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Looking for a quick return on your IT automation investment? Check these key areas.

Looking for a quick return on your IT automation project? Check these key areasWithout question, IT automation has made a significant and permanent impact on the tech world. This technology has essentially provided IT professionals with the ability finally accomplish what they’ve been challenged with for decades: maximizing performance while minimizing costs. Now, routine time-consuming tasks as well as complex workflows can be streamlined and handled almost exclusively without the need for human input. In short, automation has changed the face of IT for the better.

Still not convinced? Let’s take a closer look at 5 specific areas where IT automation can produce the greatest benefit and fastest return, both for your IT department and your enterprise as a whole.

IT Organization – The old way of doing business involved individual silos and separate departments. In today’s digital age, the most successful organizations are the ones that are able to harness technology to break down these barriers and bridge the gap between departments and functions, effectively promoting collaboration and fostering innovation. IT automation can provide the tools necessary to achieve this type of organization.

IT Infrastructure – In order for a business to function cohesively across all departments, there need to be streamlined and standardized procedures and technologies in place. This includes best practices, virtualization, cloud computing and more. When this type of environment is created, IT automation can then provide the opportunity for your tech team to leverage their expertise and improve skill levels for the maximum benefit of the department and the company in its entirety.

IT Support – Support that is enhanced with IT automation can ensure roll-out, implementation and adoption of best practices. It can also improve processes, such as migrations, ensure more effective enforcement of compliance requirements and ultimately boost service levels across the board.

IT Operations – With more pressure being placed on IT professionals to not only manage their specified workflows, but also possess an in-depth understanding of overarching business practices, these workers must find a way to become better-equipped to meet these demands. IT automation can help by allowing operations the optimal allocation of resources so that personnel can focus on furthering their education and expertise.

General Routine/Repetitive Tasks – Those every day, repetitive manual tasks that your IT department is buried under are inevitably costing your business money. Workflow and self-service automation options can alleviate this concern by taking the burden off the IT team. Not only can this vastly improve efficiency and productivity, but it can also cut costs in the long run.

With demands on IT professionals increasing at a rapid rate, the need for enhanced technological solutions has never been greater. IT automation can help your organization meet these evolving needs so you can remain competitive and achieve ongoing success, both now and well into the future.

Curious to find out how your company could benefit from IT automation? Check out the top 10 automated processes below and get started with a free product demo today.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Is your IT department wasting time and money? Here’s the solution.

Is your IT department wasting time and money?It seems as though the concept of doing more with less came around rather recently. In reality, however, managing a lot of tasks on a budget is nothing new. In fact, it’s been a priority for businesses across just about every industry for decades now. When the economy took a nose-dive several years ago and companies had no choice but to lay off large chunks of their workforce, there was no other option than to figure out a way to get the work done with whatever skeleton crew was left.

Yet, to this very day, countless businesses are still chasing their tails, being bogged down with manual work that can (and should be) handled through IT automation. Right now, as you are reading this article, IT departments in all corners of the globe are busy writing scripts and going through workflows, step by painful step. Meanwhile, their productivity is suffering, as is the bottom line of their organizations as a whole.

So, what’s the solution? Could it really be as simple as choosing an IT automation platform? The answers to these questions lies in the reality of what your IT department looks like at the moment. Are your team members spending hours upon hours fielding incoming alerts and processing workflows that require little to no actual “skill”? What could your department accomplish if the majority of your workers weren’t tied to their desks going through the drudgery of doing things by hand all day?

While the ultimate goal would be to develop an IT automation strategy that is sophisticated enough to streamline all of your operations, what you can do right now is take that first step. It doesn’t have to involve a year’s worth of research and testing to find the perfect solution to all your IT woes. Yes – that’s the overarching objective, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated to start. The first, and most important step, is choosing to make a change – even if it’s just automating one small task.

Your challenge for the week is to observe those who work in IT and identify one or two basic tasks that are being performed manually (more than twice per day). When you see these things, ask yourself why they are being handled this way. Calculate the costs associated with the time it takes your worker to complete. Let’s say the employee in question makes $30 per hour. If it takes 3 hours a day to complete one manual task, you’re dishing out nearly $100 for something that IT automation could do in seconds.

By identifying key areas that are costing your business precious time and money, you can then look for an IT automation solution that can improve those processes. Start small, then work your way up. Once you’ve successfully automated those first few activities, expand your horizons to bigger, more complex processes. Before you know it, your business will be operating much more efficiently. As a bonus, your skilled IT professionals will be freed up to focus on more critical business projects.

Not quite sure where to begin? Check out 10 time-consuming IT tasks you should be automating below and then click here to request a free demo and get started on the path to a leaner, more productive organization.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

If you want continual service improvement, you need IT automation…

Want Continual Process Improvement? You Need IT AutomationA successful business cannot thrive in today’s world unless it focuses on ongoing improvement in every area of its operation. Stagnation is, in effect, the backward motion of progress. This is where the concept of continual service improvement (CSI) comes into play. As the business grows and changes, CSI is applied to produce both small and large changes across every facet, from service to operational efficiency to business continuity. Yet true CSI cannot be accomplished, at least in terms of technology, without IT automation.

What is Continual Service Improvement?

In simplest of terms, continual service improvement examines past successes and failures to identify areas within a business that need to be changed, adapted and improved in order to make the organization as a whole more successful. In particular, the goal of the CSI process is to continually improve the efficiency and effectiveness of IT processes and services.

What Areas can CSI be Applied?

The question should actually be what areas of your business could use improvement? The answer should inevitably be every area. However, CSI is typically a concept that is specifically aimed toward improving IT efficiency. An audit should be performed to identify those areas that are most in need of change, and then individual programs and projects can be defined, developed and prioritized based on the organization’s overall strategic objectives. In other words, CSI can effectively influence every phase of the business process, but is typically implemented in IT and in order of importance.

How Does Automation Fit In?

Once the areas in need of improvement are identified and prioritized, IT automation can then be applied to streamline them. With the right platform, everything from basic manual tasks to complex workflows can be shifted from human to machine, eliminating errors, dramatically improving efficiency and productivity and creating a more lean, effective operation overall.

IT automation can be applied to any task-based process, such as incident management, problem management or change management. It can also be applied to non-IT processes, such as project management or any custom application, essentially broadening the spectrum and extending CSI across the entire organization.

As we get closer to the end of the year, the focus on continual service improvement will only increase. This is due in part to more and more businesses beginning to understand the benefits of embracing this concept, and realizing its affects across their entire organization. It’s also due to the fact that automation is delivering innovative ways to help businesses implement the CSI process with ease and efficiency, making it easy to incorporate the concept into the everyday operations and, in essence, the very culture of the business.

In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “Progress is impossible without change.” Let automation be the catalyst to the change your business needs for future success. Experience the next generation of IT automation for yourself by requesting a live demo.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

MSSPs: Why IT Automation is the Secret Sauce for Success

MSSPs: Why IT Automation is the Secret Sauce for SuccessWhen the topic of security automation comes up, it’s typically in the context of enterprise Security Operations Centers (SOC). The fact is, there’s another group that can benefit tremendously from IT automation and that’s Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP). MSSPs face many similar challenges that traditional SOCs encounter, such as huge volumes of data, case management, reporting and, of course, staffing shortages. In fact, for MSSPs, these problems are often compounded.

Unlike SOCs, MSSP analysts support multiple clients simultaneously; oftentimes each with their own individual security platforms and runbooks. As a result, analysts often receive numerous alerts from a multitude of tools that must be resolved according to each client’s service level agreement. Not only can this be confusing, which can significantly increase the likelihood of errors, but it can easily lead to alert fatigue, frustration and burnout.

Keeping up with security alerts is challenging even for smaller organizations. For MSSPs monitoring 30, 50, 100 or more individual clients, the complexity becomes monumental.  Likewise, the combination of multiple endpoints, different network configurations and application security platforms, coupled with managing their own threat intelligence and analytics, the issue becomes even further complicated. All of this can make resolving incidents in a timely manner incredibly difficult, even for the most agile, capable team. For these reasons, many MSSPs are now turning to IT automation as a solution.

When it comes to operating a successful MSSP, the ability to standardize is absolutely essential. Additionally, with multiple players entering the field, the competition is becoming much more intense. Continuous innovation is the key to survival. Operational standardization enables MSSPs to become more innovative by streamlining and automating the high-volume, repetitive manual tasks that bog down operations teams.

With IT automation, MSSP analysts can dramatically improve efficiency and therefore support more customers and handle more use cases. In fact, shifting from human to intelligent machine may even facilitate smaller teams to compete with larger competitors. In other words, IT automation allows MSSPs to do more with less. From a business perspective, this means greater profitability across the board. Additionally, having automated processes can help in terms of attracting and retaining top talent.

Simply put, the automation of MSSP activities benefits everyone. Security analysts can take on more clients at a lower operating cost while delivering a higher level of service. As a result, clients are more secure and satisfied. Meanwhile, operations teams enjoy the ability to apply their high-level skills to more fulfilling tasks and projects, thereby improving staff morale and performance. With IT automation, everyone wins.

Ayehu provides intelligent machine learning driven decision support via suggestions to optimize MSSP workflows, speeding up operations and reducing workload. Want to see it in action? Request a demo today!

5 Ways to level up your service desk using it process automation

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

How IT Automation is Becoming a Game Changer for Operations

There is, perhaps, no industry that faces more challenges than that of IT. Between mastering new and evolving technologies, meeting increased demand and dealing with a limited pool of qualified individuals, being successful is no simple feat. IT automation is something that can help change this climate, making for a much brighter future for IT professionals. Here’s how.

Without automation, IT departments face the following dilemmas:

  • Decreased efficiency
  • Increased risk of human error
  • Lack of ability/time/resources to innovate

IT automation is essential to meet the changing and increasing demands on IT professionals. In an ever-evolving environment where new technologies and strategies are constantly being introduced, IT personnel are being expected to provide more and more value with fewer resources. By leveraging the power of automation, everything from simple, routine tasks to complex workflows can be automated so that the entire network infrastructure runs more smoothly. This also frees up team memHow IT Automation is a Game Changer for Operationsbers to focus on other important issues that cannot be automated.

For those concerned about security and the inherent risk that comes along with allowing technology to intervene so heavily, an intelligent automation tool can provide the perfect balance by specifying human decision points. The workflow executes accordingly, stopping only at specified intervals at which point the appropriate personnel will be notified that input is required. Once that point is satisfied, the workflow can then continue automatically.

What about human error? Like it or not, when people are at the helm, there will always be mistakes. Many system problems can be traced back to human error. The key is how these problems are responded to. Traditional IT operations is responsive by nature. When an error occurs, the team receives notification and takes the appropriate actions to resolve the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible. IT automation, on the other hand, is proactive, giving IT personnel the opportunity to correct potential problems before they even occur. This vastly improves system availability and other key factors.

Finally there is the topic of IT innovation. Historically, IT departments were there for one thing and one thing only: to ensure that system operations ran as smoothly as possible across the organization. With so many manual and repetitive daily tasks, there was little time to focus on anything else, least of which would be finding ways to improve and innovate for the better of the firm. IT automation, however, has opened the doors of virtually endless possibilities for these skilled tech professionals. Not only do they now have the time to focus on developing strategies to improve how their organization is run, but they are also free to improve on their own skills and ability, making them much more valuable overall.

So, what type of automation will produce all of these results? Simply saying “IT automation” doesn’t necessarily cover the complexity of the subject. That is, not all automation products are created equal. Decisions must be based on needs as well as the ability to integrate seamlessly with existing infrastructure. There is IT process automation, which can automate key processes such as system, network and application tasks.

Then, there is Run book automation, which extends to cover everything from repetitive IT tasks to complex processes spanning across multiple IT systems. Furthermore, there is automation and orchestration powered by machine learning and AI which is poised to revolutionize the industry. (See a preview here!) It takes careful consideration to determine which tool would be the best fit for each organization.

Regardless of which direction you choose to go in, one thing is for certain: IT automation is poised to fundamentally change the future of IT operations.

Are you ready to take the bull by the horns and get your organization on the path to a brighter, more successful future through automation? Download a free 30 day trial today to get started!

5 Ways to level up your service desk using it process automation

5 Practical Ways Machine Learning is Improving Business Operations

5 Practical Ways Machine Learning is Improving Business OperationsToday’s forward-thinking organizations are leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to automate the decision making process. In fact, corporate investment in AI is predicted to reach $100 billion by the year 2025. As a result of this rapid digital transformation, many changes are underway in the workplace. In particular, there are a number of ways that machine learning is already making an impact for companies in every industry. Here are a few to consider.

Personalizing the customer experience.

One of the most exciting benefits machine learning can have for businesses is the fact that it can help improve the customer experience while also lowering costs. Through things like deep data mining, natural language processing and continuous learning algorithms, customers can receive highly personalized support with little to no human intervention. And people are warming to the idea. In fact, 44% of US consumers say they actually prefer chatbots to human agents.

Improving loyalty and retention.

With machine learning, companies can do a deep dive into customer behavior to identify those who are at a higher risk of churning. This enables organizations to develop and implement next steps designed to target and retain those high-risk customers. The more proactive a company is in this area, the more profitable it will be over time.

Enhancing the hiring process.

When asked about the most difficult part of their job, corporate recruiters and hiring managers almost unanimously list the task of shortlisting qualified candidates for job openings. With dozens and sometimes even hundreds of applicants, sifting through and narrowing down the options can be a monumental task. Machine learning is fundamentally changing the way this process is handled by letting software do the dirty work, quickly identifying and shortlisting those candidates that are the best fit.

Detecting fraud.

Did you know that the average organization loses up to 5% of their total revenues each year due to fraud? Machine learning algorithms can be used to track data and apply pattern recognition to identify anomalies. This can help risk management detect fraudulent transactions in real-time so they can be prevented. This type of “algorithmic security” can also be applied to cybersecurity, leveraging AI to quickly and accurately pinpoint threats so they can be addressed before they are able to do damage.

Streamlining IT operations.

Another way AI and machine learning are revolutionizing how organizations operate is through intelligent IT automation. Powered by machine learning algorithms, agentless automation and orchestration platforms become force multipliers, driving efficiency and helping enterprises save time on manual and repetitive tasks, accelerate mean time to resolution, and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure.

Want to see machine learning in action? Schedule a free product demo today!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Gartner’s 5 Biggest Barriers to IT Automation (and How to Overcome Them)

Gartner’s 5 Biggest Barriers to IT Automation (and How to Overcome Them)Without question, IT automation is revolutionizing the way organizations of every size and industry operate. Simply put, if you have IT functions – even if you don’t have an IT department per se – you can benefit from automation technology. Yet, despite the widespread adoption and rave reviews, there are still several barriers to entry that many business leaders face. Gartner has done much of the legwork for us, researching and discovering the five most common IT automation pitfalls to avoid. Let’s take a look.

  1. Shortage of skilled IT automation personnel.

It may seem somewhat paradoxical to think of people (or lack thereof) as a reason why an automation project can’t get off the ground, but it’s true. Despite the fact that an automation and orchestration platform is designed to shift work from human to machine, there is still the need for skilled professionals who can manage the platform and optimize its use. To address this need, organizational leaders must focus either on hiring qualified staff or educating existing personnel accordingly.

  1. Lack of documentation of existing processes.

Another big reason IT automation implementation fails is due to a lack of adequate documentation. This includes both identifying and documenting project goals as well as the proper logging of existing tasks, workflows and processes. The former will ensure accurate measurement of project success while the latter will ensure that the processes being automated are well-defined and fully understood by staff.

  1. Cultural resistance.

Simply put, people have a natural resistance to change. Couple this with the erroneous belief that IT automation is meant to replace the need for human workers and you’ve got a recipe for significant contention. In order for automation to be fully and successfully implemented, you’ll need buy-in from employees at every level. Thankfully, there are many ways to overcome resistance, several of which we’ve chronicled here.

  1. Lack of standards and process expertise.

As with any business practice change, implementing IT automation can be challenging. This difficulty is multiplied when there is a lack of standards and expertise in place. This challenge can be overcome by carefully and methodically choosing the right platform. Specifically, decision makers should look for a product that offers seamless integration with existing systems and applications as well as fast, easy deployment. The more weight the platform carries, the smoother the transition will be.

  1. Loss of focus and traction.

The last barrier to successful IT automation implementation occurs when the project has been ongoing. The longer the process takes, the easier it becomes for employees to lose track of what they’re working toward, causing the project to be delayed or stall altogether. The solution to this issue can be found in the above tips, particularly in terms of adequate documentation and a clear understanding of staff members. The more work you put into the planning and preparation process, the less likely your team will be to end up derailed.

Introducing any new solution into your organization can be a complex, time-consuming and even somewhat confusing undertaking – and IT automation is no exception. Keeping your eye on the prize – that is, focusing on the end-goal of increased efficiency, lower costs and mitigated risk – can help improve the odds of a seamless implementation. Likewise, knowing which pitfalls to watch for as listed above and how to overcome them, business leaders will be better prepared to launch and carry out successful IT automation initiative.

Interested in automation for your company? Why not try it before you buy it? Click here to launch your free 30 day trial of Ayehu and get started on the right foot.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

How to Bring IT Automation from Basic to Breakthrough in Just 6 Steps

How to Bring IT Automation from Basic to Breakthrough in Just 6 Steps

With the popularity of IT automation steadily on the rise, more and more organizations are embracing the power of technology for streamlining operations, improving efficiency and creating a more productive environment. That said, however, most of these companies are only just beginning to scratch the surface of the many benefits ITPA can offer. If your firm is among those merely in the beginning stages of leveraging ITPA, here are 6 steps you can implement that will help you bring things to the next level.

 

Step 1: Conduct a Skills and Organization Assessment

The maturity level of an organization along with the ability of operations teams to communicate, collaborate and work to support one another can be directly tied to advanced IT automation success. As your business matures, cross-organizational processes must be identified and adapted to create a more holistic approach to service delivery. Each individual team member should be assessed to identify those with the following skills, which are essential for any automation management professional:

  • In-depth knowledge and expertise of operations
  • In-depth knowledge and expertise of the company’s infrastructure
  • In-depth knowledge and expertise of the business as a whole
  • Experience

Training and reallocation of resources may also be necessary, based on the results of this assessment.

Step 2: Improve IQ Levels of Various Workflows

The next step involves developing and improving your team’s understanding of the workflow process. Specifically, improvements should be made in how personnel understands the complete concept of everything from designing, building and testing a workflow to deploying and administering it once it’s developed. As a process, improving workflow ID involves the following tasks:

  • Determine/plan what the workflows are
  • Figure out what to automate and when
  • Document all aspects of process workflows, including upgrades and revisions
  • Implement comprehensive change management strategies

Step 3: Standardize Both the IT Infrastructure and the Approach to ITPA

A high level of IT maturity includes the management of a standardized infrastructure, which allows IT automation to be implemented without the costs and complexities of non-standardized, diverse IT infrastructures. Similarly, the processes through which ITPA workflows are tracked and maintained should also be standardized. As a result, the organization can realize the following benefits:

  • Lower costs
  • Increased reliability and performance
  • Reduced workflow complexity
  • Streamline/automate repetitive tasks
  • Lower risk of error
  • Reduced need for checks and balances on automated workflows
  • Need for fewer skills
  • Improved tracking and reporting
  • Reduced reliance on high level expertise

Step 4: Establish Objectives and Manage Expectations

Establishing clear-cut objectives based on the reasons why IT automation is being considered will help determine which specific processes and workflows will actually be automated and in what order. This creates an accurate scope of the overall strategy for implementing and maximizing ITPA. Objectives should include specific metrics which can be tracked and measured.

Expectations surrounding workload and cost reduction should also be set early and accurately. Successfully automating smaller tasks can be an excellent way to demonstrate value and provide a foundation upon which to build out more complex automation projects.

Step 5: Make a Concerted Effort to Control Costs

The costs associated with successful ITPA extend well beyond the initial investment in the automation tool. According to Gartner, managing an IT automation tool can cost anywhere from 2 to 4 times as much as the product itself. Understanding and factoring in the expenses of all the various aspects is essential. To keep costs manageable, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Try using existing automation technologies to start
  • Automate basic, repetitive tasks first
  • Standardize as many processes as possible
  • Carefully manage the initial expense of implementation, set up and customization

Step 6: Define the Value as Well as the Benefits

The value of IT automation must be accurately measured against the time and other resources necessary to complete the process prior to automation. For many, the improved reliability, reduction in costly errors, quicker response times and enhanced efficiency are evident almost as soon as automation is implemented. The real ROI, however, will be realized as ongoing costs continue to go down or are eliminated altogether. To effectively assess the value and benefits of automation, consider the following metrics:

  • Pre-automation time necessary to accomplish the task manually
  • Pre-automation labor required to complete the process manually
  • Skills needed to accomplish the process prior to automation
  • Problems associated with manual processes (i.e. human error)
  • Downtime due to manual process issues (i.e. servers, applications, IT services, etc.)
  • Cost/difficulty of audit compliance prior to automation

Beyond the basic uses and benefits of IT automation, this advanced technology has the potential to significantly improve business operations. By implementing the above steps, your IT department can tap into ITPA’s fullest potential and leverage its benefits to drive the ongoing success of your organization.

If you’re ready to get started, simply give us a call at 1-800-652-5601 or download your free 30 day trial today!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Considering IT automation? Keep these 4 things in mind…

Considering IT automation? Keep these 4 things in mindIT automation isn’t a fix-all for everything, and it’s not necessarily appropriate in every situation. When used in the right instance, however, automation can help you avoid doing double the work, saving you both time and money in the process. When determining whether automation is a good fit, there are four main areas that must be taken into consideration. Let’s take a closer look at each of these key factors.

1 – What task are you thinking about automating?

There are ultimately three driving forces behind the decision to automate: repetition, simplicity and need. If there are certain tasks that are performed repetitively – especially those that don’t require much human input or a high degree of variation – chances are you can turn them over to technology. Likewise, if there is a clear business need for introducing automation into a certain process or workflow, doing so can improve performance and efficiency, making it well worth it. In other words, look for tasks that are relatively straightforward, occur frequently and repetitively, and present a real opportunity for improvement.

2 – What software, systems and data are required?

Once you’ve determined what tasks you’d like to automate, the next step is figuring out which systems and software products will allow you to achieve this goal most effectively, and at what cost. If you’re looking for something simple, like data entry automation, the options will be many. More complex processes and workflows will obviously require more robust technology. Additionally, you will also need to consider what other systems will need to be integrated into the process so that you can determine compatibility before making a final decision.

3 – Do you possess the bandwidth and adequate skill sets to get the job done?

What type of impact will automation have on the proposed task and is it worth it? If there’s just one person handling the manual, repetitive duty, perhaps it’s not worth the investment of time, money and other resources to introduce an advanced automation product. On the other hand, if there are dozens, hundreds or even thousands of workers churning out the same task, over and over, automation can present a truly beneficial solution by boosting efficiency and improving overall output. You’ll also need to determine whether those charged with implementing an automation tool possess the right skill sets to get the job done right.

4 – Will it help or hurt you in the long run?

When done right, and under the appropriate circumstances, automation should make life easier for yourself and your workers. To the contrary, if automation does nothing but create more processes, the end result can sometimes become more complicated and burdensome. The best approach is to weigh the risks and benefits, and take the process one step at a time. Automate one or two simple tasks, and then build from there until you’ve successfully taken advantage of the true value of automation. Remember, the goal is not necessarily to reach 100% automation, but rather to optimize processes to make them most effective for the business.

If you’ve considered these 4 things and you’re still not completely convinced that automation would be the right fit for your organization, perhaps our free eBook – 10 Time Consuming Tasks You Should Automate – can help you make a more informed decision. You can grab your free copy below. Or better yet, give us a call directly at 1-800-652-5601 to discuss your needs on a more specific level.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate