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Managed Service Providers: Could this be hindering your growth?

Making the transition from basic IT support to a full-fledged Managed Service Provider isn’t necessarily easy. 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 Managed Service Provider 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 Managed Service Provider 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 intelligent 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 service provider 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.

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How to Become an Intelligent Automation Leader in 4 Steps

Intelligent automation is rapidly transforming the global economy, delivering momentous gains to enterprises that adopt it at scale. One recent article by McKinsey revealed that some organizations have been able to automate 50 to 70 percent of their workflows, generating ROI that reaches into the triple-digits. In addition to cutting costs, intelligent automation can also deliver precision, speed and enhanced customer experience.

In order for organizations to enjoy the full value of intelligent automation, IT leaders must be willing to take a guiding role. Unfortunately, many IT executives find this challenging, whether due to the increased complexity of IT processes, lack of understanding and/or clarity, inconsistent or fragmented tools that hinder scaling, or the misconception that intelligent automation cannot be adopted without major re-engineering of existing processes.

How can these challenges be overcome? And how can IT leaders succeed in their automation initiatives? The answer to these questions lies in the following four key steps along the intelligent automation journey.

Step 1: Evaluate the high-level potential value

The first step in becoming an intelligent automation leader starts with the development of a clear business case. This involves assessing the potential high-level value of the company’s main IT activities. Some examples of what these areas of value might look like include:

Incident Response – A significant number of IT incidents are initiated through support desk requests. These typically result in tickets being created and assigned to Level 1 support agents. While these are the obvious candidates for automation, the portion of tickets that are escalated to specialized L2 and L3 agents are also ripe for the picking, thanks to the advanced technology behind intelligent automation. And since these activities are generally well-documented, categorizing and prioritizing them by automation potential should be relatively straightforward.

Planned Activities – In addition to the one-offs and unexpected support tickets that crop up, IT is also responsible for performing a number of planned activities on a regular basis. These activities typically include things like backups, upgrades and patching. They may also involve more complex security audits. The amount of time and resources required to perform these duties can collectively add up to around 20 percent of the IT budget. Calculating this figure can help determine the potential savings intelligent automation can deliver.

Introducing New Applications – From a business perspective, this activity is often viewed as the one that produces the most significant value. It can also account for an additional 20 to 40 percent of the time and resources put forth by IT. These activities are not exclusive of application development, either. They also include such tasks as testing and hosting. This places increasing demand on both the application team as well as the infrastructure group.

Step 2: Dig deeper to identify which specific use cases are best suited for intelligent automation.

Determining how to effectively implement intelligent automation requires a deep dive to uncover the root causes of issues. It may also involve the untangling of complex systems and the development of an accurate picture of how to leverage automation to extract the greatest value. In other words, the process is a complicated one and requires a certain degree of commitment. Let’s take the three potential use cases above as an example.

Incident Response

Automating IR begins with identifying which incidents are the best candidates, which can be challenging. The goal should always be digging deep enough to uncover the “why” of documented incidents. Without this information, efforts are futile. Text-mining can help by automatically reading ticket descriptions and extracting the necessary insights to sort them into three categories:

  • Automatable
  • Requires machine learning
  • Highly cognitive/manual

This analysis should leave you with a prioritized list of incidents to automate and the type of automation best suited for the job.

Planned Activities

Most enterprise-grade IT departments rely on industry-standard tools to manage their infrastructures. Unfortunately, due to factors such as advanced customization, adjustments due to mergers and specific user requirements, managing these systems often requires a significant amount of manual effort, diminishing the overall value.

For instance, despite the widespread adoption of infrastructure and application monitoring tools, support teams are often unable to respond effectively to the logs being generated, either because there are too many of them or because of the many reasons why they are being generated in the first place. As a result, IT leaders are often unclear on how to approach intelligent automation implementation.

In situations such as this, machine learning technology can be “trained’ to identify the reasons behind alerts and then either recommend or autonomously make better decisions on which action to take. This eliminates much of the complexity for the IT team.

Introducing New Applications

Many IT executives fall into the trap of focusing solely on the reduction of manual labor. As a result, they fail to see and achieve the full value potential of intelligent automation. Faster and more accurate delivery of applications requires the development and design of a new operating model, with an emphasis on DevOps and agile.

Reviewing this entire process to gain an understanding of how to make the most use of this new operating model can result in entirely new approaches to work. Intelligent automation can facilitate some of these new ways of working. For instance, automating the testing process will enable applications teams to iterate more quickly. Likewise, developing a self-service model for things like automated server provisioning allows the operations team to become more responsive. The list goes on.

Step 3: Execute your proof of concept

In order to demonstrate the true value and validate your case for intelligent automation, the next critical step is executing a proof of concept. A great place to start with this is incident management. Organizations that have successfully deployed intelligent automation for incident management have been able to achieve substantial cost savings in a relatively short period of time.

Thankfully, there are many different incidents that can quickly and easily be automated to support your proof of concept, including such tasks as password resets and employee onboarding. In its most basic form, a proof of concept requires the following:

  • Collaboration with subject matter experts to identify where automation can best be applied and understand all the steps and systems involved in a particular process or workflow.
  • Careful selection of an intelligent automation platform. Look specifically for products that can be integrated with existing systems and applications and offers pre-packaged, no-code options. (This will enable rapid adoption and time-to-value.)
  • Obtaining necessary IT and overall business approvals with regard to regulatory constraints, security guidelines and access limitations.
  • Ongoing testing and monitoring to capture results and document value

This phase is also an ideal time to consider building stronger internal intelligent automation capabilities; for example, developing a team to spearhead a future automation center of excellence (CoE). This team will ultimately become the foundation and engine that drives all IPA initiatives.

Step 4: Build intelligent automation capabilities to scale

Achieving the full benefits of intelligent automation requires the development and nurturing of certain skills and capabilities, in addition to rolling out an entirely new company-wide culture. This is essential as successful adoption of IPA requires that automation become embedded into the very heart of the organization itself. There are plenty of ways to accomplish this, but generally speaking, companies that have been successful have done the following three things:

Build on success to expand into new areas of IT (and beyond).

Once the basic tasks and workflows have been automated, it’s time to move on to more advanced level-2 and level-3 activities. The IT team should be expanding beyond incidents to begin leveraging the AI and machine learning technologies to assist with things like analytics and decision support. The goal is to eventually roll out intelligent automation to as many routine and complex processes as possible.

Spread the word.

With a strong foundation of capabilities and experience, IT leaders can begin to position themselves as subject matter experts for the rest of the organization. This process involves continued outreach, such as connecting with other leaders across the enterprise to advise them of the specific benefits IPA can have for them. This outreach also provides the opportunity to identify additional areas where automation might be beneficial.

Explore the advanced elements of intelligent automation.

While the majority of organizations have thus far only focused primarily on simple process automation, the future belongs to those with an eye toward artificial intelligence and cognitive learning. These solutions are already making an impact on companies with forward-thinking leaders. The best way to break into this arena is to start working on small AI initiatives. From there, just like basic automation, you can continue to build, expand and grow.

Intelligent automation is maturing rapidly and quickly becoming a core component of the IT landscape. IT professionals who recognize the importance and understand how to develop their automation capabilities have the potential to become respected leaders in the process – a title that will serve them well throughout their careers.

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Adopting Intelligent Automation: Managing Resistance to Change

intelligent automation - change managementIntelligent automation offers a variety of benefits to organizations, including improved efficiency, enhanced productivity, greater accuracy and output and an overall cost savings. For companies that have yet to employ this technology, however, the biggest hurdle to overcome in doing so is often resistance from employees. For some, this contention comes from fear of becoming obsolete, while others simply don’t like change. Whatever the reason, having the right strategy in place can help make adopting automation a smooth, painless and positive experience for everyone.

Change Management is About People

On the surface, managing change while implementing a technological advancement such as intelligent automation may seem to be all about the systems and processes being automated. In reality, however, change management is about understanding the fears, needs and desires of your company’s most valuable asset: your people. By addressing the human side of change, you can overcome the roadblocks and obstacles in your way and effectively change the outlook of even the strongest opposition.

Generally speaking, people tend to fall into 3 distinct
categories when it comes to adopting something new:

  • Those who vehemently oppose the proposed change
  • Those who are tentative about change
  • Those who are change champions

When planning your intelligent automation project, your strategy should incorporate the appropriate actions to address those individuals who fall into the first two categories. The ultimate goal is to change how your employees view the new technology being rolled out so that the process becomes a positive initiative that is driven forward by support rather than bogged down by resistance. That said, here are some proven best practices for effectively managing change in the workplace.

Conduct a readiness assessment. This can be done a number of ways, from holding focus groups to conducting a survey amongst all users. The purpose of a needs assessment is to identify the risks, benefits and potential obstacles that you may encounter when rolling out your intelligent automation initiative. It can also be helpful in determining areas of greatest resistance as well as the reasons behind the contention. Remember the old adage, you can’t fix what you don’t know is broken.

Sell the benefits. People aren’t going to jump on your intelligent automation bandwagon unless and until you’ve convinced them that it’s worth their while. They want to know what’s in it for them. Address this by identifying, documenting, communicating and reiterating the specific benefits that adopting automation will have for each individual and team.

Make communication a priority. One of the biggest reasons people resist change is because they don’t understand what is being done or why it’s happening. This lack of knowledge naturally breeds fear, which can derail your intelligent automation initiative. To avoid this, keep the lines of communication open and make sure everyone knows not just what the big picture is, but also their important role in contributing to that big picture goal.

Lead by example. Leadership at every level and in every department should be on-board with adoption of intelligent automation. Excitement and positivity can be very powerful tools in effecting change across an organization. Make sure you have complete buy-in from all executives prior to launch and that they understand the importance of solidarity across the board.

Identify and leverage change champions. These are the individuals who are most excited about the adoption of intelligent automation and the many benefits it will provide. By identifying these key employees, you can begin to leverage them to influence their peers who may be feeling a bit less enthusiastic about the proposed change. These individuals can help bridge the gap between front-line employees and management and become a voice for those directly impacted by change.

Intelligent automation can dramatically improve your organization’s overall performance, but rolling out such an initiative can rarely be achieved without some type of resistance. By taking a proactive approach and developing and implementing an effective change management strategy, the experience will be much more positive for everyone involved.

Nervous about how your intelligent automation project will be received by your employees? Ayehu is designed for fast and seamless implementation, so you can focus your efforts on what’s most important: investing in the happiness of your employees. Experience it for yourself by clicking here.

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Innovation without Breaking the Bank. Yes, it’s Possible.

Innovation without Breaking the Bank. Yes, it’s Possible.In a recent survey conducted by IDC, 45% of CIOs and senior IT executives stated that one of their top three objectives is to “create competitive advantage for the business.” Today’s IT leaders are, perhaps more than ever before, being asked to deliver more. More reliability. Faster responsiveness. Greater flexibility. They are expected to leverage digital transformation to create disruption. And they are expected to do all of this while keeping financial impact at a minimum.

These IT leaders find themselves facing quite the challenge: finding a way to continuously innovate in the face of increasing budgetary restraints. The good news is, with the right strategy, this is – indeed – possible. Here’s how.

Leverage Your Data

Today’s forward-thinking organizations are increasingly driving business value and seeking to achieve competitive advantage through deeper data insights. This enables business leaders to uncover hidden value in existing services or products. With the right approach, innovation doesn’t have to be expensive. Simply prioritize the results of data discovery in order of those initiatives that require minimal risk and investment but have the potential for high returns.

Ultimately, the key to innovation lies in having a data-oriented mindset. Initiatives that focus on reducing costs and streamlining processes can be successful, but only when the right data is being used the right way to facilitate better decision-making. The ability to rapidly execute on those findings is also important.

Review Risks and Seek Out Greater Efficiency

Another critical key to cost-effective innovation is risk analysis and efficiency planning. Review the risks the business has and assess the impact and likelihood those risks may have on customers and operations. From there, you can prioritize and monetize, making more informed decisions about which areas budget cuts can be made while still meeting business needs.

Budget cuts enable business leaders to focus their efforts on maximizing efficiency. Establishing leaner teams, optimizing process management and improving the effectiveness of certain key elements, such as data storage, can all result in a better product or service at a lower cost. And, of course, adoption of technologies, such as intelligent automation (which we touch on in greater detail below), to help streamline processes and maximize efficiency.

Optimize, Optimize and Optimize Some More

The most innovative organizations – especially those on tight budgets – make a concerted effort to continuously optimize ongoing operations and costs. It’s never a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. It’s a never-ending battle – one for which technology can provide a leg up.

IT leaders must take advantage of targeted applications and cloud opportunities to extend and enhance their core capabilities. By leveraging the power of tools like artificial intelligence and machine learning, operations can be fully optimized. Not only does this create a more productive, efficient work environment, but it also frees up human workers to apply their creative, cognitive skills toward innovative business initiatives.

According to Gartner, 90% of the IT budget is currently consumed by the support of legacy systems. These costs can be dramatically lowered through IT optimization. Adopting the right technologies – preferably ones that seamlessly integrate with legacy systems – can reduce expenditure, improve customer service and provide distinct competitive advantage. At the end of the day, innovation takes funding and resources. IT optimization can free up both.

Looking for a platform that can bring your legacy systems together, improve efficiency and help you harness the power of data for better decision-making support? Ayehu offers all of this and more. Experience it for yourself. Request a live demo today and get your organization on the path to affordable innovation.

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ITSM: The 5 Keys to Intelligent Automation Adoption

ITSM: The 5 Keys to Intelligent Automation AdoptionOne of the biggest hurdles those in IT service management face is the misconception that all the necessary tools and information for success are already available, understood and being put into practice. As such, introducing intelligent automation is often met with resistance that hinders progress and impedes the ability to further improve operations. So, what’s the solution? Well, it starts with good communication. To follow are five steps to help establish a foundation of consistent, open and organization-changing communication that will facilitate positive results.

Don’t take on too much.

You don’t have to solve all of your organizational problems in one sitting, so don’t wear yourself or your team out attempting to do so. Define your goals and set manageable milestones, incorporating intelligent automation into the mix. Then communicate those smaller, incremental objectives to the team via open-plan meetings that keep everyone in the loop. Over time, you’ll begin to figure out what works and what doesn’t so you can improve the meeting process moving forward.

Leave management out of the mix.

Obviously having IT leaders heading up key projects is important, but often times – particularly in a group meeting-type setting – having management present can be intimidating, ultimately hindering progress. The goal is to facilitate more open, honest communication and a more positive relationship with intelligent automation, so it may be wise to hold at least some of the scheduled gatherings sans management representatives. When front-line workers are free to express themselves, it can help to identify new and better ways to improve operations.

Keep things short, simple and focused.

The goal of meetings is to improve communication, but if these gatherings drag on and on without clear focus, they’ll have the opposite effect. Remember, the reason for implementing intelligent automation is to make the lives of IT personnel easier and make operations more efficient. Design meetings with the same purpose in mind. Have an agenda and encourage attendees to arrive with their ideas already prepared. A round-robin type setting where everyone has a set amount of time to share their thoughts and sell their ideas can keep things moving smoothly and on schedule to maximize everyone’s time.

Keep the conversation going.

Ideas, thoughts, feedback and suggestions don’t only arise just prior to or during a meeting, so make sure you’re making it easy and straightforward to keep the conversation going by creating an avenue where people can share and engage with one another any time the need arises. It can also be helpful to have a source of documented ideas to refer back to. Some companies use a Wiki or other open-source forum tool. Others use an enterprise social network that is devoted to all things intelligent automation related. Whatever happens to work for your group, get on it.

Take action.

Ideas and suggestions are great, but they won’t do you or anyone else any good until you actually put them into action. By facilitating open communication and inviting your team members to share their thoughts and feedback, you’ll have a pool of valuable data from which to start building out some intelligent automation initiatives. The best part is, when employees see that their voices are heard and that their opinions make a difference, it will further promote and foster communication going forward.

Support your great communication policy with a powerful intelligent automation tool. Request a product demo of Ayehu today.

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Leveraging Intelligent Automation to Bridge the Skills Gap

Leveraging Intelligent Automation to Bridge the Skills GapWhen it comes to digital transformation, certain distinct skillsets are needed – of which many are in short supply. The area of cybersecurity, for instance, is suffering a remarkable shortage of talent. IT operations that focus on human capital and disparate tools and systems simply won’t be enough to keep up with the staggering pace of innovation.

Modern enterprises must be capable of adapting quickly to the ever-changing and increasingly complex environment while also remaining flexible. Furthermore, a growing number of IT technologies, applications, systems and processes must be adopted and routinely updated in order for organizations to remain competitive.

These demands pose a serious challenge to those enterprises that do not have adequate talent or expertise. For those IT teams that find themselves behind the eight ball, intelligent automation can be their ace in the hole.

The Shift from Human to Machine

Gartner predicts that by 2020, 75% of enterprises will experience visible business disruption due to skills gaps. This is up dramatically from just 20% in 2016. This is a serious concern for business leaders across all industries.

In response, many organizations are already working to add technologies that can augment their existing human resources. In particular, intelligent automation and orchestration is becoming a significant focus. In fact, Gartner lists AI and machine learning strategy development/investment among “the top five CIO priorities.”

Making the shift from human to machine results in two distinct advantages. One, because intelligent automation is capable of performing massive amounts of error-free work, productivity skyrockets. Second, with the addition of intelligent automation, existing human workers can apply their advanced skills to more important business initiatives, such as growth and innovation. And thanks to machine learning and AI technologies, decision-makers can avail themselves of data-driven support.

A Match Made in IT Heaven

With intelligent automation, organizations facing the challenge of budgetary restraints can build highly functioning, agile IT operations without the need to hire additional staff. Existing personnel can be trained and reskilled to become versatilists — those who can hold multiple roles, most of which will be business, rather than technology, related.

The key to delivering digital value at scale is having the right people talent,” says Terrence Cosgrove, research vice president at Gartner. “Currently there just isn’t enough talent with the digital dexterity for hire, so I&O leaders will need to develop this core competency in the talent they already have.

With the help of intelligent automation, IT departments can operate at maximum efficiency, saving time and money in the process. In fact, this technology has the potential to position forward-thinking enterprises at the forefront of digital transformation, despite the growing talent shortage.

Could your organization benefit from this “ace in the hole?” Find out today by taking Ayehu for a test drive.

 

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The CAO’s Role in Digital Transformation

The CAO's Role in Digital TransformationToday’s savvy business leaders recognize the need to adapt to changing technology or risk being left behind. And while we may not be able to control what that technology will be or which direction it will take us, we can take advantage by responding quickly and making the necessary adaptations before our competitors. That’s why the role of Chief Automation Officer is becoming much more necessary.

A recent study by PMG revealed that the biggest obstacle to successful adoption of automation was the lack of a holistic approach. In fact, 59 percent of respondents agreed that automation implemented on an ad hoc basis leads to incompatibility and subsequent inefficiency. Most organizations today require not only a unification of silos but also the ability to align automation strategies between different physical locations, some of which may be situated half a world away.

How can one expect to effectively align IT functions with the business as a whole when automation – the very technology that’s designed to enable better business decisions – is not adequately represented in the C-Suite? A CAO brings valuable perspective with the ability to see automation from a global viewpoint. As a result, automation becomes a critical component of the overall strategy rather than just a means to deliver it.

Organizations with multiple technology centers located worldwide recognize the importance of global collaboration to the forward progress of the company. There is little overall business value if you’ve achieved continuous process improvement in just one office but not the others. You may have certain specialists deployed across the globe who are highly skilled at managing automation technology, but if there’s no central strategy and one leader, their abilities cannot be maximized.

The CAO’s purpose is to drive this type of simultaneous widespread orchestration. While automation specialists focus on their specific IT departments, managing the day to day operations, the Chief Automation Officer spends his or her time looking outward and forward. This role is absolutely essential to achieving rapid, sustainable transformation, as the ability to orchestrate automation on a global scale and unify strategies is what ultimately enables businesses to adapt at the speed of thought.

Automation is critical to an organization’s ability to reallocate capital from today’s business operations to the needs of tomorrow. It allows IT to shift from reactively putting out fires to taking a more proactive approach, which is necessary for successful digital transformation.

The good news is automation is evolving at relatively the same pace as the complexity it is designed to simplify. Disruption that would otherwise be overwhelming is now becoming entirely feasible thanks to automation and orchestration solutions that provide a competitive edge. Deriving business value from the IoT, for instance, is made possible by automation strategies that process and analyze the data being procured. Automation essentially frees up funds that can then be used to fuel innovation.

The CAO is responsible for taking optimized workflows and applying them wherever feasible throughout the entire organization. This creates more compliant and easily auditable processes. And because this approach eliminates repetition and duplication of work, the entire operation can run more consistently and efficiently. Furthermore, by evaluating how automation is utilized throughout the company, the CAO is also able to optimize the allocation of human resources, removing bottlenecks and improving productivity across the enterprise.

Another area where the CAO can be highly beneficial to the company is in his or her ability to seek inspiration from the rest of the workforce. One company was able to uncover nearly 300 innovative ideas simply by asking employees to suggest processes to automate. In the absence of this communication between upper management and frontline workers, these suggestions, and the positive changes they brought about, would have remained private.

In conclusion, automation remains a catalyst for change, driver of innovation and procurer of productivity. With the overarching visibility and control a CAO provides, automation strategies will have the flexibility and scope needed to stimulate disruption and achieve digital transformation.

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How to Mitigate Risk with Compliance Automation

How to Mitigate Risk with Compliance AutomationWith laws and regulatory requirements evolving on a continuous basis and the stakes incredibly high in most industries, compliance professionals face the challenge of eliminating whatever might be standing in the way of conformity. Despite the fact that many organizations have already invested significantly in maintaining compliance, their efforts are often undermined by something as basic as improper or inadequate reporting. That’s where compliance automation comes into play.

The outcome of companies that fail to prioritize compliance can be seen all around us. Almost daily, another headline appears highlighting the downfall of yet another promising startup. Not only do failures in this area impact the company itself and its customers and investors, but these incidents also tend to result in a tightening of compliance regulations. So, in essence, when one organization messes up, everyone in that industry (and sometimes beyond) must pay to some degree.

When it comes to compliance, there are a number of ways a company can head down the wrong path. Businesses are tasked with staying on top of complex regulations and deal with the time, money and other resources that are consumed by ongoing data gathering and compliance monitoring. Streamlining reporting through compliance automation can alleviate much of this burden. But how? What’s the best way to transition from manual to automated (and therefore more auditable) processes?

The simplest solution is to eliminate as much human interaction from your workflows as possible. Compliance automation delivers much more than enhanced efficiency. It also provides a number of benefits as they relate to risk management. With an automation and orchestration platform in place, compliance teams can rest easy knowing that they are in good standing with all regulatory requirements.

Furthermore, come audit time, all the relevant data will be available at the click of a button. With automated workflows, there’s no laborious data gathering or risk of erroneous reporting. Most critically, because the business will remain compliant, it will also remain safe from potential penalties and other costly consequences. The less the compliance team relies on manual processes, the less exposure there will be for the company as a whole.

Remember – compliance problems don’t only result in costly fines and penalties. They can also wreak havoc on a company’s reputation, market value and more. By integrating automated technology into the compliance process, businesses can effectively eliminate additional risk of human error that could threaten to derail an otherwise sound operation. Compliance automation facilitates a repetitive, easily monitored and managed set of workflows, gathering data in one single platform and exposing potential issues so they can be addressed before they become a serious problem.

To see for yourself how Ayehu’s automation and orchestration platform can help streamline compliance and just about every other area of your business operations, click here.

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5 Ways Intelligent Automation Can Help You Dominate Your Industry

5 Ways Intelligent Automation Can Help You Dominate Your IndustryAccording to a recent report from Forrester Research, organizations that embrace automation won’t just succeed. They will absolutely dominate their respective industries. Once a relatively futuristic concept, these days just about every business benefits from automation in some way. Ever set or receive an out-of-office reply? That’s automation – albeit in its simplest form.

Many companies, however, have taken automation several steps further by offering self-service options, adopting chatbot technology and using other forms of next generation artificial intelligence (AI). The exciting news is that the true potential of intelligent automation has yet to be realized. And those businesses that jump onboard today will inevitably be at the forefront on innovation tomorrow.

Here are five ways intelligent automation can help develop a savvy, innovative and more agile organization.

Boost productivity, employee morale and retention.

Intelligent automation isn’t designed to eliminate humans from the workplace. Rather, its purpose is to augment their capabilities. When the tedious, repetitive and mundane components of day-to-day work are shifted from human to machine, productivity naturally rises. Meanwhile, employees are freed up to perform more creative and meaningful work. And when people can spend their time on the aspects of their jobs that are interesting and rewarding, satisfaction and retention levels also go up.

Streamline inefficient business processes.

Nothing kills a company’s chance of growth quite like inefficiency. Wasted time equates to wasted money and – more importantly – missed opportunities. Businesses that are overwhelmed by chaotic, disorganized processes and workflows can turn things around with intelligent automation. Instead of spending hours manually keeping track of work that needs to be done (and backtracking to fix things that inevitably go wrong), employees can apply their critical thinking skills to more important key initiatives, such as utilizing data to develop more advanced business strategies.

Increase visibility.

Organizations with business leaders that know precisely where they stand in terms of project status updates and budgets are in a much better position to succeed than those with management that’s constantly feeling around in the dark. That’s another area where intelligent automation can help. When reporting is made easy and incredibly accurate, upper management can enjoy much greater visibility into what’s going on at any given moment. Furthermore, with machine learning capabilities, leaders can get high-level, data-driven decision support to help them guide the organization in the right direction.

Enhance customer experience.

When employees no longer have to spend their time performing manual tasks and workflows, they can devote more of their effort to the needs of customers. And in today’s digital age, service has become the true differentiator. Thanks to intelligent automation, companies can shift their resources from fielding requests to developing creative solutions to address unresolved issues. This enables companies to deliver even better service to their customers, solidifying their position as trusted industry leaders.

Drive faster, more sustainable growth.

When it comes to scaling an enterprise, intelligent automation can be the solution – not only to achieving the set objectives, but doing so faster. As soon as a company determines new ways of working that deliver better results, they can then automate those things. This causes a sort of snowball effect, driving exponential growth that is sustainable for the long-term. While other businesses are simply getting by, those that are leveraging automation will be leaps and bounds ahead.

Curious about how intelligent automation can help your organization? Check out our free eBook below, or take Ayehu for a test drive to experience the power of next generation, AI-powered automation today!

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How Artificial Intelligence will Impact IT Careers

How Artificial Intelligence will Impact IT CareersThere’s no question that machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies are making an impact on IT workers, particularly when it comes to entry-level and support type roles. As such, there has been a sweeping concern over the long-term affect AI will have on IT related careers in the future. And for good reason. After all, IT does happen to be the most frequent user of AI. Does that mean technology jobs are about to become obsolete? In a word, no. Instead, IT professionals will need to evolve alongside AI and develop new skills.

A shift has already begun…

This evolution is already happening in many organizations worldwide. Take an international hotels group. Not long ago, the IT service support team was comprised of 35 people working tech support in various levels. One of the biggest challenges at that time was keeping up with the 24/7 needs of end users. In response, the company’s Director of IT initiated a major transition that leveraged AI to offer self-service options and achieve greater scalability.

Humans and machines working in tandem

The company in question deployed an AI-powered intelligent automation platform that could perform common support tasks without the need for human intervention. Further, because the solution featured machine learning capabilities, it could essentially learn from its own experience and improve over time. The most surprising news? The company did not lay off a single staff member. Instead, its headcount actually increased by 80 people.

This real-world example provides a glimpse into the future and how artificial intelligence will impact work in the technology field. Tomorrow’s IT departments will achieve far greater productivity levels thanks to the support of intelligent automation. And along with these newer technologies, additional career opportunities will emerge.

Humans will no longer need to focus on routine, mundane and mind-numbing tasks. Instead, they will be freed up to apply their creativity and cognitive skills accordingly. Instead of fielding requests and responding to tickets, human workers will be focusing on monitoring and training their intelligent technology.

AI opportunities will increase

For IT professionals, AI and machine learning technologies present tremendous opportunity. In fact, according to Gartner, by 2019 more than 10% of IT hires in the support realm will be involved in managing bot interactions. By 2020, 20% of organizations will have dedicated workers responsible for monitoring and guiding neural networks. Furthermore, McKinsey predicts that AI could potentially create 20 to 50 million jobs globally.

And just as organizations can leverage the power of artificial intelligence to differentiate themselves and gain competitive advantages, IT professionals skilled in AI technology will similarly be able to position themselves as frontrunners in their industry. With the current shortage of individuals with this particular skillset, the opportunities that lie ahead cannot be understated. A good place to start? By familiarizing yourself with an easy-to-use intelligent automation platform like Ayehu.

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