Mistakes are a part of life. In cases where they are unavoidable, we try to learn from them. Ideally, however, we sidestep them altogether by learning from the mistakes made by others. Having been a player in the IT industry for many years, we’ve encountered our fair share of bad practices, and we know the steps to take to avoid going down the same path. If you’re about to embark on an IT automation project, here are five risks to watch for.
Putting automation before optimization.
Automating a process that is broken or inefficient to begin with is a fool’s errand. In fact, you could end up with an even greater rate of failure than you had prior to automating. This is why it’s imperative to ensure that every workflow you are automating is fully optimized before moving forward. Keep in mind, this may involve removing certain steps or systems that are irrelevant or unnecessary.
While IT automation can certainly be used on a widespread basis, there’s no need to force a square peg into a round hole. At the end of the day, some processes and tasks are simply better handled manually (at least for the time being). When determining how to best deploy automation, be honest and realistic in your approach. Focus your efforts on areas of substantial value and don’t try to force things.
Not getting input from end users.
Another common mistake made by well-intentioned business leaders is developing an IT automation strategy without getting adequate input from those who will most closely be effected. Think about it. Who better to guide the process than the people who are in the trenches, day in and day out, handling all of the manual workflows. Not only does getting their input help to create a more effective strategy, but you’ll also gain more buy-in while you’re at it.
Poor or lack of communication.
The IT team may be responsible for deploying and managing the automation project, but successful organization-wide deployment requires communication and collaboration across multiple departments. In the absence of this, you risk ending up with silos, which are often counterproductive. All parties involved should be working together and continuously communicating to ensure that the benefits of automation are widespread and all-inclusive.
Once IT automation has been deployed and seems to be working well, it can be tempting to just leave things status quo. In reality, business and IT operations are constantly changing and evolving, regardless of industry or sector. Failing to adapt your automation strategy to address these changes can be detrimental to your organization. To avoid this, you should periodically audit what’s being automated and how to identify areas of problem and potential improvement.
These are five of the most common mistakes that can derail an IT automation project. Avoiding them can help ensure a much smoother ride for you and your team.
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