5 Things Driving AIOps

Thanks to the forces of digital transformation, IT operations is undergoing some pretty significant changes. Traditional IT management techniques are becoming obsolete and an entire restructuring of our IT ecosystems is underway. In response, IT operations leaders are using artificial intelligence to help them do their work better, faster and cheaper. Gartner has coined a term for this fundamental shift. It’s known as Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations, or AIOps for short.

AIOps addresses the challenges of speed, scale and complexity that IT leaders are facing in the wake of digital transformation. Here are five specific factors that are driving forces behind AIOps.

Manual Infrastructure Management – Today’s IT environments are a mishmash of SaaS integrations, third party services, mobile, managed and unmanaged cloud and more. Traditional infrastructure management approaches, like manual tracking and oversight, are simply not adequate in these dynamic, ever-changing environments.  

Increase in Data Retention Requirements – The volume of events and alerts being generated through performance monitoring is growing at an exponential rate. Furthermore, the growing number of APIs, IOT devices, mobile applications and digital and/or machine users is driving service ticket volumes through the roof. This has made manual analysis and reporting far too complex and cumbersome.

Demand for Faster Response Time – The more enterprises digitize their business, the more quickly infrastructure problems must be addressed. User expectations have evolved thanks to the consumerization of technology, which is driving the demand for faster reactions to IT events (whether actual or perceived). This is compounded when the issue in question affects user experience.

More/Expanding Computing Power – Given how easy it has become to adopt cloud infrastructure and third party services has empowered individual lines of business (LOB) to develop their own IT applications and solutions. As a result, both budget and control have moved from the center of IT to the very edges of the network, driving the rollout of more computing power.

Influence and Power of Developers – In modern DevOps, programmers are taking more responsibility for monitoring at the application level, however, responsibility for the interaction between services, applications and infrastructure, as well as accountability for the overall health and function of the IT ecosystem still lies at the feet of core IT. As digital businesses are becoming more complex, IT Ops is taking on more responsibility.

Digital transformation is something organizations in every industry and across the entire globe are striving for. AIOps could very well hold the key to success. Power your AIOps with the right solution. Click here to download your free 30-day trial of Ayehu today.

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5 Ways to Adopt IT Automation Without Breaking the Bank

It’s been a long-held belief in the business world that IT automation projects are costly endeavors. The good news is they don’t have to be. In fact, with the right solution in place, you can easily streamline your IT operations to actually save your business money in the long run. Here are 5 ways that you can develop, implement and deploy IT automation projects for your organization in a way that is cost effective and efficient.

Choose the right tool for your needs. You may think this is easier said than done, but it’s not. The key is to apply the 80/20 rule – that is, beware of IT automation tools that you may only use 20% of the time, but that require 80% of your time to make them work. Instead, select an IT automation tool that allows you to focus on the specific pain points of your particular business, gain quick wins, and manage projects of any size. Finally, make sure the tool is scalable to be able grow as your business needs change.

Take a modular solution approach. Another cost effective way to manage IT automation for your organization is to break each project into individual modules, and then implement each of those modules as needed. This also makes the project more manageable and easier to monitor.

Use an IT automation platform that is easy to use and simple to operate. Tools that are complex and difficult to learn and adapt to mean an added expense for your business, both in terms of the time of deployment and the training it will take to bring staff up to speed with the new process. When evaluating IT process automation tools, make sure that you select one that will be easy to implement and simple enough for everyone on your team to learn and use.

Select a platform that offers pre-packaged workflow templates, integration packs and out-of-the-box functionality. Again, when it comes to running a successful business, time is money. If your IT personnel has to spend hours, days and weeks writing tedious scripts, then you’re losing money. IT automation should be about saving time and improving efficiency. When you can leverage already designed workflows and other standard pre-packaged features, you’ll be able to achieve this goal more effectively.

Prepare your team. The last step for managing an affordable IT automation project is to implement adequate training to your team and bringing the right people on board to manage the project effectively. Determine what skills are needed to get the job done correctly and in the most efficient manner possible, and then set about lining up the right people to handle the job.

It’s time we dispel the myth that IT automation has to be a huge expense, making it out of the reach of small to mid-size businesses. To the contrary, when you approach your IT automation projects from the right direction, with knowledge of what to look for in a platform, and you adequately plan and prepare the right personnel for the job, it can easily be managed within just about any budget. The end result, a savings across your entire organization, will be well worth it in the end.

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IT service management from a different perspective

To date, IT Service Management has consistently been viewed as simply part of the IT infrastructure library (ITIL) processes. However, with the looming shift of IT operations from fragmented services to a more end-to-end, service-driven approach, the concept of ITSM is poised to play an increasingly critical role in business operations. In order to successfully navigate this shift toward service, IT professionals must essentially rethink what this practice is really about and how it will serve their organizations going forward.

The Original Intention of IT Service Management

When it was first developed, IT Service Management was intended to bring a more unified approach to how IT technology services were integrated within the organization as a whole. Rather than managing individual components, ITSM focused on developing a collection of best practice processes (ITIL) and using these best practices to deliver end-to-end services. Organizations would conduct ITSM audits which analyzed things such as ROI, budget adherence, and the effectiveness of communication and identifying and evaluating risk. The purpose was to identify areas that needed improvement so that IT services could be better honed to benefit the entire organization.

What’s missing?

While ITSM is still a concrete practice, in order to be truly effective it must evolve along with the changes of IT as a whole. What’s missing from the original concept of ITSM is the end-user – the customer. Internal processes may have been improved significantly, but if these improvements don’t translate to the customer, it’s not a true victory.

How can IT professionals change their perspective of IT Service Management?

In order to get the most out of ITSM, people must begin to shift their view from strictly internal to also include external benefit. The easiest way to do this is to simply drop the “IT” from ITSM and replace it with automation. This essentially expands the benefit of ITSM from the internal operations of the enterprise to also improve the customer experience through the delivery of faster outcomes, higher quality service and at a much more attractive price. Internal processes are streamlined and made more efficient, while external service also improves. It’s a win-win.

If businesses are going to be successful in the future, they must leverage new and changing technology to truly deliver the unique and unparalleled experiences that their customers are seeking. Adjusting the concept of ITSM to incorporate intelligent automation into the mix will accomplish this goal, providing the competitive advantage needed to thrive in the coming years.

Experience how ITSM automation can be a game changer by downloading your free 30-day trial of Ayehu today.

5 Ways to level up your service desk using it process automation

How to Stay Relevant in the Changing World of ITSM

When it comes to continual improvement, the focus often lands on systems, processes, applications and policies. What it tends to neglect is the importance of keeping human skills up to date. The fact is, the world around us is changing and the skills and abilities that were once considered valuable are not at risk of becoming obsolete. Today’s ITSM professionals must be diligent about developing and honing the skills and knowledge that will be needed in the future. Here’s a bit of advice on how to do just that.

Technology has evolved over the years. Whereas in the past an IT tech may have required in-depth experience using an oscilloscope and soldering iron to diagnose and repair computer problems, today an entirely different set of trouble-shooting skills are needed. Those who continue to realize success in ITSM are the ones that recognize and adapt to the changes as they are occurring. If one were to try and make a living using an oscilloscope in this day and age, they simply wouldn’t be marketable.

This same concept applies to just about any skill that one has developed over the years. If you became versed in ITSM a decade ago, chances are you learned all about the importance of having well-planned and documented processes or that defining metrics and reporting them in SLAs was critical. These things aren’t necessarily obsolete (yet). It’s just that, they’re simply no longer enough. It seems that every day we’re uncovering newer and better ways to manage incidents, deal with problems and engage with customers.

To remain relevant and continue to deliver value as an ITSM specialist, there are three key areas you should be concentrating on, as follows.

Focus on Agile Principles

A shift has occurred between delivering software and/or service to delivering value. Agile service management, in simplest of terms, means working smarter and watching solutions evolve through strategic collaboration. These days, customers want instant gratification. Launching massive projects that take months or years before they produce value are no longer acceptable. Instead, ITSM professionals should take an agile approach – one which involves continuous experimentation, ongoing learning and rapid adaptation.  

In short, focus on the following:

  • Pinpoint what could be improved upon
  • Develop a hypothesis around what’s standing in the way of progress
  • Establish a plan for fail-safe experimentation
  • Experiment, measure results and proceed accordingly

Go Lean

If you’re unfamiliar, the concept of “Lean” focuses on creating and delivering maximum value to the customer while minimizing waste. In terms of ITSM, the most relevant facets of Lean include:

  • Identifying end-to-end value chains
  • Mapping out specific steps to ensure full understanding of the work
  • Eliminating waste in every area to create maximum value
  • Ensuring that every action is value-added

Emulate DevOps

Many individuals involved in ITSM are under the false impression that DevOps is solely about development. As such, they miss a tremendous opportunity to (you guessed it) create value for the customer. There are five key DevOps characteristics ITSM teams can mirror:

  • Culture
  • Intelligent Automation
  • Lean Policies
  • Continual Process Improvement
  • Collaboration

These qualities can just as easily be applied to IT service management as they are in development.

Closing Thoughts…

The previous approaches to ITSM aren’t necessarily wrong. We still need to deal with change, manage incidents and resolve problems. But it’s how we go about doing these things efficiently and effectively that has to evolve. There are many new approaches that, if adopted, can help ITSM professionals do their jobs better and create more value, both for their employers as well as their customers. Those who are willing to adapt their skillset accordingly will be the ones who win the opportunities of tomorrow.

And remember – having an agile tool in your corner can’t hurt either. Ayehu’s Next Generation Automation platform is designed to streamline ITSM while freeing up agents to focus on honing and applying their evolving skills most effectively. Now you can try it free for 30 days by clicking here.

ITSM Automation Explained

IT Service Management is the lifeblood of an organization. But if the people, processes and technology that are in place aren’t adequately optimized, the very function of ITSM simply cannot add value. Automation can pull all of this together and streamline operations for maximum efficiency and service levels. But what, exactly, is ITSM automation? More importantly, what can it do for your business? Let’s take a look.

There are several different levels of ITSM automation, each offering a certain degree of functionality. The most basic form of automation used in the context of IT service management is that of ticketing workflow. This involves automating the following tasks:

  • Opening tickets based on the service catalog
  • Updating ticket SLA based on priority
  • Setting ticket attributes based on category
  • Initiating ticketing status workflow

The next level of ITSM automation is capable of repeatedly opening tickets based on a particular schedule. For instance, the IT team can schedule weekly or monthly maintenance workflows for network equipment.

Beyond this is advanced ITSM automation, which is intelligent and intuitive and subsequently adds the most value. With this type of AI-powered automation, tickets can be moved from creation all the way through resolution without the need for any human intervention. A sample workflow using this type of automation might be as follows:

  • Monitoring software detects low disk space on a specific server
  • Monitoring software opens a ticket in the ITSM automation platform
  • The automation platform automatically assesses the ticket request and categorizes it accordingly
  • ITSM platform initiates the automated workflow for disk space remediation (i.e. deleting temp or large files that are no longer needed)
  • Upon completion of the designated workflow and a follow-up disk space analysis, the ITSM platform automatically updates the ticket and marks it as resolved

Of course, this is just one example of the myriad of tasks, workflows and processes that can be fully automated. Perhaps the most important takeaway here is that an advanced ITSM automation platform can dramatically streamline the way IT operates, shifting most or all of the system administration tasks from human to machine. And because the automated processes are recorded, management can review these events to determine if there are areas where further improvement can and should be made.

Not only does ITSM automation save the enterprise a significant amount of money in terms of operating costs, but it also frees up service desk agents to focus their efforts on more mission-critical tasks and projects, such as those pertaining to increasing customer satisfaction rates.

In seeing the functionality and benefits of ITSM automation, the question then becomes not if an organization should adopt this technology, but how soon can they do so.

Take our ITSM automation platform for a test drive today and experience it for yourself free for 30 days!

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The Secret to MSP Success…

Anyone familiar the role of a managed service provider understands all-too-well the pressure of finding a way to do more with less. It’s really all about efficiency and scalability. The more effective your performance, the more success you’ll achieve. The problem is, achieving this isn’t always easy, particularly when there are tight budgetary constraints involved, because for many organizations, hiring additional staff simply isn’t feasible. The solution? Intelligent automation, and leveraging it to win the race and position yourself firmly at the head of the pack.

Most MSPs agree that when it comes to intense competition and budgetary restrictions, the best and only solution is to invest in intelligent automation. In fact, this is even the case with enterprises that do not struggle with cash flow issues. Even those that can afford to hire additional staff, doing so will inevitably impact the bottom line. By taking a step back and allowing technology to do the heavy lifting, on the other hand, scalability is achieved without the added expenditure of increasing personnel.

Outsourcing or relocating operation centers to other areas of the world may provide a slight advantage in terms of overall cost, but it won’t necessarily level the economic playing field. The ultimate goal of every MSP is to successfully deliver as many quality services as possible while simultaneously utilizing the fewest resources…hence, doing more with less. Tapping into foreign markets and moving your IT department will not achieve this. Only automation will.

That said, it’s also critically important that key decision makers perform their due diligence when choosing an intelligent automation platform to employ. Those who have been most successful in this so-called “survival of the fittest” contest have provided some insight into what to consider during the selection process. Most importantly, keep the concept of scalability in mind. Make sure you choose a product that will be able to bridge the past with the future, integrating with legacy systems while also adapting with your changing business needs as they occur. Flexibility is key.

It’s also incredibly important that the automation platform you choose is robust but easy to implement and use. Remember, you’re going to be relying on this system to handle not just simple, repetitive tasks but also complex workflows that are critical to the success of your entire organization. Do your homework and make sure the product you ultimately select is comprehensive enough to handle anything and everything your business may need, not just today but in the future as well.

There’s no question that intelligent automation is fast becoming the central part of many successful MSP operations, and only those organizations that embrace and act on this will continue to remain competitive. Don’t get left behind! Get on track to a profitable future by investing in AI-powered automation.

Get started today by launching your free 30 day trial of Ayehu. 

Intelligent ITSM Automation – Your Secret Formula for Success

One of the more surprising trends in recent history has been the implementation of IT Service Management (ITSM) in areas that are outside of the IT realm, such as facilities management and human resources. Similar to IT, these functions can derive significant business value from standardizing, automating and streamlining workflows and processes. Furthermore, by cutting costs and skyrocketing efficiency, intelligent ITSM automation can help all lines of business roll out newer and better capabilities for the benefit of the entire organization.

Widespread Benefits of Intelligent ITSM Automation

According to a recent survey by PMG, nearly three quarters of the 300 respondents listed self-service automation as beneficial to the entire organization. 68 percent agreed that automation can help lower the costs of IT operations. 82 percent acknowledged that automation has fundamentally changed the way cloud and virtual environments are managed while 65 percent credit automated technology as instrumental in integrating and managing Big Data.

Nearly all survey respondents, however, (98 percent) agreed that automation already provides clear and measurable business benefits, including:

  • Enhanced customer satisfaction
  • Increased productivity and subsequent gains
  • Better knowledge sharing
  • New product delivery
  • Data-driven decision-making

It’s no surprise, then, that intelligent ITSM automation is now being leveraged to streamline manual processes across entire organizations, including IT help desks, HR departments, customer contact centers and more. Extending automation outside IT departments into other business units within the company is becoming much more commonplace.

Aligning Intelligent ITSM Automation with Business Goals

Of course, in order for intelligent ITSM automation to truly generate measurable benefits across the enterprise, it must be aligned as closely as possible with broader organizational goals. This isn’t a significant challenge, however, thanks to ITSM’s ability to facilitate better communication throughout the company. By eliminating miscommunication, businesses achieve greater efficiencies. When IT becomes less of an island and more a part of overall business operations, everyone benefits because they’re all on the same page.

Obstacles to Intelligent ITSM Automation

While the majority of business leaders agree on the many benefits intelligent ITSM automation has to offer, there are still certain key challenges that exist and must be overcome. One of the biggest obstacles is the lack of a holistic approach to automation, which results in silos that are not integrated and therefore are not being leveraged to their fullest potential. In some instances, separate automated processes actually work against rather than with one another, slowing down progress and creating, rather than eliminating inefficiency.

One of the contributors to these silos of automation is different departments that deploy automation individually, without the IT team’s knowledge and assistance. Other respondents to the survey cited business leaders who create their own automated solutions using incorrect tools or non-standard processes. Clearly these issues must be addressed and overcome if intelligent ITSM automation is to become truly beneficial. Ideally, the IT department should take the lead on developing and implementing an interdepartmental, enterprise-wide strategy for automation.

The first step? Choosing the right platform. See AI-powered, intelligent ITSM automation in action today by requesting a product demo. Or experience it for yourself with a free 30-day trial.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

7 Key Business Benefits of Intelligent Automation

Intelligent automation is being adopted and implemented in businesses of every industry. Still, there are some decision makers who are on the fence about whether it’s worth the investment. If you are among those who aren’t 100% certain, let’s take a look at a few of the quantifiable benefits AI-powered automation can provide to your organization.

Cost Savings

One of the biggest advantages of intelligent automation is the immediate and significant reduction in expenditure it can deliver. When work is automated, not only is it completed faster, but it also can be performed round-the-clock at a much lower rate. So, you get greater output for less, which results in a better bottom line.

Quality, Accurate Work

Let’s face it. Even the most careful human can and will make an occasional mistake. Multiply those errors by the number of people you have performing routine tasks for your company, and you could be looking at a pretty costly problem. With artificial intelligence, the work is performed error-free. Better quality means higher satisfaction rates, which – again – is good for your company’s profitability.

Enhanced Cycle Time

How long does it take a human worker to perform a given task such as completing a web form? Even if it’s mere minutes, an intelligent robot could shave that time down to just a few seconds. Over time and multiplied by dozens of tasks and several staff members, this savings really begins to add up.

Employee Empowerment

Intelligent automation does not require any special technical skills. That’s why it’s an ideal application for the end-user. The ability to deploy robots to perform certain tasks without having to enlist the help of someone from IT empowers the end-user to get their jobs done more efficiently and effectively. Meanwhile, it frees up IT to focus on more important tasks and projects.

Simplicity and Flexibility

Automating tasks and workflows through Ayehu’s AI-powered automation does not require coding or script-writing. That means even complex processes can be transferred from human to machine with little effort. The faster these tasks and workflows can be automated, the sooner your organization will begin reaping the benefits. In other words, intelligent automation delivers quick returns.

Better Control

Many companies choose to outsource so-called busy work to external parties. This, of course, comes with inherent risk. Intelligent automation can provide a better solution and since the work remains in-house, the business maintains maximum possession, control and visibility.

Insights and Analytics

Learning from the past can help your business leaders make better decisions for the future. Machine learning algorithms offer the ability to gather, organize, track, analyze, report on and store valuable data. That information can then be utilized to improve on current operations, address and correct issues in a timelier manner, accurately forecast and develop best practices.

Still not convinced that intelligent automation is a beneficial solution for your business needs? Why not try it for yourself? Click here to start your free trial of Ayehu NG today.  

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Attn: MSPs – Want to Maximize Efficiency and Gain Competitive Advantage? Here’s how.

In years past, businesses had little choice when it came to managing their own internal IT operations. For many, the only feasible option was outsourcing. Today, with so many advancements in technology, the concept of outsourcing has shifted and more companies are bringing these services in-house. So, how can Managed Service Providers compete and stay profitable? The answer is simple. MSPs must find a way to maximize efficiency while delivering the highest value proposition to their customers. And here’s how.

Do More with Less

The first step in staying successful as an MSP is finding a way to get the most out of your employees while also keeping expenditure down. While hiring more staff may seem like the logical solution to staying on top of tasks and delivering exceptional client service, doing so would be too cost prohibitive for most firms – especially in today’s highly competitive landscape.

As an alternative, MSPs can turn to technology and leverage the various tools available to them to help boost productivity without the need to bring on additional employees. Intelligent automation, for example, an excellent solution to this dilemma, as it can eliminat many of the day to day tasks from your team’s to-do list. Not only will this allow you to keep staffing lean, but it also frees up those who would normally handle those repetitive workflows to focus on other, more meaningful business initiatives.

By automating activities such as incident management, the program itself can handle much of the process without the need for human intervention. This improves response time and efficiency levels, which ultimately enhances SLA to the clients.

Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse

One of the reasons the managed service provider industry is considered so risky is because tech advancements, such as cloud hosting, have made managing operations in-house easier and more affordable. To counteract this, MSPs must make what they have to offer too valuable to refuse. Beyond just taking on the task of handling IT operations for a company in real-time, these firms must remain one step ahead. This means taking a proactive approach and identifying and addressing issues even before they occur.

The best tool for this task is again automation. By leveraging a robust intelligent automation product, preferably one that can be integrated with other existing systems. That way, things like alert management can be streamlined to maximum efficiency. This reduces human error and allows problems to be corrected at a much faster rate. When you can effectively demonstrate to a company that is considering hosting IT in-house that your services are much more valuable, you’ll win the battle for survival.

Ayehu for MSPs

To stay afloat in an increasingly volatile, cut-throat environment and disprove the impending “outsourcing is dead” theory, MSPs must continue to adapt. Performance will need to be at its highest with cost at its lowest. The only logical solution to this is intelligent automation. This will provide the edge you need to remain ahead of the pack in the months and years to come.

Are you an Managed Service Provider that is feeling the pressure to perform better? Are you ready to experience what the right automation platform can do for your business? Download your free 30-day trial of Ayehu today!
eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

How to Build an AI Team

Once viewed as a technology of the distant future, AI is quickly becoming an integral component of many an IT/business strategy. The rapid advancement of data science and machine learning technology, combined with the accessibility and affordability of artificial intelligence platforms in the cloud, are enabling companies in every industry to uncover new ways to extract business value from data. But in order to fully capitalize on AI, an organization must first assemble a strong team. Let’s take a look at three steps for creating such a team in your business.

Learn what successful AI looks like.

When establishing a department dedicated to AI, it’s important to recognize that successful artificial intelligence initiatives require a variety of different roles and skillsets. If you are focused solely on one role – data scientist for example – you will almost assuredly come up short. Instead, take a more well-rounded approach paying particular attention to three distinct areas: a person (or people) who can generate data, a person (or people) who can interpret that data, and a person (or people) who can make judgments about that data.

Recruit/train (and retain) top talent.

It’s no secret that skilled AI professionals are in high demand. In order to develop a good AI team, recruitment and retention are key. The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to look outside of your company to do so. In fact, developing AI talent from internal staff can be just as, if not more effective – particularly given the talent shortage. Investing in training and upskilling can produce a higher return on your investment than external recruiting.

And remember, it’s not just about assembling a team. You also need to focus on keeping turnover at bay. Offering things like professional development and autonomy can make long-term employment with you more attractive.

Tap freelancers.

What if your company simply isn’t prepared or doesn’t have the budget to hire a Ph.D. in computer science? What if your existing staff is too small, doesn’t have the potential or lacks the bandwidth to recruit internally? There are still other ways to get started with AI. Some organizations have had tremendous success hiring artificial intelligence specialists via online talent marketplaces, like Upwork. By eliminating the need to hire in-house, and all the ancillary expenses that come with such an arrangement, you can tap into global AI talent at an affordable price.

With Gartner forecasting that 85% of CIOs will be piloting AI projects by the year 2020, it’s abundantly clear that artificial intelligence is the way of the future. Having a team of skilled individuals dedicated to your AI initiatives can help you maximize the long-term benefits and give your organization the competitive advantage it needs to thrive in the digital era.

Ready to get started with AI but not sure how? For a limited time, we’re offering a free trial of Ayehu’s Next Generation Intelligent Automation platform. Use the full product for 30 days and don’t pay a penny. Get yours before it’s too late!

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