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Thinking of automating? Start with these 5 things.

Thinking of automating? Start with these 5 things.IT process automation is certainly nothing new. In fact, organizations of every shape, size and industry have been leveraging this powerful and cost-effective tool to boost productivity and service levels and to create leaner, more efficient operations. The one issue that many who are new to the automation realm tend to struggle with, however, is determining where to begin. If you’re in the process of adopting ITPA for your company, here are five high-value tasks you might want to focus on first.

Password Resets – They are a necessary evil, otherwise your entire operations could come crashing to a screeching halt. But password resets are also a huge drain on time and valuable resources which could, again, be focused on more important issues. This is why password resets are one of the first tasks most organizations that are new to automation choose as their starting point. You’ll probably be amazed at how much of an impact something so simple can make.

System Monitoring and Diagnostics – How much time does your help desk personnel spend monitoring systems and working to diagnose the cause of issues that crop up on a regular basis? Now, imagine if most or all of that effort could be shifted over to IT process automation. Not only would the work be done faster and without the risk of error, but it will also free up skilled employees to focus on more business-critical tasks.

Incident Management – When it comes to handling incidents, the more proactive your IT group is, the better. But they’re human, which means they can’t be in all places at all times, leaving plenty of room for costly problems to take root. By automating the incident management process, issues can be identified and addressed automatically, before they have the opportunity to cause major damage. Imagine the time and money you’ll save by not having to put out fires after the fact.

Free Up Disk Space – Low disk space is something most busy IT professionals dread. In fact the entire process of monitoring and making room for more space is horribly cumbersome, yet completely necessary. IT process automation, however, provides the ability to monitor multiple servers, automatically deleting files when necessary as well as archive, copy and move files to other locations as needed. Again, this is a huge savings of time and money for your organization.

Active Directory Management – The larger the business, the greater the impact employee turnover can have on the IT department. Waiting for the help desk to set up a new employee within the company’s internal systems can also significantly impact productivity on both sides, as can having to remove access as needed. Shifting these tasks and workflows over to IT process automation, on the other hand, speeds up the process and makes everyone’s lives easier.

While automation is certainly not a new concept, many organizations are still just beginning to dip their toe into the waters. As such, getting started can seem downright overwhelming. For situations such as this, we recommend starting with the five things listed above. They may not be the simplest, neatest or prettiest of tasks, but given their overall impact on staffing and productivity levels, doing so will provide the most significant, measurable results.

Ready to get your own feet wet with IT process automation but still unsure where to begin? Download your free copy of the 10 most commonly automated processes below and then request a product demo to see ITPA in action.

 

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Implementing IT Process Automation

5 Misktakes to Avoid When Implementing IT Process AutomationLaunching an IT process automation project isn’t something that should be taken lightly. As with anything else in IT, in order for the process itself to go smoothly – from start to finish – you must plan carefully. More importantly, you must know what common mistakes are often made that can slow down or even completely derail the plan so that you can avoid making those same errors with your own project. Here are five of those common mistakes to be mindful of.

Choosing the wrong platform.

First and foremost, you cannot expect to complete a project in IT without the right tools and technology at your disposal. That being said, not all IT process automation platforms are created equal. Some are entirely too complex, difficult to use and lack critical intuitiveness. Others are simply too broad, encompassing too many tasks and workflows at once. What you need is an IT automation and orchestration platform that is easy to implement, simple to learn, can be integrated with existing systems and is inherently intuitive (ideally driven by AI capability). You should also look for a product that is scalable, allowing you to start out by automating one or two workflows and then work your way up.

Starting with the wrong processes.

When first rolling out IT process automation, the best tactic to take is to start small and then gradually work your way up. Many IT professionals make the mistake of beginning their automation project with a workflow that is extremely complex or which covers too wide of a scope. The basics of ITPA involve automating basic, manual repetitive daily tasks – at least in the beginning. Start with these, and once you’re comfortable with the platform you’re using, move on to more comprehensive processes.

Approaching solely from a technology standpoint.

It may seem like an oxymoron to list this as a mistake, but believe it or not, the best way to approach an automation project is not from a point of technology, but from a point of problem solving. You should first have a clear picture of what pain points you want IT process automation to address, and in what order, and then view the automation as a means to that end. When you do so, you focus on the more important end result and how to reach it, rather than getting caught up in the technology behind it.

Not looking at the big picture.

While it’s true that automation is highly effective in taking routine tasks of one small department and automating them to improve efficiency, what many fail to consider is that these tools can do so much more. In fact, the ultimate goal of ITPA is to become a bridge that connects all departments and ties together the entire infrastructure of an organization. Focusing on just one area can limit the virtually endless potential that IT process automation has to offer.

Failing to recognize and measure the value of automation.

As with anything else in business, measuring the success of your ITPA strategy and extracting its value is critical, yet it’s something that is overlooked far too often. In order to truly get the most out of your automation project, you must understand how to calculate your return on investment. This will help you uncover areas that could use some adjustments and identify which workflows and processes have been successfully automated. (Not sure how to do this? Don’t worry. We’ve already done the work for you in our free eBook.)

The key to success in any business project is planning ahead, and part of that planning involves recognizing the common mistakes made by others so that you can hopefully avoid doing the same. If you’re not careful, these five routine errors can slow down and even bring your ITPA process to a grinding halt. By choosing the right tool, starting small, focusing on the big picture and properly measuring your progress, you’ll be well on your way to successful ITPA implementation.

For more tips and tricks on launching a successful IT process automation project, download your free copy of the ITPA Survival Guide below or click here to request a free product demo today.

EBOOK: HOW TO MEASURE IT PROCESS AUTOMATION RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)

Implementing IT Automation: What to Automate and When

Implementing IT Automation: What to Automate and WhenThe role of IT manager has evolved once again. Rather than having to handle everything themselves, these skilled leaders are seeking out ways to leverage resources (both human and machine) to do the nitty gritty so they can focus more on planning and strategic business projects. It’s not practical to dole out high salaries for personnel to perform time-consuming, repetitive and menial tasks, such as password resets, patches, system restarts and the like. This is where IT automation comes into play. But what to automate….and when? Believe it or not, this can be quite challenging.

The logical way to approach things might be to inventory the organization’s most common problems, whether it’s bandwidth issues, poor CPU utilization or any other issue that’s resulting in a negative user experience and a waste of valuable resources. But focusing on automation of these tasks may not actually address the underlying problem.

To leverage IT automation to its fullest potential, you should first focus on getting to the root cause of your organization’s issues, not just the overlying outcome. For instance, one common root cause might be capacity. To resolve this issue, you must analyze the biggest drains on bandwidth over a specified time period. From there, you must determine the optimal bandwidth to allocate to each traffic segment. Only when you uncover the true issue at hand can you use automation to truly resolve it.

Some may ask, why not just automate everything? Wouldn’t that help to cover all my bases? This may sound logical, but again, it’s not. If a certain task only occurs a handful of times a year, for example, and the manual effort involved in completing it is minimal, the cost of automating it might simply not be worth it. An adequate cost-value assessment is recommended.

The best approach to implementing IT automation is to prioritize the areas where technology can help reduce significant amounts of manual labor, reduce errors, improve service levels and simplify complex tasks. When these areas can be shifted from human to machine, the cost to do so is well worth it, particularly when you consider the cost of paying senior engineers to perform such tasks on a regular basis.

To simplify this, prioritize your manual tasks and workflows into the following three categories:

  1. Too Complex – These are complicated, multi-step processes which involve more than one system and subsystem to complete. These are ideal processes for IT automation because of their complexity. Not only will automating save tremendous time and effort, but it also eliminates the risk of human error.
  2. Too Tedious – These processes aren’t necessarily complex, but they take a long time to complete. For instance, setting up system access for new employees and other onboarding activities. For a larger organization, this task can really begin to bog down the IT department. Rather than having skilled agents wasting valuable time on these manual tasks, automating the entire process makes sense.
  3. Neither of the Above – If a task or workflow does not fit into either of the above categories, it probably doesn’t need to be automated (at least not yet).

These days, there are many great reasons to consider adopting IT automation. And with the right strategy, the return on your investment can be significant. By focusing on the above approach, you’ll be able to streamline operations, strike the ideal balance between human and machine, and truly get the most out of automation technology.

Experience for yourself the power of IT automation! Request a live demo of Ayehu Next Generation today!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Want to Keep Your Organization Safe from Insider Threats? Watch Your C-Suite…

Want to Keep Your Organization Safe from Insider Threats? Watch Your C-Suite…These days, security professionals must be highly vigilant against the many threats that place their organizations at risk on a daily basis. And while hackers certainly show up high on the list, the truth of the matter is, it’s the people who work within your company that pose the greatest risk to data security. That’s why things like spear phishing have become such a successful method of entry. In fact, 80 percent of companies say that “end user carelessness” is the biggest security threat to their organization.

But the ones that are making your company most vulnerable to potential breaches aren’t poorly trained entry-level employees. It’s your senior level managers. Surprised? Many are. Yet, if you think about it, these individuals have access to information that is much more sensitive than that of the everyday employee. So, it stands to reason that the chance of an error resulting in a breach is naturally higher for this group.

And the numbers seem to support this theory. 58 percent of senior managers have accidentally sent sensitive information to the wrong person (compared to just 25 percent of workers overall). 51 percent have taken files with them after leaving a job – twice as many as office workers in general.

What are the biggest security risks these insiders pose? Most tend to fall within one or more of the following:

  • Reusing or sharing passwords with others
  • Leaving computers unattended outside of the workplace
  • Failing to delete data from computers once it’s no longer necessary
  • Carrying unnecessary sensitive data on a device (laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.) while traveling
  • Using unsecured personal devices to process sensitive information
  • Failing to encrypt information when transmitting

So, what’s the solution? Well, the best approach should be multifaceted. Here’s a list of recommended actions:

  • Develop and establish a written security policy
  • Communicate that policy openly and regularly to ensure awareness across all levels of the company
  • Ensure appropriate access restriction to sensitive data (virtual and physical)
  • Conduct regular training to increase security awareness about what is and isn’t acceptable (start from the top!)

Last, but certainly not least, you should invest in available technology. This includes monitoring systems, alerting programs and automated cybersecurity incident response. These things will ensure that should an employee still make an error, it will be detected, addressed and remediated as quickly as possible.

Could your senior managers be placing your organization at risk? The time to act is now – before it’s too late! Start working on your strategy and download your free 30 day trial of Ayehu automation and orchestration platform.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

The Secret to Overcoming Employees’ Fear of Automation

The Secret to Overcoming Employees’ Fear of AutomationThere are lots of reasons an organization may struggle with the decision to automate. For instance, there’s the financial investment and, of course, the time and resources it will take to integrate and roll out the new platform. But perhaps the biggest hurdle many companies face when it comes to successfully adopting automation is the resistance they get from employees.

Whether they’re just uncomfortable with change or they’re worried that the technology will make their jobs redundant, without buy-in across the board, your automation implementation project will be much more difficult than it has to be. Thankfully with the right approach and some strategic planning, this fear of automation can be overcome.

What’s the secret? One word: communication.

The reality is, people fear what they don’t understand. The mistake many organizations make when implementing automation is to leave employees out of the loop. Not only does this lack of communication breed fear of the unknown, but it also allows legitimate questions to go unanswered and irrational concerns to go unaddressed.

Instead, part of the planning process that happens well in advance of the new technology being implemented should include a strategy for letting employees know what’s happening, why and – most importantly – how it will actually benefit them (as opposed to ruin their lives and career.)

Some important factors to keep in mind:

  • Buy-in starts from the top and trickles down, so make sure executives and managers are on-board, positive and openly supportive of the new automation platform.
  • Keep the lines of communication open in both directions. Encourage employees to voice their concerns and ask questions and respond honestly.
  • Whenever possible, include end-users in decisions, even if it’s through polls and surveys. When people feel heard and empowered, they’re more likely to view change in a positive light.
  • Don’t just tell them the features of automation, but demonstrate how those features will benefit them. For instance, instead of saying automation will improve efficiency, show them that they will no longer have to be tied down by those boring manual tasks anymore.
  • Have a plan in place for those whose roles will be changing. In some instances, automation will inevitably result in significant changes to particular roles held by humans. If possible, offering options like upskilling, further training and other career path opportunities can ease this transition and make it a more positive one.

Of course, in order to achieve this level of open, honest and positive communication, organizational leaders must themselves have a clear understanding of what automation is and how it will impact the day to day lives of their employees. Designating a Chief Automation Officer (CAO) to spearhead training, planning and communication can be highly beneficial, both with the initial roll out as well as the ongoing utilization of the technology as it continues to evolve and improve in the future.

Want to experience automation in action? Now you can with our free 30 day trial of the Ayehu platform. Click here to download your copy today!

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

MSPs, What’s Holding You Back? Overcoming Common Barriers to Growth to Scale and Succeed

http://www.msptoday.com/topics/from-the-experts/articles/430971-msps-whats-holding-back-overcoming-common-barriers-growth.htm

Article originally published as a guest post on MSP Today.

Moving up the stack from basic IT support to a full-fledged MSP isn’t necessarily an easy transition. There will inevitably be a number of obstacles to overcome along the way. Thankfully, many have gone before and essentially paved the way for newer players to enter the field. Learning in advance what challenges you can expect and the best way to meet those challenges head on will help you avoid potential pitfalls that might otherwise become a barrier to growth. Let’s take a closer look at the three most common issues today’s MSPs struggle with.

Fear of Change

Let’s face it. Making a major change to your business model is scary. What if things don’t work out? Will you be able to recover? The reality is, however, that success requires a certain degree of risk. If your team is feeling particularly leery of making the shift to MSP and/or pursuing aggressive growth initiatives, the key will be communication. Be open, honest and transparent. Acknowledge the uncertainty many of your staff members are experiencing and take the time to address those concerns and put them to rest.

Additionally, there may also be an underlying fear that switching to managed services will result in the loss of business. Chances are very good that this will, indeed happen, as not everyone is suited for an MSP level of support. Understand, however, that while you may very well end up saying goodbye to a small portion of your customers, over time you will gain others to replace them. It’s just part of the shift.

Lack of Differentiation

Without question, the MSP field is highly saturated. The organizations that thrive are those that have found a way to stand out from the competition. This is especially critical for those just entering the marketplace. If potential clients can get the same service from an established player that they already know and trust, why would they take a chance on you? It’s up to you to convince them otherwise.

To do so, you must identify what new and better services your company can offer. For instance, if your prospects are seeking growth themselves, focus on services that help maximize efficiency and empower them to achieve those goals. If you’re unsure of what angle to take, tap into your sales team to find out what they’re hearing in the field. Or, better yet – ask your clients and prospects directly.

Underpricing

Finally, there is the challenge of how to appropriately price your services. In fact, making a switch from fixed price to a more profitable pricing model can be a difficult transition. This is often compounded by a mere lack of full understanding and a subsequent underestimation of the true value of the services you will now be providing.

At the end of the day, you want your customers to pay you what you’re worth. If you are undervaluing your services, chances are you are also underpricing yourself, which means you will not be able to achieve sustainable growth. Be honest and do your homework. Figure out what you are worth and what you will need to make in order to bring your business to the next level and then implement the necessary changes to make it happen.

Now that you’ve got a clearer picture of what may be standing in your way, it’s time to get to work turning things around. Here are a few helpful pointers, to overcome these common issues:

  • Evaluate your current business plan and strategy, as well as team member skills and abilities.
  • Utilize technology and tools, like automation, to make service delivery much more efficient.
  • Build technical credibility through key certifications and specializations.
  • Understand your pricing model to ensure that it properly supports your level of service.
  • Keep in close contact with customers to recognize and capitalize on trends and opportunities.

Making the transition from basic IT support to full-fledged managed services may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, with a well thought out plan backed by a confident team and advanced technology, you will be well positioned to compete in today’s fast growing market.

How to Create an Effective Information Security Policy

How to Create an Effective Information Security Policy

The cornerstone of any good cybersecurity strategy is a formal policy with the purpose of protecting sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. It should, at the very least, reflect the overall security objectives of the organization as well as include details on the agreed-upon strategy for managing and securing company information.

Beyond this, however, figuring out what other material should be included in a policy of such high importance can be challenging. To clarify, we’ve narrowed down some of the basics of a strong, effective infosec policy.

 

Scope – List and address any and all information covered, including systems, programs, networks, data, facilities and all users within the organization.

Info Classification – Definitions that are as specific as possible. Avoid blanket terms like “restricted” or “confidential” unless they are used as part of detailed statements.

Goals – Define the objectives for secure information handling for each info classification category (i.e. regulatory, contractual, legal, etc.) Ex.: “prevent asset loss,” or “customer privacy prohibits access to customer data for anyone except authorized representatives and only for the purpose of customer communication.”

Context – Defines policy placement within the context of other managerial directives, along with supplemental documentation (i.e. “agreed upon by all parties at executive level” or “all additional information handling must be consistent with…”)

Supporting Documentation – Incorporate any relevant references to supporting documents, specifically as they apply to cybersecurity processes, roles and responsibilities, technology standards, guidelines and procedures.

Instructions – Delve into specific instructions related to already established company-wide security mandates (i.e. network/system access requires identity authentication and verification; sharing of individual authentication method is strictly prohibited; etc.)

Responsibilities – Document specific designation of established roles and responsibilities within the organization as they relate to information security (i.e. the IT department is the sole provider of telecom lines, etc.)

Consequences – Outline specific consequences for non-compliance (i.e. “up to and including termination”)

Of course, this policy is meant to be the foundation of your organizational cybersecurity strategy. Once in place, it should be supported and bolstered by implementing the right team, tools and technology. For instance, companies should ensure that IT personnel are well-versed and kept up-to-date on appropriate security measures and arm them with the tools they need, like automation, to help them do their jobs more effectively.

Don’t have the right tools and technology in place yet? The time to hunker down is now. Start your free trial of eyeShare today and make your information security strategy as strong as possible.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

Improve Help Desk Functionality & Boost User Satisfaction with IT Automation

Improve Help Desk Functionality & Boost User Satisfaction with IT AutomationWithout question, technology has become the foundation of business operations across every industry. As a result, help desk functionality is becoming increasingly critical. Help desks provide end users with a direct point of contact through which they can receive support for any and all IT issues they experience. The goal of any help desk operation is to provide fast, efficient first call resolution to reduce down time, thereby improving service levels. Adding IT automation can help facilitate this goal to not only meet, but exceed customer expectations at every turn.

To be most effective, today’s help desk operations must adhere to the following best practices:

  • Provide a single point of contact to report all IT incidents
  • Staff help desk with skilled, knowledgeable support personnel
  • Efficiently track all incoming notifications
  • Implement appropriate escalation procedures
  • Deliver fast and accurate problem resolution

So, what’s the best way to consistently achieve all of these best practices? The most successful help desk operations leverage advanced technology to handle incoming incidents, both reactively – by more effectively managing incoming notifications, and, in ideal cases, proactively – addressing potential problems before they have a chance to develop in the first place. IT automation provides this added level of efficiency and helps to improve the satisfaction levels of both the end user as well as the help desk agents.

IT automation can enhance help desk operations in a variety of ways, including:

  • Real-time, end-to-end incident management
  • Seamless notification and escalation process
  • Improved accountability and ownership
  • Remote incident management
  • Ability to incorporate automated response with human decision making
  • Self-service options for improved end-user experience
  • In-depth reporting to measure incident resolution performance and mean-time-to-repair (MTTR)

IT automation can also improve the internal functionality of a help desk operation. Typically, this department is comprised of personnel at differing levels of skill and expertise. Each level has different responsibilities and expectations. For instance, level 1 support personnel are typically the first point of contact for incoming incidents and may have the authority to provide support for more basic requests, such as password resets and system restarts.

Should the first level support team be unable to resolve the issue at hand, it is then escalated to the level 2 group, who are usually more knowledgeable and possess the experience and advanced IT skills necessary to provide more in-depth support. Finally, level 3 support is usually obtained directly from the software or hardware providers as needed. Of course, the goal of all three levels is to restore functionality and get the end user up and running again as quickly as possible.

What if there was a way to alleviate some of the more basic functions of level 1 support, freeing these staff members up to be able to improve their skill levels and assist those at higher support levels?

How much more efficiently would the help desk run in such a scenario?

Or better yet, what if there was a way to manage IT incidents so that problems could be identified and resolved prior to an alert even coming in?

With IT automation, you can accomplish all of this and more.

By automating custom workflows and supplying end-users with self-service options, level 1 support personnel are free to focus their efforts on more important tasks and projects. This instantly optimizes your resources, allowing for an enhanced level of support without the need to bring in additional personnel, which, in turn, looks good for your bottom line. And by automating and executing certain sets of checks and recovery procedures, incidents can be identified and addressed as soon as they occur, in many cases before a help desk call is even necessary.

Want your help desk to function as effectively and efficiently as possible? Want to improve and exceed service levels and create a better experience for both your end-users and your team? IT automation is the powerful tool that will help you do just that, improving business operations overall.

Try it for yourself FREE for 30 days! Click here to download.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

7 Ways to Spot a Phishing Scam

7 Ways to Spot a Phishing ScamDid you know that upwards of 85 percent of all organizations today have been victims of some type of phishing attack? And with the average cost of a successful phishing scam ringing in at around $1.6 million, the problem is very real. What’s more, it’s not just everyday employees being targeted. In fact, 1 in 3 companies are routinely attacked in the form of CEO fraud emails.

These statistics should bring to light the critical importance of protecting your organization – regardless of size or industry – against potential malware attacks, and as always, the best defense is a good offense. To prevent your employees (particularly those in the C-suite) from being bested by a hacker, here are things to train them to watch for.

 

Poor Grammar and/or Spelling – One of the first clues that a particular message might have been sent with malicious intent is the quality of the content within. While most monitoring programs successfully filter out most harmful emails, some will inevitably sneak by. A message from an unknown sender containing poor grammar, misspelled words or content that isn’t logical should raise some red flags.

Mismatched URLs – The goal of a phishing campaign is to give the appearance of authenticity in order to convince the recipient that it’s ok to open an attachment or click on an embedded link. In the latter, the URL may look completely legitimate when, in fact, it actually redirects to a malicious site. To avoid this, all employees should be encouraged to hover over URLs to verify that the actual hyperlink matches.

Misleading Domain Names – Another trick many hackers use in phishing scams is to use misleading domain names to make unsuspecting recipients believe a URL is trustworthy. This can easily be identified by how the URL is laid out. For instance, a phishing artist may attempt to trick a victim by creating a child domain with a familiar name, such as Apple and then linking it to a malicious site. The result might be something like: Apple.malicousdomainname.com. Educating employees on how DNS naming structure works can help quickly detect and address any potential fraudulent messages before they are successful.

Requests for Personal Information – Regardless of how official an email may appear, if the message contained within requests personal information, proceed with extreme caution. Remind employees to always take a step back and assess the logic of these types of messages. Banks or credit card companies don’t need customers to provide their account numbers. Likewise, reputable senders will never ask for things like passwords, credit card numbers of anything else that’s confidential in nature.

Unsolicited Contact – If receiving an email filled with lofty promises seems too good to be true, it probably is. Furthermore, if you didn’t do anything to initiate the contact in the first place, it’s almost certainly going to be some type of scam. Any such message should always be regarded with suspicion and great caution.

Messages Containing Threats – While most phishing campaigns lure victims with the promise of enrichment, some hackers resort instead to rely on intimidation tactics to scare recipients into giving up sensitive information. For instance, an email like this might appear to be from a trusted and respected sender, such as a bank or the IRS, and it might contain a message threatening account closure or asset seizure if money or personal information isn’t provided. These types of intimidating messages should raise a red flag.

Something Just Doesn’t Look Right – Last, but certainly not least, intuition can often be enough to flag a potentially harmful email. Teach employees that if they receive a message that gives them pause, for whatever reason, they should trust their gut and escalate it accordingly. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Are you doing enough to protect your organization against phishing and other malicious campaigns? Educate your employees on what red flags to watch for and remind them to never click on a link or open an attachment from an unknown or suspicious sender. Then, fortify your cybersecurity incident response strategy with automation.

Click here to start your free 30 day trial today and get the peace of mind you deserve.





How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes




The Secret to Improving IT Operations Performance and Service Quality

The Secret to Improving IT Operations Performance and Service QualityThere’s no doubt about it. IT automation is the biggest driver for increasing the overall performance of operations and service quality for businesses today. It allows the streamlining of workflows by automating the time consuming day to day tasks that normally bog the busy IT team down, and facilitates technology as the heavy lifter so talented personnel can focus on more important mission-critical issues.

IT automation can be applied to almost any pain point your organization may face, from frequent password resets to service restarts to disk space cleanups and much, much more. The key is to begin with a few small things so that the value can be easily quantified and then steadily work up to automate more complex projects and workflows to utilize this advanced technology to its fullest potential.

Best Practices for Systems and IT Operations Managers:

As with anything else in business, there are certain “best practices” that have been established and should be implemented to achieve optimum results with IT automation. Here are few basic guidelines to follow:

  • Pick one or two pain points to start. What simple processes or routine tasks are critical to your organization but are bogging your team down? Pick points that you will be able to quickly and easily measure the value of once you’re up and running.
  • Carefully evaluate available IT automation tools to help you choose the right product and then learn as much as you can about the one you choose so that you can truly convey the benefits that it will have for your business operations.
  • Develop and foster IT automation skills within your team. Make it clear to IT personnel that automation isn’t something to fear. That it’s not there to eliminate their jobs, but rather to make them more efficient and productive, and to provide the opportunity to enhance their skills, become more marketable and achieve more growth in their careers.
  • Encourage communication between IT teams and other departments. For instance, dev-ops and IT automation go hand in hand, with the shared goal of bridging the gap between IT personnel and those on the operational end of the technology. For optimum results, a solid relationship built on trust and open communication should be developed and fostered.
  • Develop key performance indicators and measure results. Once you’re up and running with IT automation, it’s critical that progress is continuously monitored, measured, analyzed and modified accordingly. Develop a list of which performance indicators are most important to your organization and then measure regularly to ensure optimum results.

In summary, organizations that follow these best practices will not only increase agility and reliability, but they will also have a more productive, happier staff. Additionally, IT teams that know how to utilize these tools will have more opportunities for growth, both within the workplace and beyond, as demand for these skills continues to grow.

In the end, it’s a triple win: employees, your business and your customers all benefit in multiple ways through the use of IT automation. As such, the question then becomes not “should you automate”, but rather, “why haven’t you started yet?” To experience for yourself how IT automation can help bring your organization to a new level, start your free trial today!



eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate