Is Your Organization AIOps-Ready? Here’s How to Get There in 3 Steps

3 steps to get AIOps ready

Digital transformation can be boiled down to three things: simplicity, innovation and intelligence. One of the most effective tools for achieving these things is AIOps. But adopting a new approach in any department can be daunting. Adding in the complexities of IT makes it even more challenging. When it comes to significant initiatives like this, taking it step-by-step can make things much more manageable. Let’s break down three phases that will make your AIOps implementation go much more smoothly.

Step 1: Define your goals.

You can’t expect to hit a target if you don’t have one in front of you. The first step in getting your organization ready to roll with AIOps is to determine exactly what you’d like to accomplish as the end-result. Take some time to identify areas of specific need where AIOps could provide resolution. Some examples of this might be supporting your ITSM team with alert escalation or improving service availability through incident management. You have to define your objectives first before you can develop a strategy for achieving them.

Step 2: Establish parameters for success.

Next, you must determine which parameters you will use to monitor and measure your success. Common AIOps success parameters include things such as mean time to resolution (MTTR), outage prevention, improved productivity and cost reduction as a result of automation. By developing and setting these benchmarks, you’ll be better able to assess your implementation success rate. You’ll also be better prepared to determine when to pivot and change course if necessary.

Step 3: Focus on the data.

Artificial intelligence is only as good as the data it’s being fed. The term “garbage in, garbage out” comes to mind. In order for your AIOps adoption to be successful, you must prioritize the issue of making sure the data you will use is plentiful, accessible, relevant and most importantly, of superior quality. Sourcing this information as early as possible can give your project a jumpstart, save you a massive amount of time and aggravation and improve your chances of reaching your goals without fewer roadblocks along the way.

As you work through these three fundamental steps, one important point to keep in mind is that AIOps is a journey, not a destination. Therefore, it should never be viewed as a one-off project, or a “set it and forget it” initiative. Organizations that have been successful with AIOps recognize that it’s something dynamic and ever-changing. Go into it with the proper mindset and digital transformation will be your reward.

cio guide to operational efficiency

Introducing the 1st Annual Intelligent Automation Hackathon!

The world has evolved rapidly in recent months, and many of us and our customers are now working from home (WFH).  While we’re all looking forward to things returning to normal once again, it will definitely take a while. And for some, it may never be quite the same. 

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected that the new normal will increasingly involve remote work arrangements, to minimize impact and prevent potential business disruption while maintaining social distancing recommendations.

With so many employees now getting the green light to work from home, the demand for IT support – for VPN access, remote file permission, and the like – will only continue increase, at a time when fewer IT staff are available on-site to meet this higher demand. The result is likely to be longer wait times for IT support and more technical issues to resolve. Intelligent automation can help address these challenges.

Now is your chance to be part of the solution, have fun, and win prizes at the same time! 

Welcome to our first annual Intelligent Automation Hackathon – focused this year on WFH solutions. Develop workflows and activities to leverage Ayehu’s automation and orchestration platform to make WFH easier, more streamlined, and more efficient. 

The hackathon will take place as an entirely virtual event, during which participants will develop their workflows and activities from their work or home office. There will be two categories and prizes will be awarded to winning entries in each category.

Why participate? Lots of reasons!

  • Get firsthand experience building activities and workflows, and propel your professional career forward
  • Learn more about the free resources Ayehu provides via its Academy and Git Hub Community
  • Receive personal exposure as an automation leader and innovator
  • Give back to the community and help us all get through the COVID-19 pandemic and its long term impact
  • Have fun and win prizes (up to $1,000!)

The event is scheduled to run from October 6 to 8th, and all development work and entry submission must take place during that time period.

Interested? Click here to register while there’s still space available!

3 Ways Intelligent Automation Can Facilitate Growth, Even in the Face of Uncertainty

The recent global health crisis has tested the resolve of organizations large and small, and across just about every industry. As of a result, the perspective of many business leaders on technology has also begun to evolve. While the focus pre-COVID was primarily keeping operations going, there has been a marked shift toward digital transformation, namely the acceleration of automation initiatives.

As organizations begin to acclimate to the so-called “new normal,” those that embrace intelligent automation will quickly discover that not only can it help them navigate through uncertain times, but actually innovate and grow, regardless of what the external circumstances may dictate. Here are just a few ways how.

Cut Costs

Automation used to be an IT-only function. Slowly, but surely, the technology began to make its way into other departments, like marketing. But with intelligent automation, it’s possible to leverage the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning across the entire organization. With the right approach, automation can lay the foundation for a more resilient digital enterprise. Furthermore, by applying automation to other key areas, such as HR, finance and engineering, IT is able to optimize their workload and run a much more efficient, cost-effective operation.

Put Data to Use

There are mind-boggling amounts of data available in the world today. Making sense of that information has become increasingly challenging. Intelligent process automation technology is capable of sifting through massive amounts of data and pinpointing and extracting information that’s relevant and of business value. This information can then be leveraged to do everything from improving the customer experience to helping leaders make more informed, data-driven business decisions.

Do More with Less

If there’s one positive that’s come out of the recent health crisis, it’s that many organizations found themselves on the fast-track to digital transformation. In particular, many business leaders quickly learned that, with the right tools and technology in place, remote work arrangements were not just feasible, but actually a more attractive long-term solution. This was especially an epiphany for IT operations teams, many of whom discovered that with intelligent automation, they could effectively “keep the lights on” even with a skeleton crew.

A better run business is better positioned to outpace competitors and achieve sustainable growth. At the heart of that better run business is intelligent automation. The right technology can help ensure that whatever life circumstances may come your way, your organization will be capable of not only standing firm, but continuing to thrive through it all.

Click here to get up and running with AI-powered intelligent automation in less than an hour!

5 Things the Aviation Industry Can Teach Business Leaders about Being Successful with Automation

It’s not uncommon for business leaders to borrow phrases from the aviation industry when discussing their job duties. “Take charge of the cockpit,” “navigate through turbulence,” and “ensure a safe landing,” are just a few that come to mind. All of these things can also be applied within the context of digital transformation. Specifically, if you’re planning an automation initiative, here are five key things you can learn from a pilot’s point of view.

Be Prepared

In aviation, proper preparation is critical. Prior to each flight, the pilot must meticulously work through a pre-flight checklist. Is it tedious? Certainly. But it’s absolutely necessary to ensure a safe and successful journey. Similarly, business leaders must prepare well in order for their automation project to be “ready for takeoff.” In particular, they must do the legwork to develop a deep understanding of the processes and workflows they wish to improve before attempting to automate them.

Map the Journey

If a pilot were to take flight without knowing where they were heading and how best to get there, the results could be catastrophic. Likewise, it’s essential to adequately map out the specific path you intend to take for automation within your organization. This involves not only determining the processes you want to automate, but also prioritizing them to achieve quick, measurable wins. This will allow you to lay the foundation for more widespread adoption of automation in the future.

Become an Expert

A person cannot simply hop into the cockpit of a plane and fly. Being a successful pilot requires learning, practice and continuous improvement. From a business perspective, automation should never be a temporary solution. It should be fluid and evolutionary. It should focus not only on achieving the desired results as they exist currently, but also with an eye toward achieving ongoing growth and improvement. It should never just be a “set it and forget it” type of project.

Use Your Tools

The beauty of modern aircrafts is that they are loaded with advanced technology designed to assist pilots and make their jobs infinitely easier. The same can be said for the right automation platform. IT teams can and should leverage technology to help guide and support their efforts. For instance, artificial intelligence can be deployed to identify potential problems so they can be remediated right away, before they have the chance to wreak havoc. Meanwhile, machine learning and predictive analytics can be used to help business leaders make better, more data-driven decisions.

Learn from Your Mistakes

Just as every pilot will face turbulence at some point, even the most successful automation initiatives will experience a few bumps in the road. How you navigate those turbulent times will make or break the outcome. Like pilots – wise business leaders know that drawing from their past experiences will help them better handle future uncertainties. The pressure to get everything perfect the first time will be great, but acknowledging, preparing for and learning from the snags that will inevitably occur along the way.

While experience in the cockpit can teach business leaders a lot about success, winning the race for automation doesn’t require a pilot’s license. By following the five key lessons above, you should be able to coast your way to a perfect landing.

Want to see what automation can do for your organization? Download your trial of Ayehu NG today and experience the full power of intelligent automation free for 30 full days.

Imagine a World With No IT Outages. Is It Possible? Yes! Here’s How.

Imagine a World With No IT Outages. Is It Possible? Yes! Here’s How.

Over the past few decades, the IT world has undergone what can only be described as a revolution. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has brought even greater awareness of these advances in technology, particularly as it relates to the ability for organizations to operate semi or fully virtually. IT teams across the globe have worked tirelessly behind the scenes, leveraging every tool and strategy at their disposal to ensure that critical support functions remain intact and service carries on uninterrupted.

Today, more than ever before, ITOps teams are focusing on ways to seamlessly identify and address incidents, not as they arise, but before end users are even aware there is a problem. Are we nearing a world in which IT outages are a thing of the past? It’s quite possible. Here’s the scoop.

Greater complexity demands more intelligent technology.

AIOps has become a widely accepted and generally celebrated approach to help organizations adapt and scale to modern complexity using the advanced capabilities of AI and machine learning. The goal is to transition IT monitoring and analysis from human agents to intelligent machines through automated detection and remediation.

Ticket overload and manual workflows have long burdened IT teams – that’s nothing new. Over the years, however, the rapidly evolving IT ecosystem has multiplied the challenges and increased the demands exponentially. Simply put, the traditional human-centric way of operations management is no longer sufficient.

Leveraging the innovative, intelligent technologies that are currently available to handle the workload is effectively equivalent to “fighting fire with fire,” if you will. Advanced AI/ML is capable of sifting through mountains of data in seconds, pinpointing anomalies and either alerting the appropriate human agent, or carrying out the necessary remediation steps entirely autonomously. This allows IT teams to stay ahead of the curve, actively preventing incidents and outages rather than scrambling to mitigate the aftermath.

Navigating the new “reality” using tech for offense vs. defense.

As the dust continues to settle and organizations across all industries begin to settle into their “new normal” of remote work, business leaders are beginning to shift their focus to ensuring operational continuity and establishing the necessary infrastructure that’s needed to sustain this new way of work indefinitely.

Companies already harnessing intelligent IT technologies will enjoy improved visibility, enhanced efficiency and greater competitive advantage. By using AI, ML and intelligent automation, these forward-thinking firms will achieve faster and more effective root-cause analysis and resolution, enabling them to maximize uptime by staying out in front of potential IT outages. In other words, they will take a proactive approach to ITOps rather than a reactive one.

When intelligent process automation is used to do the heavy-lifting, IT teams will be able to focus on other innovative and revenue-generating activities. In a world where IT outages are no longer an issue, everybody wins – the customer, the end-user, the IT worker, and ultimately the organization as a whole.

Would you like your organization to be a front-runner in this outage-less world? It’s as easy as adopting the right technology. Click here to start your free trial of Ayehu NG and put the power of AI, ML and intelligent automation to work for your business!

Building Your Automation Journey with 90-Day Outcomes

10 Steps Towards Operational Efficiency, Sustainably and Resiliency

As the world begins the slow transition into the “new normal,” organizations are facing the monumental challenge of rapid transformation. With so much uncertainty, ITOPs no longer has the luxury of taking its time in planning and carrying out long-term projects, what used to take several months, now happens overnight. Today’s IT leaders must find a way to compress and accelerate their efforts in order to achieve ROI as quickly as possible – and all while navigating relatively uncharted waters in the process.

Thankfully, rolling out automation in the post-COVID world doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Here’s how your team can do so in 10 easy-to-implement, 90-day increments and be fully productive before you know it.

Step 1 – Identify Candidates

To begin, you can’t fix what you don’t know is broken. Likewise, automating the wrong processes can completely derail your project. Start by analyzing your data sources, namely your ITSM records. The goal is to identify where you are currently spending the most time and money.

This analysis of your current policies and procedures should help you pinpoint which tasks, workflows and processes would produce the quickest wins if automated. Good candidates for automation include, but are not limited to, tasks that:

  • Have a high volume of tickets
    • Are repetitive with little variance
    • Require little or no human intervention
    • Are time consuming

Step 2 – Select Quick Wins

The previous step should have resulted in a shortlist of various tasks and workflows that, if automated, are likely to generate the fastest ROI. You want to be able to demonstrate to stakeholders the value of automation and get them onboard with widespread rollout. Showing them quantitative value as quickly as possible is key. To achieve this, prioritize your candidates so that your desired outcomes align with the ability to produce fast and measurable results. 

Step 3 – Document

The next 90-day phase should involve developing detailed documentation and flow charts, beginning with existing processes. Specifically, you should focus on identifying any and all manual steps that can and should be transitioned to automation.

It’s critically important during this phase that you remain cognizant of the fact that some existing processes may need to be fundamentally changed in order to take advantage of automation. Take a step back and examine each process thoroughly to determine whether it could benefit from redesign, either in part or in its entirety. Then, set to work re-imagining and reworking it accordingly.

Step 4 – Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Once you’ve generated a few quick wins from some low-hanging fruit, it’s time to dig deeper and start defining your longer-term objectives. How will you ultimately measure success? Try to stick with the SMART acronym as you develop your KPIs and potential outcomes:

  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Based

Not sure where to begin? Here are a few common hard ROI examples to get you started:

  • Reduce total number of tickets
  • Reduce # of tickets that require human interventions
  • Reduce # of tickets that are escalated from L1/L2
  • Shorten MTTR

In addition, you may want to include a few “soft” metrics as well, such as improved user satisfaction.

Step 5 – Design Workflow

Moving into phase five, it’s time to begin designing your automated workflows. At this point in the process, it’s important to remember that it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel. Heavy lifting is also not required here. Instead, lean on established technology and pre-built templates. For example, Ayehu features a massive library of pre-designed, existing workflows based on best practices developed from over 250 successful deployments. It’s also entirely codeless. All you need to do is match these up with the “quick wins” you identified in steps two and three and you’ll be ready to begin implementation.

Step 6 – Implement and Test

It’s time to start putting all of your hard work and planning into action, albeit in a safe, lower-risk environment. Using the pre-built templates you’ve matched with your automation initiatives, modify them as needed to suit your organization’s specific needs and goals. (Note: Ayehu’s visual designer can dramatically shorten time-to-value in this phase.)

Once your templates are customized and ready to be run, begin launching test workflows in a staging environment. This will allow you to identify and address any issues prior to live rollout, enabling you to avoid potentially costly problems down the road and increasing your likelihood of success.

Step 7 – Start a Pilot

You want your final rollout to be as close to perfection as possible, so you’ll need to do a great deal of testing before you officially launch. Working with a live pilot program & initial users first will enable you to continue identifying areas of concern and correcting them before deployment to the masses.

Ayehu can help with this as well by enabling you to easily move workflows from staging to production using our workflow migration feature. Conduct a pilot in a small scale production environment, measure your results and then modify workflows as needed based on the real-world feedback received.

Step 8 – Move to Production

When you’ve worked out all (or most of) the kinks and you’re confident that your automation project is working as planned and producing the desired results, it’s time to put your proverbial money where your mouth is and expand your usage into full production. This phase is often challenging to move into because, let’s be honest: it’s scary to take that leap. As a result, many IT teams end up in ‘pilot purgatory.’

Know that if you’ve done all the previous steps correctly, you should be ready to confidently move forward. It can be helpful during this phase to use the “bottom-line-value backward” approach, rather than focusing on technology. Make sure quantifiable metrics are collected, stored and adequately tracked.

Step 9 – Measure Results

For an automation project to achieve sustainable success, results must be measured and iterations performed on an ongoing basis. Once you’re officially in full production, you’ll need to continuously verify that you’re on the right track. Evaluate your results and compare them against the KPIs you defined in step four. As you identify procedures that are no longer adding value, be swift and decisive about eliminating them. (Note: if you are using Ayehu, your management dashboard can serve as a reporting aid, making this process much more efficient and effective.)

Step 10 – Promote Outcome

The final phase in the process, and the key to sustaining continuous improvement, is to obtain executive buy-in. Utilize all of the quantifiable data you’ve gathered over the previous nine steps, compile it and report it to the “powers that be.” Remember to use established KPIs and each one’s subsequent ROI to provide compelling proof of success. This will enable you to gain the approval you’ll need to expand and broaden your automation reach, which will bring you full circle back to phase one again.

Automation doesn’t have to be some distant goal on the horizon. By breaking down a multi-year project into a series of smaller, more achievable steps, you’ll be at the finish line before you know it. More importantly, you’ll already have a number of victories and best practices under your belt by the time you arrive.

Start today by downloading your free 30-day trial of Ayehu NG.