The summer may be winding down, but before we know it the holiday season will once again be upon us and if you weren’t able to enjoy a vacation over the past few months, chances are you’re hoping to take some time off in the coming months. For those in IT, this is often easier said than done. In fact, in 2015, 55% of Americans finished the year with unused vacation time for a total of 658 million unused vacation days. Given the nature of our industry, we’re willing to bet that a good portion of those were IT professionals. But as we all know, time off is important to our health and wellbeing. So, what’s the solution? The good news is, it may be easier than you think…
For CTOs, CSOs and CISOs, the risk of burnout is extremely high, but it doesn’t stop there. The majority of IT departments across the world struggle with an increasing workload and a growing staff shortage, which leads to teams being overworked and underappreciated. As a result, turnover is higher, which further exacerbates the problem. Staff numbers go down but the workload doesn’t, which means remaining IT technicians have to pick up the slack. It’s hard to squeeze in a lunch break, let alone a week off.
Hiring more people isn’t usually an option, partly due to budgetary restraints, but also because the industry itself has been virtually tapped out. This is especially the case for those in the IT security realm, where advanced persistent threats (APTs) are making it next to impossible to keep up and the number of skilled candidates entering the workforce is no match for the volume and complexity of attacks. How can IT possibly step away from the helm when the organization is at such great risk?
The answer is simple: IT automation. Rather than being in the position to constantly fight fires, technology can handle the heavy lifting – particularly when it comes to cyber security incident response. With the right automated tool, threats can be managed electronically, dramatically reducing the amount of risk to the company and subsequently alleviating much of the pressure from the IT department. Not only will this make it possible for team members to take much-needed breaks, but the organization will remain safer at the same time.
Beyond the security aspect, IT process automation can be used to shift almost all routine tasks and workflows that are bogging IT down on a daily basis from human to machine. Those talented individuals can then focus their skills and abilities on more important business matters. As an organization, this better allocation of resources can result in greater innovation, enhanced efficiency and productivity, improved service levels and cost savings. Furthermore, self-service automation can transfer ownership of a great number of IT issues back to the end user, empowering them while also alleviating the IT team.
For those currently slaving away in the IT department, putting out fires and chasing their tails, day after day, automation can be the light at the end of the tunnel. Even top management can feel comfortable stepping away and enjoying time off without having to worry about how the workload is being managed. Additionally, today’s technology enables remote communications and control via SMS, email, IM or telephone, so even those situations that require escalation or leadership approval can be handled from anywhere. In other words, IT decision makers are no longer chained to their desks.
Are you desperate for a vacation but feel like your IT workload or security risk levels won’t allow it? The right tool can make everyone’s life easier, facilitate much-needed time off to avoid burnout and also improve overall safety and operations at the same time.