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7 Tips to Win the IT Talent War

7 Tips to Win the IT Talent WarAs any IT leader will acknowledge, attracting top talent is only half the battle. It’s keeping them on that’s the real challenge. And with an average employee tenure of only about 3 years, it’s a serious concern for many organizations across the globe. Add in the complex, fast paced and highly stressful role of IT support and you’ve got quite the conundrum. So, what’s the secret? How can you do things differently so that your company remains as safe as possible from cyber-attacks while your talented employees stay on for the long haul? Here are 7 tips to point you in the right direction.

Keep them challenged. The last thing you want is for your IT support personnel to become bored and stagnant in their current positions. Avoid this by investing in ongoing training, setting up mentoring programs, and offering opportunities to learn about and master new strategies and technologies. The more you keep your IT employees engaged and involved, the less likely they’ll be to look elsewhere.

Rotate project time. Being stuck on the same project day in and day out can lead to fatigue and frustration. Consider rotating employees onto various IT projects so that they don’t feel stuck. This will provide exposure to and the opportunity to learn about new skills and also open up the door to be able to approach long-term projects from differing perspectives – both of which can benefit your organization.

Give them the tools they need. These days, keeping up with the onslaught of cyber-attacks is nothing short of exhausting. Don’t leave your IT personnel out to dry by making them handle this monumental task manually. Arm them with the technology they need to do their jobs better, faster, more efficiently and more effectively, such as intelligent automation.

Provide a safe place to vent. Without question, the job of keeping an entire organization safe from breaches and outages can be incredibly stressful. Additionally, IT security personal often feel tense due to the amount of classified and confidential information they are entrusted with. Provide an opportunity and a secure avenue for these employees to vent their feelings.

Encourage time off. Everybody needs a little down time, but given the fast-paced and highly stressful field of IT, these employees could probably use some time off more than anyone else in your organization. This is where technology can help. By automating a good portion of tasks and leveraging the cloud to embrace more flexibility, your team can take the much needed time off they deserve without the company feeling any negative impact.

Use realistic metrics to measure success. One of the biggest reasons IT professionals find themselves dissatisfied at work is because they feel they aren’t being adequately recognized. This is often due to a lack of clear and specific metrics for success. Management should set realistic expectations, communicate openly and routinely measure progress. Good work should be rewarded and areas of improvement identified and addressed in a positive, productive way.

Empower them. If your employees feel that their only option is to come in every day and put in 8-10 hours of labor, they’re not going to develop any kind of connection or loyalty to your organization. On the other hand, if they know that the work they do plays a direct role in the “big picture” and that their achievements are tied into the company’s overall success, they’ll be much more plugged in, which means they’re more likely to stay on for the long haul. Empower them by inviting ideas and encouraging autonomy.

Are you doing enough to keep your IT personnel satisfied, engaged and plugged in? If not, you could be facing higher turnover, which can negatively impact your company’s bottom line and also leave you more vulnerable to things like outages and cyber-attacks. By implementing the above tips, you’ll create a more positive work environment that fosters longevity. Happy employees will work harder to ensure that your organization remains strong, secure and successful.

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4 Steps for Winning the Battle for AI Talent

A recent survey revealed that 42% of employers admit they are concerned that they won’t be able to access the talent they need to run their businesses. This worry is compounded for those in IT, a sector notorious for its ongoing staffing shortage. And with the rise of artificial intelligence technology, the demand for top-tier AI talent is far outweighing the supply. The good news is, with the right approach, even smaller organizations can compete for today’s most sought-after candidates.

Create a Purpose Statement

Employee engagement has dipped to a measly 34% in recent years. One way to boost morale is to provide employees with a sense of purpose. Simply put, today’s top AI talent doesn’t want to spend the majority of their time crunching numbers or working on projects that don’t challenge and empower them. They want meaningful work. You can address this desire by developing a compelling AI purpose statement. Ideally, your statement should highlight the unique and exciting opportunities that await candidates.

Focus on “Citizens”

We’re not talking about citizens of a particular locale, but rather the emerging role of citizen data scientists. Unlike data scientists, who focus on wrangling and cleansing data, Gartner defines these individuals as “power users” who are capable of performing both simple as well as moderately sophisticated analytical tasks that would have previously required more expertise. Forward-thinking organizations are already focusing their attention on citizen AI talent as a means to bridge the gap between AI specialists and the rest of the enterprise.

Tap into Universities

Thankfully there has been a recent shift in how much emphasis colleges and universities are placing on equipping students with applicable, employment-ready skills. This includes prepping those studying AI for entering the workplace. A great way to get ahead of the game in terms of recruiting this up-and-coming AI talent is to forge strong relationships with educational institutions, in particular, with academic departments that specialize in artificial intelligence and other related functions.

Reskill / Upskill Existing Staff

It’s been proven time and again that it’s far more cost-effective to retain existing staff than it is to recruit externally. Organizations may be sitting on a gold mine of available AI talent without even realizing it. For instance, the right training can help IT professionals comprehend and cultivate practical skills and gain the fundamental understanding they need to develop into marketable AI talent in the future.

According to a recent Ernst & Young poll, 56% of senior AI professionals said they believed the lack of qualified AI professionals was the single biggest barrier to AI implementation across business operations. You can win this war for AI talent by implementing the four strategies above and implementing the right tools. Experience the Next Generation of intelligent automation and orchestration with your free 30 day trial of Ayehu. Click here to claim yours.

How to Build an AI Team

Once viewed as a technology of the distant future, AI is quickly becoming an integral component of many an IT/business strategy. The rapid advancement of data science and machine learning technology, combined with the accessibility and affordability of artificial intelligence platforms in the cloud, are enabling companies in every industry to uncover new ways to extract business value from data. But in order to fully capitalize on AI, an organization must first assemble a strong team. Let’s take a look at three steps for creating such a team in your business.

Learn what successful AI looks like.

When establishing a department dedicated to AI, it’s important to recognize that successful artificial intelligence initiatives require a variety of different roles and skillsets. If you are focused solely on one role – data scientist for example – you will almost assuredly come up short. Instead, take a more well-rounded approach paying particular attention to three distinct areas: a person (or people) who can generate data, a person (or people) who can interpret that data, and a person (or people) who can make judgments about that data.

Recruit/train (and retain) top talent.

It’s no secret that skilled AI professionals are in high demand. In order to develop a good AI team, recruitment and retention are key. The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to look outside of your company to do so. In fact, developing AI talent from internal staff can be just as, if not more effective – particularly given the talent shortage. Investing in training and upskilling can produce a higher return on your investment than external recruiting.

And remember, it’s not just about assembling a team. You also need to focus on keeping turnover at bay. Offering things like professional development and autonomy can make long-term employment with you more attractive.

Tap freelancers.

What if your company simply isn’t prepared or doesn’t have the budget to hire a Ph.D. in computer science? What if your existing staff is too small, doesn’t have the potential or lacks the bandwidth to recruit internally? There are still other ways to get started with AI. Some organizations have had tremendous success hiring artificial intelligence specialists via online talent marketplaces, like Upwork. By eliminating the need to hire in-house, and all the ancillary expenses that come with such an arrangement, you can tap into global AI talent at an affordable price.

With Gartner forecasting that 85% of CIOs will be piloting AI projects by the year 2020, it’s abundantly clear that artificial intelligence is the way of the future. Having a team of skilled individuals dedicated to your AI initiatives can help you maximize the long-term benefits and give your organization the competitive advantage it needs to thrive in the digital era.

Ready to get started with AI but not sure how? For a limited time, we’re offering a free trial of Ayehu’s Next Generation Intelligent Automation platform. Use the full product for 30 days and don’t pay a penny. Get yours before it’s too late!

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How to reduce employee onboarding time by 90%

How to reduce employee onboarding time by 90%Did you know that the average company spends $4,000 for each new hire? And that number doesn’t take into account the amount of lost productivity during those first few months on the job. Some sources estimate that it can take up to eight full months for a new employee to become fully productive. But since employees who are successfully onboarded are 69% more likely to stay, reducing costly turnover, it’s a process that is necessary. The good news is, there are ways you can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to onboard new hires. Let’s take a look at one such case study below.

Recently, one of Ayehu’s long-term customers – a large international shipping organization, won an award in automation and infrastructure from a respected magazine in Israel named ‘People & Computers’. This recognition was given due in large part to the impressive reduction the company has been able to achieve on their employee onboarding process. How did they achieve this? Simple. By shifting the process from human to machine through intelligent automation.

The company’s director of IT, together with the company’s HR Project Manager, realized that each time they hired a new employee, more than a week of time was being wasted performing the necessary but tedious onboarding functions such as opening an account and granting appropriate permissions. There was also lack of synchronization between the company’s cloud HR system and on-prem IT infrastructure. Furthermore, every time an employee changed status, the same time would be required to process his or her permission changes as well.

The managers began searching for a solution to reduce the time being wasted in performing these processes and workflows, and ultimately chose Ayehu to automate it. Together with Ayehu, the IT team created a fully-automated process that handles this task in mere minutes, rather than the previously required week of manual work across multiple departments.

In general, the automated workflow they created performs the following steps:

  1. Import the users’ details to a CSV file from the Active Directory
  2. Compare the changes in the current details to last weeks’ details, using their existing cloud HR system and IT infrastructure
  3. Update the new users and their permissions in Active Directory and several SQL databases
  4. Open and close permissions and send a report to IT team

This entire process is now handled automatically with zero human input, which has cut the process time down by an incredible 90%!

How much time is your company wasting on manual processes and workflows? More importantly, what could your employees achieve if they were no longer bogged down by these tasks? Experience for yourself the same liberating time and cost-savings that hundreds of global organizations have already achieved. Click here to experience Ayehu’s revolutionary next generation intelligent automation and orchestration platform today.

Streamlining HR with Intelligent Automation

Streamlining HR with Intelligent AutomationHuman Resources is a critical function of any organization, particularly those at the enterprise level. Because HR is connected with every other department, when HR processes are running smoothly, the entire business benefits. Conversely, when those processes break down, the whole company can be impacted. Due to the broad reach and extensive list of responsibilities, enhancing HR processes through intelligent automation can dramatically improve productivity and efficiency across the organization.

A glaring need for intelligent automation

According to ServiceNow’s report, Today’s State of Work: At the Breaking Point, Human Resources was listed as the least efficient department. In fact, the study revealed that those in HR are wasting two full days, or 16 hours per week performing manual administrative tasks.

For instance, activities like overseeing employee relocations, managing leaves of absence and onboarding new employees are all among the most inefficient processes of HR.

Without question, HR teams want to deliver exceptional service, but find themselves far too often burdened with repetitive tasks and workflows. Unstructured work processes and HR functions that are heavily manual lead to unnecessary complexity and a steady drain on productivity.

Intelligent automation presents a golden opportunity

A recent survey by Career Builder revealed that 72 percent of employers expect some roles within HR will become completely automated over the next 10 years. Yet, according to the ServiceNow report, automation is only being leveraged in 37 percent of HR services.

Using intelligent automation to reduce complexity enables HR professionals to focus less of their time, energy and expertise on manual recruitment activities and more on innovating and improving business practices.

Introducing intelligent automation in 5 easy steps…

Step 1: Identify processes and workflows that should be automated.

We’ve already mentioned that HR is a department ripe with opportunity to automate, particularly given its many manual, repetitive and transactional processes. The first step in getting started is to identify these tasks and list them out in order of priority. For best results, look for “quick wins” – that is, the processes and workflows that, when automated, will produce the fastest and most measurable return on investment.

Step 2: Create a blueprint.

The next step should involve mapping out these critical business functions from start to desired end-state, including a combination of both artificial intelligence and human skills. Investigate further whether the existing processes you have in place could be augmented by intelligent automation to deliver the desired result. During this process, you may discover that it’s easier to redesign some workflows from scratch rather than to modify them.

Step 3: Get executive buy-in.

Organizational change, such as what’s involved with deployment of intelligent automation in HR, requires more than just simply executing a series of implementation activities. To truly gain traction and roll out successfully, adoption must start at the top and trickle its way down. As such, those in senior leadership must be visible, both in their support and their participation. This will empower employees and encourage them to suggest how intelligent automation can further benefit the business.

Step 4: Communicate openly and regularly.

Remember that through automation, you’ll inevitably be impacting the day-to-day work of your employees. To prevent resistance and overcome fear, be proactive about communicating with the HR department. Address their concerns, answer their questions and provide them with reassurance that the changes being introduced will ultimately benefit them. Not only will they save time, but they will also be freed up to focus on more creative, strategic and fulfilling projects.

Step 5: Retrain and reskill.

As intelligent automation is introduced, the role and day-to-day functions of human employees will inevitably evolve. Don’t just expect your employees to possess the innate skillsets needed for leveraging automated tools. For instance, your HR team may have the soft skills needed to be successful, but they may still need help understanding how to interact with automation technology. Invest in retraining and reskilling them accordingly so they are armed with the info they need to evolve alongside the changing technology.

Highly automated companies are six times more likely to experience revenue growth of more than 15% versus companies with low automation. Human Resources is an excellent place to start. Want to experience intelligent automation for yourself? The wait is over. Take Ayehu for a test drive today!

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