(ITPA) delivers many benefits to over-busy IT teams. Reduced human errors, faster response to mission-critical system problems, and freed-up time for other IT tasks are just some of the advantages mentioned. However, achieving these benefits isn’t always trivial.
In complex IT environments – particularly when systems are virtualized or cloud based – implementing IT process automation can be challenging. You may need to spend quite a lot of efforts to integrate with multiple IT systems – which brings up the question of calculating ROI.
When does it make sense to implement automation, and in which cases is it too complex or costly to be justified?
System complexity is just one of many concerns raised with IT Automation. Here are the top 5 IT Process Automation challenges and objections we encounter, followed by some tips on how they can be best handled:
1- Integration with existing systems and tools is too difficult
2- Our IT processes are not well defined or mature enough for Automation
3– Automation tools are too complicated to implement and too expensive
4- Automation makes us lose control over processes
5- Automation will eliminate IT jobs
Start with creating quick wins
Instead of starting with large and complex IT automation projects, begin by identifying few quick wins – small automation pilots that can be implemented very quickly, and can get immediate value.
Examine current manual activities and time spent vs. the estimated effort required for automation and potential savings.
Some “pinpoint” examples for quick automation wins include:
- Active Directory integration – reset password, unlock account, delete orphan accounts, etc…
- Backup Log monitoring – monitoring failed backup jobs and restarting backups
- Service failures – restart failed services, start failover systems
- Incident management – creating trouble tickets, setup response to service outage, notification and escalation processes
- Troubleshooting – System problem identification and remediation
Select a tool that lets you start quickly (20/80 and grow later)
With IT automation you can find a wide range of tools – from gigantic systems to tiny utilities designed for 1-2 tasks.
Select a tool that enables you to begin small, without a large upfront investment and the ability to get quick ROI, but also a tool that supports enhancements, more complex automation across systems down the road.
Implement IT Process Automation with control
Automating IT tasks does not mean losing control over processes. Whether you’re using scripts, or an IT Process Automation solution, you can always ensure that prior to performing any sensitive data-related activity, the automated process pauses to receive a ‘human’ confirmation and acknowledgment.
IT Process Automation improves, rather than eliminates jobs
In our implementations among tens of customers, we have eliminated thousands of hours of repetitive manual tasks. Nevertheless, we have not witnessed a single case of a headcount drop due to automation. On the contrary, employees are empowered to automate tasks that were never addressed before. As Glen O’Donnell,a senior analyst for Forrester Research, urges IT folks to “be the automator, not the automated.” O’Donnell asks, “Who better to automate your job than you?”
Put differently, IT process automation eliminates the mundane, repetitive parts of your job, freeing up your time for more strategic IT tasks that cannot be automated – making you more effective and important to your business