In the not so distant past, businesses of just about every industry held steadfastly to the belief that computers could never be as valuable as a human employee. Even when IT Process automation began to take hold of the manufacturing field, with cars being assembled by machines rather than assembly line workers, there was still belief that human intervention was the most coveted asset of an organization.
While it’s true that technology will never fully replace people, it’s becoming increasingly clear that automation can provide a distinct benefit beyond what any living, breathing employee could. Here’s how.
If you think about the typical day to day tasks of a data center in any given industry, you’ll inevitably come up with a list of routine, repetitive actions….managing storage, assigning network access, monitoring and responding to incoming incidents, adhering to SLAs, and countless other activities. Leaving these tasks in the hands of human employees could actually be causing your business more harm than good. Not only do these things cost valuable time and resources, but they’re very easy to mess up, leaving your organization vulnerable to costly human error.
IT process automation solution
IT process automation provides a solution to these risks by taking just about every manual, repetitive task and allowing technology to do the heavy lifting instead. This vastly improves speed and efficiency, which in turn boosts service levels. It also eliminates the chance of mistakes made by overworked or tired human workers. And because the IT team will no longer be bogged down by menial day to day tasks, they will be able to focus on other, much more important items, vastly improving overall productivity.
Take this concept to the next level, and you’ve got the possibility of automating not just simple, repetitive tasks, but entire complex workflows. This broad term is applied to any series of events that take place in a certain pattern to achieve a desired outcome. One example of a common IT workflow is the service ticket process. A user initiates a ticket, which is retrieved and investigated by an IT team member, and either handled directly or escalated. The flow continues through resolution and the original ticket is closed, completing the workflow process.
IT workflow automation is designed to reduce and/or eliminate human intervention as much as possible. In the example above, rather than having an IT worker handle the service ticket process, the workflow could continue automatically, with responses and actions taken based on predetermined instructions. This eliminates the need for most, if not all human intervention in the process, making it faster and more accurate.
While some workflows may still require human intervention in certain situations, such as when a workflow encounters an error and cannot be completed, or when a step in a more complex process requires approval, even with these occasional interruptions, automated workflows are exponentially more efficient than if they were handled entirely by IT personnel.
It’s important to note the difference between IT process automation and scripts, which many organizations still rely on to assist with internal workflows. In comparison, IT automation provides a much greater level of control and efficiency than scripts. Automation is also much easier to manage, since scripts can be quite complicated and typically require the expertise of a tech-savvy person to write, manage and troubleshoot them. IT process automation is much more user-friendly and intuitive, and also much less prone to error.
Additionally, IT workflow automation can be integrated with existing systems to provide enhanced benefit and a more robust solution than standalone products. For example, the right automation tool integrated with an existing monitoring system can enhance the quality, speed and accuracy of incident management.
Imagine how much more valuable your IT team would be if they didn’t have to spend hours upon hours every day managing and monitoring workflows. Now, think about how your organization as a whole could benefit from improved efficiency, fewer errors, better service levels and lower expenses. When you look at it from that angle, it’s easy to see how beneficial IT workflow automation truly can be above and beyond the human team you’ve got in place.