The most important component of any business decision, particularly in terms of IT, is being able to measure the results as quickly as possible. Ongoing, sustainable success depends heavily on whether or not the money you’re spending is truly generating the type of return that warrants continued investment; otherwise you risk wasting cash and resources. Obviously, the sooner you can identify what is and isn’t working, the better. If you’ve recently launched an IT automation project, or are about to do so soon, here are five simple ways you can quickly show results.
Identify quick wins that can deliver immediate value.
What was it that ultimately drove you to make the decision to adopt IT automation for your organization? What pain points were you hoping to address with this technology? Perhaps you identified areas where your team was being bogged down by time-consuming manual tasks, which was stifling their productivity. Or maybe you realized that writing scripts has become a huge waste of valuable time and resources. Whatever the reasons, when you clearly pinpoint them, you can quickly match the appropriate solution with each one, making it much easier to see the results.
Specifically define your goals.
Determine ahead of time what your desired outcomes are and how you can anticipate achieving them. Then, calculate the potential savings you will realize by automating these steps. This will provide you with a much more accurate picture of potential savings and ROI that you can use as a benchmark to measure against as you work further into the process of adopting IT automation.
Choose the right platform.
Understand that not all IT automation tools are created equal. Be careful and diligent when evaluating your available options and know ahead of time what to look for in a quality IT automation and orchestration platform. For instance, some of the criteria you should use includes determining whether the product is easy to use, modular, offers any type of pre-designed templates, and if so, what kind of customization is available. You should also be particularly aware of the 80/20 rule – that is, avoid tools that require 80% of your time, but that you will only benefit from 20% of the time.
Achieve appropriate buy-in and team engagement in the process.
Make sure that you’ve got the right team in place to help see this process through to fruition. Not only do you need buy-in from decision makers and those high level team members that will lead the project, but you’ll also need to ensure that everyone involved remains focused and motivated to achieve the end result. This will help you stick to your timeline for implementation, avoiding costly delays that could impact your overall ROI.
Measure results and identify additional areas for expansion.
IT automation isn’t something that only presents solutions for the here and now. To the contrary, it’s a long term solution that can help streamline your operations, improving ongoing efficiency and productivity, and enhancing your bottom line over the long haul. To that end, avoid focusing solely on the short term benefits. Measure progress and results on a regular basis. This will help you determine your long term ROI as well as identify other areas for expansion that could further benefit your organization.