5 Ways Automation Benefits IT Operations

5 Ways Automation Benefits IT OperationsMost IT operations managers struggle with the daily challenge of getting more done with fewer resources. This requires the intelligent use of technology, namely automation, which can effectively serve as a force multiplier, particularly in cases where staff is limited. In fact, there are five specific advantages for leveraging automation technology to streamline IT operations. These benefits are as follows:

Cost Reduction – Most organizations are actively striving to reduce costs whenever and wherever possible. Automation helps facilitate this savings in a number of ways, including greater output of work, fewer errors and lower human personnel numbers.

Enhanced Productivity – Automating workflows eliminate the need for manual work, which not only improves output, but it also frees up talented IT operations personnel to apply their knowledge and advanced skills to more important tasks and projects. Plus, by reducing turnaround time, more work can be processed on a daily basis.

Greater Availability – System outages can cost an organization millions of dollars in lost revenue, not to mention the damage to the company’s reputation. One of IT operations main priorities is achieving the highest levels of availability possible, an objective supported by automation. With things like automated save and recovery, round-the-clock system monitoring and remote communication, network downtime can be reduced significantly. Likewise, recovery can be facilitated much more quickly, mitigating damages.

More Reliability – Like it or not, IT operations includes some of the most mundane, repetitive (but entirely necessary) tasks, which is why it is also much more error-prone. When the human factor is eliminated from this process, those costly errors also go away. This is especially beneficial in larger networks that feature multiple operating systems. Automated IT operations can vastly improve reliability while simultaneously relieving personnel of tedious manual tasks.

Optimized Performance – Another hurdle most IT operations professionals face is the demand to perform tasks and workflows faster, more efficiently and at a much higher workload. It’s challenging to keep up with these demands without becoming overburdened with work. Thankfully, tools like automation can provide the missing link to maximizing performance without having to hire more staff.

In summary, automation help IT ops run like a well-oiled machine. Want to experience the above benefits for your own organization? Launch your free trial of Ayehu’s automation and orchestration platform today.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

Bridging the Gap Between Security and IT Operations

Bridging the Gap Between Security and IT OperationsAll too often there is a serious disconnect between a company’s security and operations teams which, on the surface, may not seem like much to be concerned about. Unfortunately, a lack of synergy between these two critical groups could make the organization much more vulnerable to a cyber-attack. For instance, a breach is discovered by the security team but the ops team is slow to react or IT operations might be focused on correcting an application failure that, in reality, is a system hack. These two teams must find a way to work in unison. The good news is, incident response automation can help bridge this gap.

The underlying issue stems from the fact that, traditionally, IT operations and enterprise security were considered entirely separate functions. These silos unintentionally made it difficult if not impossible to quickly identify and respond to potential security threats. As IT departments have continued to grow and take on more responsibility, and with cyber incidents becoming more complex and relentless by the day, it’s become increasingly evident that collaboration between the two departments is absolutely necessary in order to ensure compliance and security of the organization.

Defining Roles & Responsibilities

The functions of each of these teams, at least from a traditional standpoint, are pretty straightforward and logical. Enterprise security is tasked with defining, documenting and implementing the strategies for identifying and remediating potential threats to the network and the operations team is responsible for executing these strategies. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? In reality, it’s much more convoluted and significantly more challenging. Some of the issues with this setup include:

  • Tasks are being performed manually or using individual, siloed tools. The result is a slower process that’s wrought with error.
  • Lack of integration amongst systems results in security and IT operations failing to share and manage data interdepartmentally, further isolating the functions of each team.
  • Security scanning tools that are audit-only and lack integrated remediation functionality (closed loop compliance). This approach can cause significant delays at critical moments.
Closing the Gap

In order to close the existing gap between security and IT operations within your organization, a fundamental shift in thinking must first take place, particularly around how the firm can and should handle risk and governance as well as achieve compliance. Furthermore, there must be a clear and complete understanding of what the goals are for each group. Ultimately, both teams want the best for the organization. Aligning the goals and tying them into each other can help them achieve this together.

To further address these challenges and create a more cohesive SecOps environment, technology that is designed to link and integrate systems can help significantly. Specifically, incident response automation that eliminates the time-consuming and error-prone manual tasks and provides visibility across both departments will not only help align the two groups together, but it can also dramatically improve the overall process of incident response, remediation and compliance. Employing such an intelligent solution can also lower costs, reduce risk and facilitate more effective collaboration between security and IT operations. As a result, the organization will maintain a much stronger, more fortified defense against potential attacks.

Are you struggling with fragmented systems and siloed teams? Is your enterprise secure enough to withstand the inevitable onslaught of cyber-attacks that are sure to come? Download a free 30 day trial of eyeShare today and start taking the steps to overcome this disconnect and create a more cohesive, collaborative and protected organization.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

3 Key Business Processes that Can Benefit from Workload Automation

3 Key Business Processes that Can Benefit from Workload AutomationJust a few decades ago, manual scripting and old-school batch processing were sufficient for most businesses. Given the always-on, 24/7 digital nature of business today, however, this is no longer enough to keep organizations secure, efficient and competitive. Workload automation is the ideal solution for helping companies run at maximum productivity while also saving time and money. If you’re considering adopting this tool for your business, here are 3 processes that might be a good place to start.

FTPs and Batch Processes

The exchange of information via electronic file transfer is commonplace in almost all businesses today, as is batch data processing. Managing each of these key areas individually is expensive and time-consuming. It also leaves the business vulnerable to risks associated with delays in file transfers or batch process failures.

Yet, many businesses that have adopted automation are still struggling, because they’re attempting to automate each piece separately. That’s because this creates silos and makes it incredibly difficult to manage complex workflows that span multiple applications, databases and FTP operations. The result is a fragmented approach that is both a waste of time and prone to error.

The solution is adopting workload automation that is comprehensive enough to incorporate FTP operation management within the job scheduling function. This provides enhanced visibility and greater control over both FTP and batch processes. With this more architectural approach, if and when a problem occurs, the job scheduler can securely send FTPs and restart automatically from the precise point of failure while also notifying IT operations of the issue.

Data Warehousing & Business Intelligence

These days, real-time data, business intelligence and reporting are essential to an organization’s ongoing success. Furthermore, how this information is gathered, organized and delivered is absolutely critical. Automating the data warehousing process is becoming not just an added benefit, but a necessity.

While there are many different tools that currently exist for this purpose, most have limitations. For instance, many of the popular data warehousing and BI solutions on the market today are platform-specific and are limited in terms of functionality. As a result, in order to effectively pass data across the various systems, IT operations must rely on time-consuming and error-prone scripting.

As a resolution to these serious issues, workload automation can provide the ability to integrate and manage complex workflows that span multiple data warehousing environments. The result is a much greater quality of data and enhanced reporting capability. Scripts and scheduling tools that are platform-specific can then be unified into a single workload automation framework which offers a higher degree of control and allows businesses to meet the increasing demands being placed on them.

Managing Dependencies & Data Sharing

There are a wide variety of applications and platforms that make up a core business infrastructure. This may include anything from CRM and project management systems to ERP, work order management software and supply chain management. Furthermore, the multitude of systems, software and applications are often made up of a mish-mash of well-known suppliers, such as Microsoft, SAP and Oracle.

In order to operate successfully and at maximum efficiency and output, organizations must find a way to seamlessly integrate all of these systems to effectively schedule and manage batch processing. Adopting an architectural approach through workload automation can help achieve this objective, ensuring that business applications are updated in a timely manner and speeding time to resolution in the event of a problem.

Of course, these are just three of the many areas a business can benefit from the adoption and implementation of workload automation.

Are you leveraging this powerful workload automation tool for your own IT operations? Don’t wait! Start automating today. Download your free 30 day trial to get started.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Why Automation is a Must for IT Operations

Why Automation is a Must for IT OperationsIT process automation is certainly nothing new. In fact, it’s been somewhat of a buzzword for the past 5-10 years or so, maybe longer. Yet, despite the widespread acknowledgement that automation is virtually revolutionizing the business world, there are still some organizations that have not yet adopted the powerful tool. If you happen to fall into this category, we’d like to share some compelling reasons why your IT operations should start automating today.

Two things IT professionals are dealing with on a day to day basis are the demands on them to offer more support on fewer resources and the increasing complexity of the technologies around them. Each of these challenges causes talented personnel to struggle. Simply put, humans are beginning to fall behind. As a result, costly mistakes are made, customer satisfaction (both internal and external) is dropping and the competitive landscape is becoming even fiercer.

Automation is specifically designed to help alleviate much of the pressure that IT operations groups are currently experiencing. First, routine tasks, like password resets and system restarts, can be shifted from workers to machines. These tasks are then completed faster and are virtually error-free. Meanwhile, personnel are freed up to focus on other business-critical activities, like further developing their skills and handling higher-level items that cannot be automated.

A more efficient and productive workforce translates to smoother IT operations all around. It also means a much greater output of work and enhanced services since technology is now doing all the heavy lifting. Naturally, this leads to a higher level of customer satisfaction, regardless of whether those customers happen to be internal workers in other departments or external clientele who depend on the organization.

Another important benefit of automation is that it helps to make IT operations more responsive to change. There’s no question that we’re living in an ever-evolving world where technology is advancing quicker than we even realize. The ability to scale and adapt is absolutely critical, particularly in IT. A slow evolution simply won’t cut it, especially in a field that is so hyper-competitive. Automation allows for agility, which is essential to an organization’s ongoing success.

As the demands on IT operations continue to grow and become more complex, there will be an even greater need for automation. Only those organizations that are forward thinking enough to adopt these innovative technological tools will remain competitive and continue to achieve their business objectives. Where will your company stand? Will you come out on top or get left behind? Start automating today and position your firm as a front-runner of the future.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

IT Operations – Staying Competitive in the Age of IT Process Automation

IT Operations - Staying Competitive in the Age of IT Process AutomationIt’s no secret that IT Process Automation  (ITPA) has begun to find its way into just about every industry – particularly that of IT operations. Yet, whether you embrace it or not, it’s important to remember that while automation is something that can most certainly improve operational efficiency, it’s not necessarily something that you can simply set and forget. There’s still a very human element to automation that must be considered, and it’s this human piece of the puzzle that will help businesses remain competitive in an increasingly tech-savvy world.

The ultimate goal of every IT professional is to produce real, measurable and efficient results for their organization. As technology shifts and evolves, IT department personnel is being expected to do more with fewer resources, all while taking into account cost. IT process automation provides the solution to these increasing demands by assisting in three key areas:

Repetitive, Manual Tasks

When someone is forced to perform the same simple, repetitive task over and over to achieve consistent results, there is little time to do much else. IT Automation relieves IT professionals from these redundancies, freeing them up to focus on improving their skillsets and managing those functions that require a higher level of human intervention.

Compliance and Security

Audits can become a tremendous waste of time and resources for IT personnel. So can managing data security. The right IT process automation tool, however, can provide an added level of protection to sensitive data and create easy to track documentation, making it a breeze to meet compliance requirements.

Human Error

In the event of a system outage, every moment – and every action – counts. Even the most seasoned professional can make a costly error when dealing with the stress and pressure of managing critical incidents. Incorporating automation helps to reduce the risk of human error, improving the chances of a smooth and timely system recovery process.

Of course,IT process automation isn’t something that will magically solve every IT challenge. While these three key benefits are pretty much universal, it must begin with a well-developed automation strategy that is designed to address the unique needs of the organization. Furthermore, automation can be integrated with other programs, such as VMware and PowerShell, to further enhance their benefits.

The goal is to develop and implement an automation plan that will achieve cross-platform results and one which is scalable to grow and evolve with the changing needs of the business. This requires the expertise of IT professionals who are willing to view automation not as an adversary, but as a means to further their careers and make their organizations more successful. Only those who approach automation from this perspective will be able to remain competitive and relevant over time.

Want to learn more about IT process automation and how it can help you stay relevant in the changing world of IT? Start your free 30 day trial today!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

IT Process Automation – Changing the Future of IT Operations

IT Process Automation - Changing the Future of IT OperationsThere 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 slim selection of highly qualified individuals, being successful in the IT field is no simple feat. IT process automation is something that can help change this climate, making for a much brighter future for IT Operations. Here’s how.

Without IT Process Automation, IT departments face the following dilemmas:
  • Decreased efficiency
  • Increased risk of human error
  • Lack of ability/time/resources to innovate

IT process 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 IT process 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 members to focus on other important issues that automation cannot assist with.

For those that worry about safety and the inherent risk that comes along with allowing technology to intervene so heavily, an intelligent IT process 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 an increased risk of mistakes. Many instances of 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, IT receives notification and takes the appropriate actions to resolve the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible. IT process 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 process automation, however, has opened the doors of virtually endless possibilities for IT 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 process 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. 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: 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 IT process automation? Download a free 30 day trial today to get started! 

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate