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, ITSM automation can help all lines of business roll out newer and better capabilities for the benefit of the entire organization.
Widespread Benefits of 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
It’s no surprise, then, that 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 ITSM Automation with Business Goals
Of course, in order for 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 gain greater efficiencies. When IT becomes less of a silo and more a part of overall business operations, everyone benefits because they’re all on the same page.
Obstacles to ITSM Automation
While the majority of business leaders agree on the many benefits 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 more inefficiency than they’re supposed to eliminate.
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 ITSM automation is to become truly beneficial. Ideally, the IT department should take the lead on developing and implementing an interdepartmental strategy for automation.