IT Process Automation (ITPA) is far from a new concept. In fact, it’s something that is becoming more and more widely embraced across just about every industry. Yet, there are still many who are in the position of decision maker that still aren’t convinced of the value that automation can bring to their organizations.
Among the most common objections given for why NOT to embrace automation are:
- Learning Curve
- Integration with Legacy Systems
Let’s take a look at each of these objections in greater detail, and examine how each can be overcome with the right IT process automation tool.
The first concern that many IT professionals and other “powers that be” have about introducing automation is cost. This is especially true for smaller enterprises that may be working with much leaner budgets. While there’s certainly no doubt that implementing an IT process automation tool will incur some expense, it doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. For instance, a lightweight solution can be highly effective yet affordable enough to suit any budget. What’s more, the overall cost savings realized from automation will balance out the up-front expense over time.
Next is the concern of the complexity of IT process automation. People in just about every industry have heard of and are showing more and more interest in automation. That is, until they hear horror stories about how complicated the process is. Truth be told, there are certainly complex systems and products on the market today that bring with them steep learning curves, making them difficult to implement and more challenging to manage.
The good news is that not all automation products are this arduous.
In fact, some products allow you to still automate both simple and complex workflows and processes, yet can be installed and deployed in mere minutes. This type of IT automation product is designed to be user-friendly, making initial training and ongoing management a breeze. What’s more, there’s no need for users to possess extensive knowledge of things like script writing. It’s ‘plug and play’ at its very best.
Another commonly cited reason for resisting automation is the concern over how it will integrate with existing systems. Nobody wants to go through an entire overhaul and replacement of legacy systems. That could take a tremendous amount of time and cost a pretty penny. What these naysayers don’t realize is that a quality automation product can integrate seamlessly with legacy systems. There’s no need to replace. Simply restructure and realign to enhance performance and efficiency.
Finally, although perhaps of biggest concern, is the fear that automation will replace the human workforce. Some IT professionals still view automation as some sort of enemy with whom they must compete to protect their job security. To the contrary, automation isn’t meant to eliminate humans, but rather to provide a tool that will improve their lives considerably. Why? Because automation removes all of the menial, repetitive tasks that would otherwise be bogging down IT professionals, freeing them to focus on other, more important business matters. It also allows IT personnel to further improve their own skills and hone their expertise, making them much more marketable.
To further drive home these points, let’s take a look at a real life scenario in which automation was leveraged – albeit with a bit of hesitation – but was quickly discovered to be of tremendous value to the IT department and the organization as a whole.
One large insurance company has been slowly but surely automating key IT processes using Ayehu eyeShare IT process automation. The IT Director, who is responsible for managing the project, began by using the automation process to manage alerts generated by their existing monitoring tool. The goal was to take level one staff out of the loop by at least 80%.
Before automation came into play, an alert would go to the Network Operations Center (NOC) rep at all hours of the day or night. The NOC person would then spend about 15-30 minutes troubleshooting and calling people – sometimes in the middle of the night – before finally being able to restart the web service. Today, that process has been automated. Now, the alert is detected, an action is performed and the problem is resolved – all without ever having to wake anyone up.
Automation has helped this insurance company by saving time, money and resources and managing system issues in a much more efficient way.
Implementation was quick and easy, with very little training time necessary. Most importantly, automation didn’t replace the NOC personnel, but rather made their jobs much easier (and allowed them to get more rest in the process).
Wherever you stand on the topic of IT process automation, the fact is it is fast becoming the way of the future. If you’re still resisting, you may find yourself on the wrong side of the battle. By taking the time to examine the common objections and learning how the right automation tool can help overcome these objections once and for all, you’ll be well on your way to riding the wave of success into the future.