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5 Most Common Reasons IT Process Automation Projects Fail

5 Most Common Reasons IT Process Automation Projects Fail

5 Most Common Reasons IT Process Automation Projects Fail

For all the talk we do here at Ayehu about how to make IT process automation work for your organization, one area we don’t usually cover is how and why these types of projects fail. Sometimes even though the reason for adopting automation is on target, the outcome isn’t quite what one had hoped for. This can lead to costly double-work and the frustration of having to start over again. To improve the chances of your ITPA project going off without a hitch, here are the 5 most common failures so you’ll know exactly what to avoid.

Focusing on tools and tasks instead of people.

It may seem somewhat ironic, particularly given the widespread opinion that automation is somehow out to replace humans, but one of the greatest reasons an ITPA project fails is because it was designed around a task or tool instead of the people who it will inevitably help. The fact is, IT process automation is meant to streamline operations and make the lives of your IT department better, not worse. Focus on how the project will benefit your human workers and the results will be much greater.

Failing to adequately calculate and communicate ROI.

For an ITPA project to be carried out successfully, the projected benefits and long-term gains must be determined and demonstrated upfront. This includes taking into account the early costs associated with adopting an automation tool and helping decision makers understand the time-frame for seeing positive returns. Without this, you risk upper management pulling the plug too early due to lack of results. (If you’re not sure how to calculate ROI on an IT automation project, here’s a helpful guideline.)

Not setting appropriate expectations.

Sometimes an IT process automation project is deemed a “failure” simply because it did not meet expectations of certain stakeholders. That’s why it’s so important that those in charge of planning, testing and implementing any ITPA project include communication of the expected time-frame as well as the potential for issues and delays that may inevitably arise. When “the powers-that-be” know what to expect ahead of time, there are no surprises to have to deal with during the process.

Automating broken processes.

Another common cause of an ITPA project failure occurs when those in charge attempt to automate a process that isn’t already working properly. Not only is this a huge waste of time and resources, but it simply won’t work, which means backtracking, adjustments and a whole host of other delays will ultimately occur. Before starting any automation project, be certain everything you’re planning to automate is ready.

Not using the right tool.

Just like most things in IT, not every automation tool is created equal. Some organizations fall into the trap of purchasing the cheapest tool they can find only to learn that, as usual, you get what you pay for. Others make the mistake of investing in a product that they think is top-of-the-line, only to discover that it has way more features than they really need, making it a waste of money. The key to successfully carrying out an IT process automation project is to do your research and select a tool (and a partner) that is both affordable and scalable to fit your specific needs.

Thinking about trying automation but not sure where to begin?

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The Value of Service Management and Automation to Your Organization

The Value of Service Management and Automation to Your OrganizationThe concept of Service Management and Automation (SMA) is a particularly broad one. As such, there is often some confusion as to what it really entails and, more importantly, the value it lends to an organization. Many people, even IT professionals, mistakenly place more emphasis on the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) rather than SMA, simply because they both involve the adoption of a best practice process model. In fact, ITIL is merely a component of well-developed SMA initiatives.

According to research conducted by Forrester, in partnership with the USA chapter of the IT Service Management Forum (ITSMF), nearly all large US organizations have adopted some type of ITIL-based approach for their overall Service Management and Automation. Additionally, approximately 60% of IT organizations have embraced ITIL v3 for their operations.

What does this mean in terms of the future and the big picture for IT? It means that an increasing number of businesses will begin seeing the benefits of broad SMA programs. These benefits include: 

Increased Productivity

Standardized best practices reduce the risk of error and simplify execution, naturally improving the overall productivity of the organization. Automation of manual, repetitive tasks frees up personnel to be able to focus on more important, business critical responsibilities. Instead of having to deal with problems after they occur, staff can prevent them from ever happening. IT automation delivers a level of productivity that simply cannot be achieved through manual efforts.

Enhanced Level of Service

When processes are clearly defined and expertly deployed, there is a significant reduction in errors, producing a subsequent boost in service levels. End users and customers will begin to hold their service providers in a higher regard. This, in turn, creates and fosters a sense of loyalty and provides a certain competitive advantage for the organization.

Improved Reputation

One of the most important components of an IT organization’s viability is its reputation. It only stands to reason, then, that by improving the processes that are in place, both internally and externally, the overall view of the enterprise as a whole will be improved. Better output begets better input and it becomes an ongoing cycle of improvement. If the services of an organization are consistently deemed to be quality and trustworthy, the organization itself will be viewed in the same respect.

Reduced Operational Costs

There isn’t a successful business on the market today that isn’t concerned, to some degree, about budget. You simply can’t be profitable unless you find ways to reduce operational costs and expenses.  While ITIL and SMA do require some investments in order to achieve the benefits above, if they are deployed and managed successfully, those investments will see significant return over time. What’s more, as Service Management and Automation efforts continue to improve and mature, the impact on operational cost reduction will also continue to improve. It’s becoming increasingly evident that as technology evolves, the adoption of ITIL as a component of a robust and comprehensive Service Management and Automation initiative will become essential to the success of any organization.





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