5 Ways Intelligent Automation Is Impacting the Enterprise Today

5 Ways Intelligent Automation Is Impacting the Enterprise TodayWe’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: 2018 is the year of automation. Not only are more decision makers recognizing the tremendous value automation can have for their organizations, but individuals – particularly those in IT – are finally beginning to realize that automation isn’t a threat, it’s an opportunity. Let’s take a look at five tangible ways intelligent automation is changing the game for forward-thinking enterprises everywhere.

Processes

Adoption of intelligent automation provides a great opportunity to revisit existing processes and determine whether or not they’re still relevant. Those that are not should be eliminated and those that are should be optimized. And while automating repeatable processes is a good foundation, a truly intelligent automation policy should run the gambit from IT to internal back-office to customer-facing business processes and everything in between. In other words, it should be pervasive.

Applications

Consumers have become digitized, which means their needs, demands and expectations have changed. To meet those needs, the enterprise much initiate continuous and automated deployments of the appropriate applications and ensure integrated, value-added feature sets. Additionally, internal developers must provision resources in a way that is timely and create environments that are conducive to rapid iterations. Intelligent automation can be leveraged to streamline this as well.

The Workforce

Unlike what many previously believed, automation is not causing significant job loss. In fact, to the contrary, intelligent automation is actually enhancing the workforce in new and exciting ways. Not only are there new roles being created, but intelligent automation has also brought to life the opportunity for existing personnel to retrain and reskill, increasing their own market value in the process. More and more enterprises are looking toward developing their own automation centers of excellence.

Customer Experience

The term customer experience applies not just to the external consumer, but also to the internal employee. Intelligent automation is changing the game for workers, alleviating them of the burden of monotonous, menial work and freeing them up to focus their skills and expertise to more challenging and rewarding business initiatives. As a result, employees are empowered to find innovative ways to serve external customers. Everyone wins.

Security

Cyber criminals utilize automation to carry out their nefarious plans, relentlessly targeted vulnerable entry points whenever and wherever they can be uncovered. The only true way to effectively guard against these attacks is to fight fire with fire – that is, use the same innovative technologies that the hackers are using. Proactive, automated remediation can significantly lesson the likelihood of a successful breach. And for those that do manage to sneak by, intelligent automation can quickly pinpoint, isolate and eradicate the threat, thereby mitigating damages.

It’s safe to say that automation is no longer a trend, nor is it something that’s far off in the distant future. The time to adopt intelligent automation is now, and forward-thinking enterprises across the globe are taking full advantage. Where does your organization stand? Don’t get left behind. Take Ayehu for a test drive today to get started.

Using Intelligent Automation to Crush the Competition

Using Intelligent Automation to Crush the CompetitionAutomation has become a staple in IT operations. Yet, despite its prevalence, many of the automated processes currently being used are antiquated. The fact is, IT infrastructures have evolved substantially over the past decade or so, and continue to do so at a rapid pace. In order to maintain a high degree of integrity, automated processes must also adapt. Adopting more intelligent automation will not only dramatically improve internal operations, but it will position your organization leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors.

What is “intelligent automation?”

Unlike conventional automation tools of the past which were capable only of executing simple, manual and easily defined processes, intelligent automation and orchestration platforms are able to undertake tasks and workflows that are far more complex. Not only is intelligent automation capable of making decisions without the need for human input, but it can also evolve and improve itself over time.

Why is intelligent automation beneficial to IT operations?

IT ops has long been tasked with the overwhelming duty of doing more with less. Today’s IT teams, however, are also being depended on to drive innovation, and at a much more rapid pace than ever before. Intelligent automation facilitates both of these things by streamlining operations and freeing up skilled staff to apply their expertise to more innovative business initiatives. Furthermore, automation is dramatically improving the delivery and integrity of information, which paints IT ops in a positive light.

What are some of the biggest challenges IT ops face today?

Among the many challenges IT operations face in the digital age is the need to increase agility while maintaining as little disruption to existing processes as possible. IT teams must continue to meet (and in many instances exceed) business demand while also looking toward the future and finding newer, better opportunities to grab onto. It’s a delicate balance between meeting the needs of today and anticipating what the needs of tomorrow will be.

Why aren’t more organizations adopting intelligent automation?

Automation in its traditional form has worked well for IT ops, mainly because it can be leveraged on an ad hoc basis, such as with custom scripts and job scheduling. These days, however, things are becoming far more complex, with many different layers of virtualization and applications stacks of varying ages, along with combinations of public and private cloud solutions, all of which must be aggregated to deliver a single, streamlined IT service. In this environment, the concept of integrating intelligent automation can seem overwhelming. The good news is, it’s not nearly as complicated as it may seem.

What’s a good way to get started with intelligent automation?

A great way to introduce intelligent automation into the mix is to start small. Identify the big wins – or those routine, manual and time consuming tasks and workflows that when automated will produce the greatest return on investment quickly. Figure out what your IT operations team is wasting precious time and resources on, and then start deploying robots to do the dirty work. Keep in mind, however, that in order for intelligent automation to truly be beneficial, it must eventually become an integral part of the entire infrastructure. It’s ok to smart small, but make sure you’re working toward the big picture.

Without question, adding intelligence to automation will facilitate far greater productivity and innovation, while simultaneously setting the bar higher in terms of speed and agility for IT operations. Organizations that successfully deploy intelligent automation will easily surpass their competitors who do not, ultimately positioning themselves at the head of the pack.

Where do you want your company to be? Get a jump on the competition and future-proof your business with intelligent automation. Experience it for yourself by taking Ayehu for a test drive today.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

How to Maximize Your Cybersecurity in 7 Simple Steps

How to Maximize Your Cybersecurity in 7 Simple StepsKeeping your organization safe against the barrage of attacks coming in at an alarming rate is no easy feat. Not only are cyber criminals smarter and more sophisticated than ever before, but they’re also much more relentless. Hackers seeking access to your sensitive data will stop at nothing to get what they want. You have to be ready to do battle at all times, day or night. Is your cybersecurity strategy strong enough to withstand the onslaught? If not, here are seven essential steps that will put you in a much better position.

Step 1 – Assess your risk posture. This is the first step, but also an important part of ongoing cybersecurity efforts. Identify areas of risk and potential vulnerabilities through which hackers may attempt to gain access to your network. Staying a step ahead of the game can prevent attacks from occurring in the first place.

Step 2 – Set up monitoring and security controls. Anti-virus, malware and firewalls should already be in place. More comprehensive network monitoring solutions are also recommended to achieve a stronger line of defense.

Step 3 – Invest in incident management. These days the question isn’t will your company be attacked, but when. Network security measures are designed to prevent invasion and they do a decent job. Unfortunately, they’re not foolproof. Strengthening these tools with automated incident response ensures that if a hacker manages a successful breach, the incident will quickly be detected, isolated and eradicated without the need for any human intervention.

Step 4 – Educate employees. Cybersecurity isn’t something only the IT department must be concerned with. It’s everyone’s job. To that end, make sure each and every employee within your organization is clear on what his or her role is, how to keep information safe and what red flags to watch for.

Step 5 – Manage user privileges. Research indicates that the biggest threats to a company’s information security are insiders. In most cases, users are unaware they are compromising sensitive data. In others, the perpetrator does so maliciously. To mitigate these risks as much as possible, be diligent about managing user privileges. Limit, monitor and audit user activities accordingly.

Step 6 – Create an all-inclusive security policy. When defining your cybersecurity strategy, don’t forget to account for things like removable media, mobile devices and remote workers. These things can present an added risk to your secure network. Establish and implement controls over media usage. Develop and enforce a mobile working policy. This will keep data secure, both at rest and in transit.

Step 7 – Leverage data to develop best practices. Perform routine audits of any and all security events to identify areas where improvements can and should be made. Utilize data from past incidents to develop and improve your organization’s best practices for responding to future incidents.

Remember – cybersecurity isn’t a “set it and forget it” strategy. It’s a living, breathing practice that must evolve alongside the many attacks that are being waged against your business on a daily basis. By implementing the above steps and harnessing the technology that’s available to you, your organization will assume a much stronger posture against any threat that may arise.

Could your company benefit from the enhanced protection of automated cyber security incident response? Find out today by taking Ayehu for a test drive.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

Why Humans and Robots Working Together Will Become Essential for Business Success

Why Humans and Robots Working Together Will Become Essential for Business SuccessIntelligent automation has become one of the most talked about areas of enterprise technology over the past several years. The virtual workforce which was once just a concept has quickly become an integral component of modern business structure.

The technologies behind intelligent automation – AI and machine learning – have already begun delivering significant returns on investment for forward-thinking organizations that have taken a chance and chosen machine over outsourcing. Instead, those companies that want to remain a step ahead of the competition, operating efficiently and at maximum productivity, have found a way to complement and augment their human workforce with a virtual one.

On the flip side, employees that are wise enough to recognize the value that intelligent automation brings to their lives and to the success of their organization are thriving in this melting pot environment. They are freed up to focus their expertise on more complex and challenging projects while their robotic counterparts handle the day-to-day menial work and repetitive, manual administrative tasks on their behalf.

Widespread adoption of intelligent automation is also bringing to fruition an entire new class of jobs, just as experts predicted it would. Those roles that are being eliminated are making way for newer opportunities to reskill existing workers. After all, someone has to oversee the automation, not to mention identify additional entry points, plan for future deployments, etc. There’s plenty of room for robots and humans to work side by side in the enterprise of the future.

For organizations still on the fence, it’s important to realize that intelligent automation is the fastest and easiest way to digitize, something that’s going to be inevitable for success in tomorrow’s landscape. And automation is no longer something that is simply governed by IT. Today, this technology is capable of assisting with everything from employee onboarding to compliance and cybersecurity. To be fully utilized, automation must be viewed not as software, but as a capability across the entire organization.

Just as the industrial revolution redefined the way businesses operated a hundred years ago, the digital revolution is now upon us, offering a similar transformation. In many ways, this is a defining moment for business leaders and key decision makers. The way humans and technology interact is evolving yet again, facilitating far more than just quick wins, but sustainable and highly scalable success. In some instances, intelligent automation is enabling firms to bring offshore resources back in-house.

The key is striking the right balance between the human and virtual workforce with the goal of maximizing the use of technology while also focusing on retraining and redeployment of human resources. Once that balance is achieved, the sky is the limit for the organization.

If you’d like to experience what intelligent automation can do for your business, simply request a free product demo and we’ll show you around!

3 Ways Intelligent Automation Can Help Your Employees and Your Customers

3 Ways Intelligent Automation Can Help Your Employees and Your CustomersWhile many forward-thinking business leaders are leveraging artificial intelligence technology in an effort to improve customer experience, it’s the internal customers – the employees – that actually may stand to gain more value from intelligent automation.

According to Gallup, employee engagement has remained stagnant for nearly two decades and the problem could only get worse, particularly for workers who are forced to juggle multiple legacy systems, poorly integrated or underused apps and widening training gaps. Using AI to augment human capabilities can alleviate this burden and generate opportunity for more human interaction.

Forrester VP and Principal Analyst Craig Le Clair recently pointed out the direct correlation between intelligent automation and employee engagement and satisfaction. Le Clair stated: “AI has the potential to connect activity across channels; understand web, social, and phone presence; route calls and resolve issues more accurately; and allow more genuine human interaction time.”

Le Clair continued: “Leading brands will use it to support and incentivize human interaction rather than focusing on capturing efficiency cost savings.”

Robots can be utilized right alongside human workers to perform tasks for which they are far better suited, such as data extraction and analysis and time-consuming, repetitive manual workflows. This frees up human employees to apply their skills and abilities to tasks and processes that benefit from human insight. The happier and more productive your employees are, the more value they can ultimately deliver to your customers.

According to Forrester, here are three specific ways businesses can use intelligent automation to augment human workers, thereby improving employee experience.

Free up human workers to fill in gaps in institutional knowledge

By focusing intelligent automation on supporting employees rather than solely on improving customer care, the rate at which AI will replace jobs can be slowed. In fact, with the right approach, adoption of intelligent automation can pave the way for employees to upskill or expand the scope of their careers.

Engage employees and improve the quality of their work

With intelligent automation eliminating routine, repetitive tasks, more complex and engaging work will be left in its wake. To tackle this work, employees will be challenged to source new information, leverage experience and past learning, and integrate ideas. Organizations that emphasize innovation to help employees achieve their goals see more positive attitudes and improved customer service.

Give employees more confidence

AI technology can free up employees to focus more of their time and energy on using automation to improve their human interactions. For instance, once workers realize that robots aren’t going to take their jobs, they can leverage the technology that’s available to them to perform their jobs better, which boosts confidence and enables workers to tackle more challenging work with poise and tenacity.

The key to all of this is positioning intelligent automation not as something that threatens the livelihood and future success of your employees, but rather something that will ultimately make their work life and career far more enjoyable. As a result, they will perform better, which will have a trickle-down effect, thereby improving the overall experience both for your employees as well as your clientele.

Want to learn more about intelligent automation? Why not take it for a test drive and experience AI for yourself? Click here to schedule your free interactive demo today.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Ayehu Updates ServiceNow Integration with Kingston Version; Demonstrating Intelligent Automation for ITSM at Knowledge18

SAN JOSE, Calif. –- May 3, 2018Ayehu, leading provider of an automation and orchestration platform powered by AI, today announced that it will demonstrate its latest integration with ServiceNow Kingston version at Knowledge18 Conference being held May 7-10, 2018 in Las Vegas.

As an established certified ServiceNow partner, Ayehu adheres to best practices when integrating and implementing its software platform with ServiceNow. Live demonstrations in Ayehu’s booth number 1529 will show the significant ITSM workflow productivity and efficiency improvements that result from the integration of Ayehu’s platform with ServiceNow.

“Knowledge18 is an ideal opportunity for showcasing the benefits of automation powered by AI as, more than ever, enterprises are eager to understand how Ayehu’s automation platform can help solve time and resource constraints in IT and security operations,” said Brian Boeggeman, vice president of alliances and partnerships, Ayehu. “We have had a long and successful history with ServiceNow and our latest version of the integrated solution dramatically improves results, allowing IT teams to automate ticket resolutions and routine service desk tasks.”

Ayehu’s powerful yet simple to use intelligent IT Automation and Orchestration Platform provides ready to use, closed-loop workflow templates that extend ServiceNow’s ITSM capabilities. With Ayehu, IT operations teams can eliminate end-users’ service desk calls, manual service desk tasks and help to remediate ticket issues faster. The platform helps organizations accelerate incident response and mean time to resolution (MTTR), and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure.

Ayehu’s integration with ServiceNow provides users with the ability to:

  • Leverage an intelligent conversation bot for end-user self-service capabilities
  • Automatically create, update, and close tickets and query configuration items in ServiceNow
  • Dramatically reduce alert storms and false alerts
  • Bridge heterogeneous platforms through unified workflows
  • Accelerate the reporting, escalation, and resolution of incidents

Ayehu’s next generation IT Automation and Orchestration Platform is available at the ServiceNow Store.

For more information, visit https://ayehu.com/integration-packs/servicenow-integration/.

How Much Intelligent Automation Do I Need?

How Much Intelligent Automation Do I Need?As the value of artificial intelligence continues to grow, many well-intentioned business leaders are rushing to incorporate AI into everything they can get their hands on. But is there such a thing as too much automation? The answer is yes. And it can actually have detrimental effects, including learning diminishment, complacency and even bias. The key is to strike a balance and let intelligent automation become a guide rather than a crutch.

The truth is, when we put too much trust in technology, our own skills can begin to suffer. Then, when something goes wrong, humans don’t know how to react. Today’s airplanes virtually fly themselves, yet pilots still invest hours upon hours simulating flights in order to keep their skills up to par. They know they must be ready and able to respond should something go wrong.

Likewise, there are actual psychological terms associated with how humans sometimes negatively respond to AI. For instance, automation complacency occurs when users cease paying attention to what’s going on due to over-reliance on technology. Automation bias is a phenomenon in which users believe technology, regardless of or despite the actual context. Neither of these situations are things you want happening in your organization.

Of course, this isn’t to say that companies should stay away from AI. To the contrary, as intelligent automation continues to evolve and improve, business leaders are making the wise decision to adopt such technologies to provide them with the competitive advantage they need to survive the next phase of the digital age. Simply put, automation is no longer an option, but a necessity. The goal, however, should be to create human-machine systems that, when designed properly, are greater than the sum of their parts.

A positive arrangement between human workers and intelligent automation should involve the following:

  • Shared goals
  • Complementary/compatible skillsets
  • Excellent communication
  • Cooperation
  • Useful feedback
  • Identification of leadership
  • Holistic viewpoint

Ultimately, the success of tomorrow will depend heavily on the ability for humans and robots to work together as teammates. Only then will you have achieved the perfect balance of intelligent automation and human ability.

Are you ready to experience the power of intelligent automation for yourself? Take Ayehu for a test drive today!

Meet Ayehu at Knowledge18 in Las Vegas!

Ayehu is excited to announce its sponsorship at the ServiceNow Knowledge18 conference. The event is scheduled to take place at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, NV from May 7th to 10th.

Attendees will discover how emerging technologies like AI and machine learning can empower IT to obliterate obstacles in their path to digital transformation. Knowledge18 is an excellent opportunity to learn where the industry is going—and to work with the experts who can help organizations achieve limitless IT.

Representatives from Ayehu will be on-hand to offer live demonstrations of Ayehu’s Next Generation IT Automation product, powered by AI and machine learning. This year, we’ll be introducing new features such as AI-powered automation workflows, conversation with a chat bot, decision support-based algorithms and more.

Our team will be presenting from booth #1529. Event attendees are invited to stop by the Ayehu booth and enjoying ad hoc product presentations. Our team will also be on hand to answer questions and discuss individual needs of each attendee.

The learning and networking opportunities at Knowledge18 are designed to translate into real-world results. With over 18,000 attendees per year, 300 breakout sessions and 120 hands-on labs, attendees will find themselves immersed in the innovations impacting the IT industry. Experience the hottest technology trends at CreatorCon, explore the opportunities for diversity and meet and mingle with fellow professionals at the various special interest groups and sessions custom-tailored to individual industries.

The multi-day event schedule is made up of keynotes, demonstrations, networking opportunities, interactive learning experiences and much more. (See the full agenda here.) Get inspired by industry visionaries and get excited for the future of work.

Please feel free to reach out to Schedule a meeting or just come by our booth #1529.

We look forward to seeing you!

Ransomware is on the rise. Here’s how to recover from an attack.

Ransomware is on the rise. Here's how to recover from an attack.According to a recent survey, nearly 50% of all organizations have been struck by some type of ransomware in the last 12 months. Furthermore, CNN reports that $209 million was paid to ransomware hackers in just the first quarter of last year. If you think you won’t become a victim, think again. Even if you have a strong cybersecurity incident response strategy in place, it’s just as important to know what to do in the event that a threat slips by undetected.

If you find you’ve been hit by a ransomware attack, here’s what you need to do to mitigate damages and get things back on track as quickly as possible.

Step 1: Avoid clicking on anything unfamiliar.

It’s not uncommon for hackers to use pop up messages in an attempt to entice users into their trap. For instance, a dialog box might pop up containing a message that indicates your computer has been infected and instructing you to take certain steps to rectify the problem. Unfortunately, doing so will only make matters worse. Avoid clicking on anything that’s unfamiliar or even the slightest bit suspicious.

Step 2: Disconnect from the network.

The ultimate danger of ransomware is that it is designed to spread through the network as quickly and invasively as possible. To mitigate damages, you must take the appropriate measures to thwart the malware’s infiltration. As soon as you believe you’ve been infected, immediately disconnect your device from the network. If you are accessing the internet via WiFi, turn it off. If you are connected via an Ethernet cable, unplug it right away. The more quickly you cut off access to your network, the less havoc the hackers will be able to wreak.

Step 3: Save and troubleshoot.

As soon as you’ve disconnected from the network, the next step is to save any and all important documents or files you’ve been working on. Then, reboot your computer in safe mode. Once you’ve rebooted, run a virus scan. Hopefully your cybersecurity incident response strategy includes adequate virus protection that’s designed to both detect and eradicate any identified malware. In the absence of this type of security software, you may need to use another device to download the software, save it onto a flash drive and then run it on the infected device accordingly.

Step 4: Restore your system.

If your anti-virus software doesn’t do the trick, you may need to restore your system back to a previous period, prior to the ransomware infection. Provided this feature was never manually disabled, running a system restore from safe mode should be pretty easy and straightforward. To begin, simply choose Advanced Boot Options and then select Repair Your Computer. From there you should see an option for System Restore. Launching this will result in your device restarting in an older version.

Step 5: Examine your files.

The next step will depend on the type of ransomware that has infected your device. If you can’t locate your files (or the shortcut icons for them), that means they’ve either been hidden or they’ve been encrypted. To determine what type of mess you’re dealing with, start by finding your hidden files. Open your File Explorer and choose Computer (or This PC). Click the View tab and choose Hidden Items. If a list appears here, you should be able to restore your files easily by simply right-clicking each item, choosing Properties and unchecking “Hidden.”

If your files do not appear in the Hidden area of your computer, this unfortunately means your data has likely been encrypted. That means the hackers were able to lock up your data and they will only release what they’re holding “hostage” if you agree to pay their proposed fee (hence the term “ransomware”). This is why a cybersecurity incident response strategy that includes frequently backing up data to the cloud or external resources is so critically important.

Step 6: Don’t let it happen again!

If you’ve been unlucky enough to have been hit by ransomware, you’re not alone. Aside from being a huge headache and possibly costing your organization a good deal of money, this unfortunate event should serve as a lesson in how important it is to take proactive measures that will improve your level of protection against such attacks.

Start with a highly effective monitoring system, and then leverage tools like automated cybersecurity incident response to establish a closed-loop process. And, above all else, educate your employees on how to properly back up files and recognize the signs of potential malware. Taking the steps to prevent as well as being prepared to remediate an attack is key.

Is your organization as safe as it could be from costly ransomware attacks? Fortify your defense with our automation and orchestration platform, designed to pinpoint, isolate and destroy all types of cybersecurity incidents – including ransomware. Try it for yourself today.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

How intelligent automation will impact the employee and customer experience

How intelligent automation will impact the employee and customer experienceRecently, there’s been quite a buzz around intelligent automation somehow leading to the image of some dystopian world in which humans are slowly being forced out and replaced by technology. With the increasingly widespread adoption of everything from smart devices and drones to self-service kiosks and even cars that can drive themselves, many people are becoming equally uncomfortable with the idea of artificial intelligence – particularly as it relates to the workplace.

The fact is, automation isn’t going away. In fact, we’re seeing this technology that in its infancy was only capable of handling simple, repetitive tasks now infiltrating even high-level jobs that would once have been considered off-limits. For instance, rather than making an appointment with your financial advisor, you can now rely instead on software algorithms for investment guidance at a fraction of the cost. And with Gartner predicting that 1/3 of all jobs will be replaced by automation and smart machines by the year 2025, it’s only going to get more complicated.

So, then, it only stands to reason that people in every industry and at every level should not only be aware of what intelligent automation is, but how and when it will ultimately affect them in the end. In simplest of terms, this technology involves the automation of business processes that were once performed by humans. It can be applied to basic, rules-based activities, such as data entry or assembly work. Or, as mentioned in the above example, it can also be used to automate and streamline even high-level, complex tasks and workflows.

What does this mean to the human workforce? Will people have no choice but to sit back, wait and watch as robots take over their jobs and render them obsolete? Considering Gartner’s prediction, it’s obvious that some jobs will, indeed, be eliminated. How many? Well, there are plenty of estimations, but according to a recent Forrester report, we may be looking at the elimination of 9% of jobs in the US alone.

But that doesn’t mean that humans will cease to exist in the future workplace. To the contrary, many experts predict that the workplace of tomorrow will involve the peaceful coexistence of machine and personnel. In fact, Deloitte predicts that the adoption of intelligent automation will actually create some 3.5 million new jobs.

Finally, it’s important to remember that while most of us accept and even embrace automated technology in our day to day lives (think ATM machines, IVRs and other self-service options), there will always be a place for the human touch, especially in the area of customer experience. Intelligent automation can eliminate the day-to-day drudgery and free up front-line personnel to become better critical problem solvers and relationship builders. In reality, customer service will likely never be completely outsourced to robots. It can, should and will, however, be influenced, supported and enhanced by automation technology.

Curious about intelligent automation and how it works? Want to get ahead of the curve and be prepared for the future workplace? Why not try it for yourself today? Click here to launch your free product demo.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide