining IT technicians have to pick up the slack. It’s hard to squeeze in a lunch break, let alone a week off.

Hiring more people isn’t usually an option, partly due to budgetary restraints, but also because the industry itself has been virtually tapped out. This is especially the case for those in the IT security realm, where advanced persistent threats (APTs) are making it next to impossible to keep up and the number of skilled candidates entering the workforce is no match for the volume and complexity of attacks. How can IT possibly step away from the helm when the organization is at such great risk?

The answer is simple: intelligent automation. Rather than being in the position to constantly fight fires, technology can handle the heavy lifting – particularly when it comes to cyber security incident response. With the right automated tool, threats can be managed electronically, dramatically reducing the amount of risk to the company and subsequently alleviating much of the pressure from the IT department. Not only will this make it possible for team members to take much-needed breaks, but the organization will remain safer at the same time.

Beyond the security aspect, intelligent automation can be used to shift almost all routine tasks and workflows that are bogging IT down on a daily basis from human to machine. Those talented individuals can then focus their skills and abilities on more important business matters. As an organization, this better allocation of resources can result in greater innovation, enhanced efficiency and productivity, improved service levels and cost savings. Furthermore, self-service automation can transfer ownership of a great number of IT issues back to the end user, empowering them while also alleviating the IT team.

For those currently slaving away in the IT department, putting out fires and chasing their tails, day after day, automation can be the light at the end of the tunnel. Even top management can feel comfortable stepping away and enjoying time off without having to worry about how the workload is being managed. Additionally, today’s technology enables remote communications and control via SMS, email, IM or telephone, so even those situations that require escalation or leadership approval can be handled from anywhere.  In other words, IT decision makers are no longer chained to their desks.

Are you desperate for a vacation but feel like your IT workload or security risk levels won’t allow it? The right tool can make everyone’s life easier, facilitate much-needed time off to avoid burnout and also improve overall safety and operations at the same time. What are you waiting for? Start automating today!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Legacy Systems Slowing You Down? How Intelligent Automation Can Help

How to Recover from a Ransomware AttackThere are few things an IT executive dreads more than having to replace an outdated legacy system. You know…those ancient programs that hold some of (if not all of) the organization’s critical, “can’t survive without” data. The reality for many companies is that these legacy systems remain the foundation from which all business processes function. Unfortunately, as these systems become increasingly challenging to manage and are no longer capable of meeting the changing demands of customers, they become a much bigger concern. Thankfully, with intelligent automation, replacing them entirely is no longer the only option.

Depending on the overall scale of an organization’s legacy systems, replacing outdated technology with newer, better systems can take months or sometimes even years. Add to this the increasing pressure to ensure a seamless and error-free data migration. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, customers and employees alike must be able to access the systems they need just as they normally would even while the replacement is occurring. One IT executive in the banking industry likened the replacement of legacy systems to “changing the engine on a Boeing 747 while still in flight.” In other words, it’s incredibly difficult and a monumental task to say the least.

In the past, replacing entire legacy systems could be avoided (along with the astronomical costs associated with such a feat) by offshoring or outsourcing. Unfortunately, this is not always feasible, especially for companies that have a significant number of users. Intelligent automation provides the ideal solution to legacy problems, regardless of business size or industry. Here’s why.

It’s fast.

Let’s say a competitor of yours has come out with a new and improved feature to serve customers that your legacy systems unfortunately do not have the capacity to support. Rather than scramble to find a solution and waste valuable time in the interim, intelligent automation can help bridge the gap, either temporarily or as a long-term solution. Considering the fact that the legacy replacement process typically takes years to complete, automation powered by AI provides a much faster solution, allowing your company to remain competitive at all times.

It’s more secure.

One of the biggest downsides to outsourcing is the loss of control and subsequent increased data security risk associated with giving up that control. Because intelligent automation is an in-house solution, all of your sensitive data remains in the full possession of your IT department. This makes it an inherently more secure option. Additionally, unlike offshoring, with intelligent automation you can easily scale up or down at a moment’s notice based on need.

It’s affordable.

The reality is, many organizations have been built upon old systems that date back to the 70s and 80s. For many, these ancient relics are simply too expensive to replace. Intelligent automation provides an affordable alternative, allowing businesses with any budget to break the chains that once bound them to their outdated systems. This opens up the doors to virtually limitless possibilities.

Obviously there are certain limits to how much intelligent automation can revitalize legacy systems. For instance, this type of technology cannot actually alter outdated systems. It can, however, serve as an interim solution unless and until a full replacement becomes necessary. For many organizations – particularly those that do not have the means or resources to completely dismantle and replace their existing infrastructure, intelligent automation is well worth considering.

Experience it for yourself with a live product demo.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Streamlining HR with Intelligent Automation

Streamlining HR with Intelligent AutomationHuman Resources is a critical function of any organization, particularly those at the enterprise level. Because HR is connected with every other department, when HR processes are running smoothly, the entire business benefits. Conversely, when those processes break down, the whole company can be impacted. Due to the broad reach and extensive list of responsibilities, enhancing HR processes through intelligent automation can dramatically improve productivity and efficiency across the organization.

A glaring need for intelligent automation

According to ServiceNow’s report, Today’s State of Work: At the Breaking Point, Human Resources was listed as the least efficient department. In fact, the study revealed that those in HR are wasting two full days, or 16 hours per week performing manual administrative tasks.

For instance, activities like overseeing employee relocations, managing leaves of absence and onboarding new employees are all among the most inefficient processes of HR.

Without question, HR teams want to deliver exceptional service, but find themselves far too often burdened with repetitive tasks and workflows. Unstructured work processes and HR functions that are heavily manual lead to unnecessary complexity and a steady drain on productivity.

Intelligent automation presents a golden opportunity

A recent survey by Career Builder revealed that 72 percent of employers expect some roles within HR will become completely automated over the next 10 years. Yet, according to the ServiceNow report, automation is only being leveraged in 37 percent of HR services.

Using intelligent automation to reduce complexity enables HR professionals to focus less of their time, energy and expertise on manual recruitment activities and more on innovating and improving business practices.

Introducing intelligent automation in 5 easy steps…

Step 1: Identify processes and workflows that should be automated.

We’ve already mentioned that HR is a department ripe with opportunity to automate, particularly given its many manual, repetitive and transactional processes. The first step in getting started is to identify these tasks and list them out in order of priority. For best results, look for “quick wins” – that is, the processes and workflows that, when automated, will produce the fastest and most measurable return on investment.

Step 2: Create a blueprint.

The next step should involve mapping out these critical business functions from start to desired end-state, including a combination of both artificial intelligence and human skills. Investigate further whether the existing processes you have in place could be augmented by intelligent automation to deliver the desired result. During this process, you may discover that it’s easier to redesign some workflows from scratch rather than to modify them.

Step 3: Get executive buy-in.

Organizational change, such as what’s involved with deployment of intelligent automation in HR, requires more than just simply executing a series of implementation activities. To truly gain traction and roll out successfully, adoption must start at the top and trickle its way down. As such, those in senior leadership must be visible, both in their support and their participation. This will empower employees and encourage them to suggest how intelligent automation can further benefit the business.

Step 4: Communicate openly and regularly.

Remember that through automation, you’ll inevitably be impacting the day-to-day work of your employees. To prevent resistance and overcome fear, be proactive about communicating with the HR department. Address their concerns, answer their questions and provide them with reassurance that the changes being introduced will ultimately benefit them. Not only will they save time, but they will also be freed up to focus on more creative, strategic and fulfilling projects.

Step 5: Retrain and reskill.

As intelligent automation is introduced, the role and day-to-day functions of human employees will inevitably evolve. Don’t just expect your employees to possess the innate skillsets needed for leveraging automated tools. For instance, your HR team may have the soft skills needed to be successful, but they may still need help understanding how to interact with automation technology. Invest in retraining and reskilling them accordingly so they are armed with the info they need to evolve alongside the changing technology.

Highly automated companies are six times more likely to experience revenue growth of more than 15% versus companies with low automation. Human Resources is an excellent place to start. Want to experience intelligent automation for yourself? The wait is over. Take Ayehu for a test drive today!

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