The right IT automation platform can help your organization streamline operations, optimize processes, skyrocket productivity, save money and gain competitive advantage. Unfortunately, the wrong technology can have the opposite effect, not only failing to deliver on the potential benefits, but actually impeding your company’s success. Yet with so many IT automation vendors in the market today, how can you really know which solution is going to be the most worthwhile investment? Here are five critical factors to consider.
Your IT automation needs today may be vastly different from what they will look like five or ten years down the road. This is why it’s incredibly important to work with a vendor who not only supports its customers’ growth, but is committed to ongoing growth of its own. And with technology evolving at a breakneck speed, agility is especially important for an IT automation service provider.
Many organizations are surprised to discover that some of the bigger players in the automation realm are unable to offer the kind of speed and adaptation that is necessary to facilitate digital transformation. It is often the smaller firms that present that capability. So, don’t just assume that because the product comes from a well-known brand, that the service you’ll receive will be superior to that of a smaller, more agile company.
Obviously, a vendor’s agility doesn’t mean much if it’s no longer in existence five years from now. So, not only is it important to select a vendor that can grow alongside your organization and meet its evolving needs, but you also want to be careful to choose an IT automation vendor that offers long-term reliability.
One way you can assess this is to examine a potential vendor’s history. Are they a new startup or a market veteran? Have they been sold and acquired multiple times over the past several years? That fancy new platform that just hit the market may have some intriguing bells and whistles, and make some compelling promises, but if there’s little history to back up their claims, it may be too good to be true.
Most IT automation vendors will bend over backwards to win you over before you buy their product, but once you’ve installed and deployed their platform, good luck getting a call back when you run into an issue and need help. The fact is, customer support can have a massive impact on the success of your automation strategy.
As you conduct your research and evaluate various vendors and automation tools, make sure to compare customer satisfaction ratings. Read reviews. Check out testimonials. Ask for references.
It’s also important to find out whether a vendor offers support directly. (Many outsource this to a third party.) The more access you have to support after the sale, and from a team that is intimately familiar with the product, the better.
An IT automation vendor can make as many lofty claims as they’d like, but at the end of the day, the proof really is in the pudding. What you really want is a partner who not only strives for its own success, but also measures that success by the accomplishments it helps its customers achieve. In other words, you want to work with an IT automation vendor that wants you to succeed as much as they do.
As part of your deep dive into customer satisfaction, look for quantifiable proof that the vendor’s product or service does what it promises it will do. You should also align these results with your organization’s specific goals.
So, if your objective with IT automation is to cut costs, improve response time or eliminate time consuming manual processes, seek out testimonials and case studies of past customers that demonstrate those outcomes.
Training and Educational Resources
Again, the IT automation vendor you choose should be just as invested in your success as they are in their own. One way these companies can demonstrate this commitment is through the creation of educational content and training resources.
The faster you can onboard and train your team, the sooner you can start generating ROI with your IT automation project. Options, like real-time or on-demand webinars, training programs and video tutorials will enable your IT team to quickly and easily boost their skills and knowledge at their convenience, making them more valuable as employees and enabling you to get the most out of the automation software you’ve chosen.
Bonus: Product Trial
In addition to the five criterion that we’ve listed above, another key thing to look for when evaluating IT automation and orchestration platforms is whether or not you can try the product or service before you buy. While most vendors offer some type of trial, many are extremely limited, either by time-frame or by product features.
For instance, some trials are very short – just 5 or 7 days, which is hardly enough time to truly get a feel for what a product is capable of. Likewise, many trials are watered down “basic” versions of the product or service, which means you’ll never really be able to experience its full power for automating processes.
At Ayehu, we offer a full 30-day trial of our complete product, with access to every feature that’s available to our paying customers. Best of all, you can be up and running with IT automation deployed in literally minutes, so your team can enjoy a full month of product testing. If you’d like to take advantage of this robust trial offer, simply click here to download Ayehu NG today.