Across the globe, managed service providers face the similar challenge of finding ways to maximize their output and organize workflow in a way that reduces costs and increases profitability. Surprisingly, the IT process is still one of the least automated segments of business today. By automating IT tasks and processes, managed service providers can overcome the challenges of time management and organization, and achieve their goals of reducing cost. Here’s how.
What is IT Process Automation (ITPA)?
IT Process Automation (ITPA), also sometimes referred to as Runbook Automation, is the process of automating a number of IT-related tasks in an effort to address a business situation or operational requirement. The purpose of IT process automation is to reduce labor-intensive manual tasks, streamline workflow, accelerate processes, eliminate costly delays and reduce human error.
IT Process Automation is the ideal solution for managed service providers who face the challenge of managing incidents remotely across multiple sites and via various channels. MSP’s are tasked with finding a way to quickly identify, analyze and resolve any number of incidents as they arise in as timely a manner as possible to meet service levels and maintain profitability. Of course, the most effective way to do this is by reducing costs.
How does IT Process Automation Reduce Costs?
Saves Operations Time: IT process automation allows managed service providers to maximize their productivity. Automating common labor-intensive, manual processes reduces waste of both time and resources. And as any good business person knows, time is money. IT professionals are free to focus on other, more critical issues, which is a much better allocation of resources.
Optimize Resources: The remote nature of incident management is inherently demanding. The challenge is developing and implementing a process workflow that optimizes all available resources in the most efficient way possible. ITPA allows you to centrally manage, automate, and support a large number of remote data centers from one single network operation center (NOC).
Reduces Risk of Error: Communication plays a pivotal role in successfully meeting service level agreements. Not only does it improve turnaround time, but without it you are faced with the possibility of costly human errors, which can undermine the profitability of your organization. IT process automation leverages bi-directional communication steps to remotely control the advancement or execution of any step within a particular process, such as re-starting a server. Remote communication can be performed via SMS, IM, email, or phone.
Improves System Recovery Time: Any business owner knows that following an IT critical incident, the sooner you can get your critical systems back up and running, the better. Implementing process automation procedures improves this recovery time. Less downtime means improved service levels for the provider and lower risk of penalties and loss for the client.
Other Benefits of ITPA
Control: The good news is automating tasks doesn’t mean giving up control. In fact, with the right ITPA, management can remain fully in control over IT task automation by embedding human decision points within the workflow process. When the process reaches a critical decision point at which human judgment is required, the process owner can immediately be contacted via SMS, email, IM or phone, presented with the available information and allowed to make a decision prior to the process continuing.
Flexibility: One of the nicest features of a quality IT process automation product is that it is inherently flexible and customizable to each user. managed service providers have the option of using already designed automation workflows to automate their most common IT functions, and to customize others to address specific unique pain points of their particular organization. The result is a tailor-made solution that will help streamline internal workflow processes, thereby significantly improving the service provided to the end user.
The managed service industry is one that is riddled with time consuming manual tasks. If not addressed, these manual tasks can have a negative impact on productivity, which can decrease service levels and cost a business profits as a result.