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5 Tips for Maximizing Efficiency in ITOps

What started out as a promising year for CIOs has quickly and drastically gone off the rails. Today, most IT executives find themselves attempting to guide the train back toward the tracks as the focus has dramatically shifted from thriving to merely surviving.

With 61% of IT budgets being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the 2020’s highest priorities has become saving as much as money as possible. And while “doing more with less” is something most CIOs are adept at, finding ways to drive revenue and secure their organization’s position in the marketplace in the midst of a world health crisis is quite the unique challenge.

The key to overcoming this hurdle will ultimately lie in maximizing efficiency levels, and not just in terms of cutting costs, either. Today’s CIOs must focus strategically on changes and initiatives that will enable them to achieve the leanest operation possible while also adding value to the organization through improved services. 

That being said, here are five ways to improve ITOps efficiency without compromising on quality.

Audit existing operations.

When it comes to maximizing efficiency in IT operations, doing so will lie heavily in existing policies, practices and platforms. Now’s as good a time as any to conduct an audit to identify areas of waste to eliminate and other potential opportunities for improvement. The end-goal should be having an infrastructure in place that optimizes the use of seamless, cohesive technologies so that the IT team can focus their talents and efforts on revenue-generating activities and other ways to support the business.

Be willing to trim the fat.

After several years of enjoying annual budget increases and the freedom to explore and innovate freely, many CIOs now find themselves facing budgetary cuts and a bleak spending forecast. As such, it will almost certainly be necessary to trim back some of the spending and say goodbye to poor performers, both in terms of personnel as well as technology. Where before, experimenting with the unknown was feasible, in the current climate, IT leaders must focus on projects, platforms and people that they know will deliver value. Remember – occasional pruning is necessary for growth.

Establish a dedicated vendor-management team.

Keeping on top of vendor contracts is a full-time job in and of itself. For a busy CIO with dozens of tasks on their plate, this one often drops down the to-do list. But with so much opportunity for cost-cutting and service improvements, it should be a top priority. Rather than trying to juggle this on top of the multitude of other duties, it may make more sense to delegate this function to another individual or team, either in-house or third-party. The money that can be saved through continuous monitoring and negotiations should far outweigh the expense, and the potential for improved service will be well worth the investment.

Bring automation into the fold.

Most CIOs have already embraced automation to some degree, and for good reason. The technology is capable of speeding up operations, eliminating human error and freeing up staff from routine, repetitive and time-consuming tasks. It can also prevent outages, which helps to maximize profitability. All that aside, there have been many advances in automation technology of which many IT leaders are still not taking advantage. Intelligent chatbots and virtual support agents, for example, can help alleviate the burden on the IT team while providing faster end-user service. This creates a much more efficient, productive environment.

Incorporate efficiency into the long-term scope.

While maximizing efficiency becomes a natural reactionary goal during economic downturns, the most successful CIOs view lean operations as an ongoing objective. They consistently evaluate whether the people, processes, policies and technologies they currently have in place are serving their optimal purpose and they make proactive changes whenever and wherever necessary. Simply put, achieving operational efficiency isn’t just a one-and-done task. It’s something that should become an integral and permanent component of an organization’s very culture.

Like it or not, the world around us is evolving rapidly. Without the right attention, foresight and action, many CIOs risk being left behind. The five tips above should help IT leaders simultaneously streamline ITOps and minimize costs while still driving business growth.

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How IT Process Automation Can Make Your IT Department More Productive

How IT Process Automation Can Make Your IT Department More ProductiveAnyone who has ever worked a day in the IT realm understands the unique and increasing demands, expectations and pressures this group faces, not the least of which is maximizing productivity. The fact is, those in this chosen profession must somehow find a way to do more with fewer resources while also saving their organizations as much money as possible. In short, this is no easy feat. If you’re in the IT industry and are seeking ways to help boost the productivity and efficiency levels of your team, here are a few ways IT process automation can help.

New Account Provisioning – If we were to ask any given IT team what manual (but necessary) tasks were bogging them down the most, provisioning of new accounts would probably be at the top of the list. This process can sometimes take days to complete and is extremely time consuming, it simply has to be done in order for new employees to be able to access all the systems and applications they need to do their jobs. By automating this essential job function, new accounts can be set up immediately without the need for IT personnel to get involved.

Redundant Tasks – So much time is wasted when IT personnel has to conduct simple, repetitive tasks such as password resets. Yet, while doing so does not necessarily require much in terms of technical expertise, it is still critical because without this function, the end-user can be delayed in performing his or her essential work duties, which can negatively impact the organization as a whole. By implementing a self-service portal, the entire process can be streamlined and automated, saving time and aggravation on both sides of the coin.

Synchronization of Systems – When systems aren’t properly aligned and adequately synchronized to work in conjunction with one another, the resulting impact can include an increase in user error as well as a significant amount of employee time wasted on things like adding and removing users, creating file shares and other necessary maintenance tasks. By automating the account management function, all information can be automatically synchronized across all interconnected systems.

Update/Maintain Accounts – Keeping accounts up to date with the correct information, such as security permissions, is a time-consuming and tedious task – especially for larger organizations at the enterprise level. The account management process is an area where automation can be extremely beneficial, ensuring that all employee roles are set up and maintained as they should be, and that once an employee leaves the company, his or her access is automatically revoked.

Maximization of Skills – Most of those working in the IT department have been well-trained and possess a high level of technical skills. Unfortunately, with manual tasks bogging these staffers down, their abilities are not adequately optimized. With IT process automation, however, many of the less technical manual and routine tasks previously performed by the IT department can be shifted to other departments, such as the help desk. This allows the more advanced staff members to put their valuable technical skills to better use for the benefit of the company.

The IT field is fast paced and highly competitive. Finding a way to maximize efficiency and keep productivity levels as high as possible can help keep your IT department running at peak performance. Automation is the perfect tool for achieving this goal.

Are you ready to start experiencing the benefits of IT process automation for your business? Start your free trial today!





IT Process Automation Survival Guide




4 Tips for Better IT Operational Efficiency

4 Tips for Better IT Operational EfficiencyIT operational efficiency are fundamental to the ongoing success of businesses of every shape, size and industry. Yet, even those who recognize this fact may not have yet achieved full maturity in these areas. If you want to remain competitive in the digital age, you must find a way to improve, enhance and foster the infrastructure and operations of your organization. Here are four tips to get you started.

Focus on the Right Metrics

Measuring and monitoring performance are critical components of a mature IT operational efficiency so it’s important that you develop a good system with the right metrics in place. Not only do metrics provide the ability to monitor internal performance for improvement purposes, but they also arm IT managers with the tools and information needed to demonstrate those improvements to key decision makers.

Use the tools and technology at your disposal for measuring things like performance and availability, configuration management, workload automation and more to establish a baseline of  IT operational efficiency metrics and measure that baseline regularly. This will allow you to ensure ongoing performance and activity, which will eliminate the need for users to keep such a close watch on IT. This, in turn, provides an added benefit of enhanced security and compliance.

Plan Ahead to Reach Maturity

Understanding that you need to achieve a certain level of  IT operational efficiency maturity and actually putting the right steps in place to do so are two entirely different things. As with anything else in business, if you want to improve and enhance your infrastructure and operations, you must develop and implement a plan for reaching that goal. Try taking a programmatic approach, plotting a course of action that is most closely aligned with your overall business goals and needs.

First, determine the appropriate services that will help you achieve better performance and work toward your goals, always considering the costs associated with said services. Select your services and assemble the right team to help implement and manage those services. A recommended approach is to combine new employees with existing ones and provide the right training and tools to help empower them toward success.

Consider Different Angles & Think Outside the Box

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to maturing your  IT operational efficiency, nor is there one single approach that works better than others. You may need to combine a variety of new and existing technologies to achieve the desired results. For instance, adding new hardware or servers can breathe new life into existing systems and make them more efficient and effective than they were previously. This marries new with old for optimum results at the right price.

Upon a thorough assessment of the company’s required governance, risk levels and change rate, another option would be to shift workloads from core resources into the cloud (either public or private). The key to this step, regardless of how it is ultimately executed, is to identify areas where existing hardware and systems can be leveraged and which areas will require new technology. Therein lies the answer as to which direction your particular business should head.

IT Automation

Finally, although perhaps most important, IT automation can have a tremendous impact on IT operational efficiency maturity. One area in particular where automation can be critical is that of support and remediation. These routine, repetitive tasks, which are usually assigned to the IT help desk, can be more efficiently handled by an automation tool, freeing up personnel to focus on more important things. Automation can also reduce errors and improve compliance through enhanced auditing capability.

The requirement on IT groups to provide better, more accurate service with fewer resources is ultimately the need that will drive IT operational efficiency to perform at its best. This takes maturity, which is something that doesn’t come naturally, but must be achieved through careful, strategic planning and ongoing measurement using the right tools, such as IT automation.

Could your IT operational efficiency use an overhaul? Help bring the maturity of your infrastructure and operations to a whole new level by implementing IT automation within your organization.





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