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The Four Keys to Better I&O Efficiency

Four Keys to Better I&O EfficiencyIT infrastructure and operational (I&O) 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 I&O, 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 I&O 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 I&O 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 I&O, 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.

Automate, Automate, Automate – Finally, although perhaps most important, intelligent IT automation can have a tremendous impact on I&O 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 I&O 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 intelligent IT automation.

Could your I&O use an overhaul? Help bring the maturity of your infrastructure and operations to a whole new level by implementing IT automation within your organization. Click below to learn about the top 10 tasks you can start automating right away, and launch your free product demo today to get started!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

How to Build Your Center of Excellence (CoE) for Automation

How to Build Your Next Generation Center of Excellence (CoE) for AutomationThe Center of Excellence (CoE) for Automation has become a very hot topic these days, moving from distributed organizations that each own several tools and scripting to one vertical center that provides automation solutions across the enterprise.

In response to this growing demand, Ayehu has established an Automation Academy that will help enterprises to transition and build their own CoE, training people to become Automation Specialists / Engineers. This will allow organizations to better prepare for the future (when machines will do almost everything) and help drive efficiencies via automation with a stronger emphasis on innovation.

Building your own CoE for Automation isn’t necessarily as complicated as you may think. In fact, it can be accomplished by implementing just a few strategic steps. Here’s how.

Step 1: Evaluate and Adopt Automation

The first step in the process of establishing a CoE  for Automation is to gain adequate understanding of the various challenges, opportunities and benefits of automation. During this process, project management teams may choose to identify certain “quick wins” that can be automated fast and result in immediate return on investment.

Step 2: Define, Document and Set Up the CoE

Having gained a strong understanding of the challenges surrounding adoption of automation as well as the tremendous, quantifiable opportunities it presents, the next step is actually establishing your Center of Excellence for Automation. This involves selecting the appropriate core team members as well as evangelists who will assist in spreading awareness and advocate for the benefits of automation.

Keep in mind that the ideal core team for a CoE demonstrates a broad spectrum of skill sets. For instance, you’ll need someone who can assess the impact and document the processes, someone who can handle the implementation and integration process and someone else who can monitor and test the automation.

Step 3: Establish Systems and Infrastructure

Your CoE for Automation will only be as effective as the technological foundation upon which it is built. Making wise choices upfront about the systems and infrastructure you establish will set the stage for rapid growth and also help to prevent potential issues from occurring down the road. Invest in enterprise-class automation and architecture that includes robust features. Create and document best practices with a focus on automated processes that are consistent, efficient, accurate and auditable.

Step 4: Train, Educate and Reskill

While automation will inevitably eliminate some jobs, there are opportunities to train and reskill people for new, next generation roles, such as Automation Engineers. Reskilling and redeploying back to work will ultimately create higher value for the organization, its clients and for the employees themselves. Look for training options that are specific to CoE development, like Ayehu Automation Academy.

Step 5: Sustain and Scale

Once your CoE is officially established, the next phase should involve aligning the automation strategy with the strategic objectives of the organization. This typically involves scaling the approach to make it broader. For instance, while the initial goal of automation might have been to reduce costs, the scope should eventually evolve to include such larger goals as creating stronger customer loyalty or driving greater agility.

The entire CoE needs to work on firming a matured process so it can become agile enough to respond to demand and maximize efficiency. This process should have a definition of how the organization should approach the CoE, how the CoE should evaluate and prioritize these requests, how it should develop its internal design to production processes, etc.

Finally, the core CoE team should specifically include analysts who can continuously identify automation opportunities, translate business needs to IT processes, determine potential ROI and create the logic steps necessary for the automation engineers to build and implement the processes. Remember – a CoE isn’t stagnant. It’s something that must change, evolve and improve as time goes by.

Step 6: Incorporate Automation into the Culture of the Enterprise

Ultimately, automation should become a complement of continuous process improvement for the entire organization. The last step of building a CoE for Automation involves changing the overall business mindset to embrace the opportunity automation presents to change and improve how it operates.

Creating the CoE without making a cultural change in the organization simply will not work. The organization (the people) must change their behavior and think about automation as opportunity to live better, to focus on more important things and be freed up for innovation. Embracing automation will allow the CoE to become relevant to an organization that wants to change and automate as much as possible.

Keep in mind that this phase can take a good deal of time to complete. You’ll know you’ve achieved success once automation becomes embedded in every department and function throughout the enterprise.

Step 7: Market the CoE

Once the CoE for Automation is successfully established and the necessary cultural shift has been set in motion, it’s time to start promoting the CoE to outside to end clients. Any client-facing employee should be prepared to sell the innovation and success stories of automation. This will create demand generation and fulfillment and help the organization achieve maximum competitive advantage.

This is clearly a high-level overview of the CoE process, but it should at least provide a framework upon which to build. If you’re considering making a move in this direction, we encourage you to take advantage of our resources and expertise by allowing us to assist you with developing and establishing your Center of Excellence.

Why go it alone when you can rely on a team of experts who can help you every step of the way? To learn more or get started, contact Ayehu today.

5 Reasons IT Automation Should Be Your Top Business Priority

5 Reasons IT Automation Should Be Your Top Business PriorityThere are plenty of reasons many organizations still haven’t jumped on the IT automation bandwagon. For some, it seems like too much of an investment. For most, however, it’s more a matter of not fully understanding the benefits this type of tool can have on productivity, efficiency, service levels and operations as a whole. If you’re one of those who are still on the fence about whether ITPA is really worth investing in, here are 5 compelling reasons to help you make the right decision.

Streamline Processes – Most businesses, especially in terms of IT, are run through a number of separate processes. Not only is this incredibly inefficient, but it’s also much more error-prone. If just one area breaks down the potential ripple effect could end up costing the company substantial money. IT automation is designed to streamline operations so everything works in conjunction for optimum performance.

Reduce Excess Costs – Without question, one of the biggest drains on an organization’s revenue is inefficiency. Another is costly human error. One tiny mistake or delayed process could have a huge impact on the bottom line. By removing the human element from many of the manual processes IT performs on a daily basis, efficiency levels will be maximized and errors will be eliminated, thereby saving money for your company.

Enhanced Visibility and Accountability – Do the decision makers in your IT department really know who’s doing what and how at any given moment? Probably not. This lack of visibility can allow inefficiencies and underperformers to slip through the cracks unnoticed, and the business will pay as a result. The right IT automation tool will provide real-time insight throughout the entire process. As a result, each team member will have a greater level of accountability for his or her performance.

Identification and Development of Best Practices – The only way to make your business run better is to understand what processes are in place, how they are being handled and what the outcome currently is. This helps you determine what’s working and which areas might need some tweaking. IT automation powered by AI and machine learning provides valuable insight into key business processes so they can be further analyzed in order to create and develop best practices moving forward.

Better Use of Resources – Your IT department is staffed with well-trained professionals who, if you don’t have automation, are wasting their valuable skills and abilities. As a result, you are wasting money paying them to do menial tasks for which they are overqualified. By implementing IT automation, those routine tasks and processes are handled automatically, freeing up your skilled IT personnel to focus their time and efforts on more important tasks.

Is your organization losing money on inefficient processes, errors and wasted efforts? Are you ready to experience firsthand how IT automation can help? Click here to take it for a test drive.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

5 Ways Agentless IT Automation Can Benefit Your Business

5 Ways Agentless IT Automation Can Benefit Your BusinessAgentless IT automation software is not something that’s new to the market. In fact, automation has been leveraged for decades to some degree, with the most recent being its use in the business world to streamline operations, boost efficiency and productivity levels, reduce errors, improve SLAs, reduce costs and a whole host of other benefits. If you’re still on the fence about whether agentless IT automation would be worth the investment for your organization, here are five fundamental advantages for you to keep in mind.

Quick and Simple Implementation

Think implementing IT automation will be a huge undertaking? Think again. In fact, with the right platform, you can start automating everything from simple tasks to complex workflows in a remarkably short amount of time and with little to no interruption to business operations. Once installed, agentless IT automation can begin providing benefits almost immediately by freeing up skilled IT personnel to focus their valuable abilities on more important projects.

This is in stark contrast to agent-based software, which requires a much greater investment of time and resources. Not only does the latter require individual installation and configuration of each agent, but the process also often requires that each server be taken out of production in the process. Furthermore, should the implementation process not go as smoothly as anticipated, it could lead to even more costly down-time.

Enhanced Compatibility

Most organizations operate using a broad variety of systems and applications. Converting to one universal platform is typically not feasible, particularly for larger enterprises. Yet silos such as these can hinder efficiency and cause costly delays. Agentless IT automation is designed to fit seamlessly into this type of environment. Compatibility and straightforward integration with any number of popular programs, systems and applications helps to create a more streamlined and cohesive infrastructure.

To the contrary, with agent-based applications, there is often a conflict with existing processes and underlying operating systems. Additionally, each applications, system and platform requires the coding and compilation of a separate agent.

Easy Maintenance and Upgrades

Compared to agent-based technology, agentless IT automation is much less expensive, both in terms of ongoing maintenance as well as occasional upgrades. This is due in large part to the fact that it does not require that each agent in various versions across individual servers be addressed separately. Backup applications can be upgraded on the agentless platform directly, which then automatically initiates the rollout to the entire system.

With an agent-based system, backup application upgrades, regardless of how minor, typically require that a new agent version be installed. Furthermore, every operating system upgrade could potentially require a patch. This can result in increased system down-time, strain on personnel resources, increased expense and unnecessary risk.

Improved Performance and Enhanced Reliability

Since agentless IT automation technology requires the use of fewer resources, its overall performance is more efficient and output greater. Rather than requiring a background application to run continuously, information transfers can instead by managed via a file-sharing method, which minimizes the direct impact on any systems and applications that might be running concurrently.

Because an agent-based environment demands significant resources, the core function of the server or device being monitored may be impacted. It’s possible for agents to consume so much of the server’s resources that it can compromise its performance. This, coupled with the fact that most scaled environments feature hundreds of backup servers vastly increases the risk of failure.

Centralized Data Management

When it comes to data collection, agent-based technology uses a “push” technique, which can increase the chances of system performance issues when random updates occur. Because scheduling for agent-related activities takes place at the individual server level, data management can become increasingly time-consuming for IT personnel. This is made worse as the number of servers increases.

Conversely, agentless IT automation technology uses a “pull” data collection method, which is designed to be orderly and efficient. Queries are centrally managed and scheduled by the data protection application. As a result, data collection is conducted on a continuous and predictable basis.

Could your organization benefit from these things? Agentless IT automation technology might be the ideal solution you’re looking for. Experience it for yourself with a free product demo.

 

EBOOK: HOW TO MEASURE IT PROCESS AUTOMATION RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)

How to Overcome IT Security Staff Burnout

Overcoming IT security staff burnoutToday’s IT security professionals are under increasing pressure to manage and assure the highest level data protection for their organizations and clients. With the number of incoming threats steadily on the rise and staffing numbers remaining stagnant (or dropping), those in this high-stress industry are burning out at a rapid pace. IT leadership is often painfully aware of the issue at hand, but at a loss as to how to help ease the burden their staff is under. The good news is there is a solution and it’s not nearly as difficult or costly as you may think. But first, we must get to the heart of the problem.

As IT security threats and their subsequent impact continue to increase in number, frequency and complexity, businesses are scrambling to keep up. Furthermore, budgetary restrictions and a skills shortage are also wreaking havoc on IT security teams. As a result, qualified personnel are finding themselves inundated with a relentless stream of cyber-attacks, which is contributing greatly to the high level of turnover in the IT security field. Simply put, employees are overworked and it’s taking a significant toll.

Couple this with the fact that the incident response and remediation process for most companies is still partially or entirely manual. As such, system and network vulnerabilities are not properly being managed, which leads to increased risk to the organization. Further, dependence on tools like spreadsheets, emails and phone calls to handle incidents is not an adequate or effective way to manage incidents. There’s simply too much risk involved, which in turn puts even more pressure on IT security personnel. Something’s got to give.

As a result of all of these critical factors, many organizations are turning to automation to help manage the IT workload and improve service levels. More specifically, IT security professionals are beginning to see the power of automation for more effective management of incident response and remediation. In fact, with the right tool, existing systems and applications can be linked to create a more uniform infrastructure and close the loop on the incident response process.

Additionally, integrating automation into your incident response strategy can provide the following benefits:

  • Remove manual processes that slow response time. Managing IT security incidents manually often results in costly delays and bottlenecks, which slow your mean time to resolution. Automation eliminates these manual processes and thereby dramatically improve MTTR.
  • Enable the use of a single platform for IT security incident management. Gain real-time visibility and maintain control over the entire process to ensure ownership and accountability.
  • Prioritize and manage risk based on criticality. The IT security team can focus on those incidents that present the greatest degree of risk to the organization while the automation tool can handle less significant incidents without the need for human intervention.
  • Free up and optimize use of skilled staffing resources. IT security personnel can be freed up to focus their time, efforts and advanced skillsets on other critical tasks and issues.
  • Gain greater visibility over all IT security incidents. Centralized dashboard allows IT leadership to get real-time updates on any and all issues currently being handled.

As you can clearly see, automation is proving to be the ideal solution to easing the heavy burden of today’s IT security personnel. If you’re not yet taking advantage of the many benefits this technology has to offer for your organization, the time to do so is now.

Get started today by launching your free demo of Ayehu.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

The Role of Humans in IT Process Automation

The Role of Humans in Robotic Process AutomationWhile IT process automation has been touted as the be all and end all of workplace optimization, in reality it’s not necessarily the magical quick-fix that many in business leadership envision it to be. It’s much more complex than that. Will it ultimately lead to greater efficiency and productivity levels? Definitely. IT process automation is certainly poised to dramatically change the way we work, but it’s not as though we’re going to be turning our jobs entirely over to machines. To be truly effective, ITPA still requires a certain degree of human management.

Human input and oversight is critical for ITPA to be successful. In a perfect world, it would be great to simply plug and play, putting the software robots in place and just letting them do their thing. But that’s not what you’d do with human workers, right? Just like your employees, the intelligent bots you implement must first be told what to do. The tasks, workflows and processes they’re employed to do must be built and communicated, and that’s where humans come into play.

The good news is, with the right software solution, this is relatively straightforward (i.e. it doesn’t require any advanced coding or programming skills). Regardless, however, building and implementing a complex ITPA process still time and attention. The most important step is determining what processes can and should be automated to achieve maximum efficiency, and this cannot be done without human input. It’s also equally important that the process be tested regularly, particularly during the building and implementation process, to ensure that it’s working properly. Again, this requires human intelligence.

Those who have already been successful at adopting and leveraging IT process automation within their organization recommend establishing a dedicated team to oversee and manage the automation process. It shouldn’t be assumed or expected that IT will simply add automation to its list of other functions. Those in charge of ITPA should specifically be assigned the duties of managing and modifying workflows, allocating the appropriate number of bots to daily tasks, prioritizing work and, of course, dealing with exceptions as they arise. The latter part in particular demonstrates the important role of humans in ensuring that ITPA runs as smoothly and effectively as possible.

Furthermore, just like their human counterparts, robots will require routine performance reviews. Obviously this won’t require tact and two-way interaction, but rather its purpose is to improve the automated processes whenever and wherever possible. Once up and running, the IT process automation team will need to oversee processes at various intervals, fixing anything that goes awry and identifying areas of potential improvement. Additionally, human input is required to go through, analyze and leverage all of the data and documentation reported by the bots.

So, while the ultimate purpose of IT process automation is to streamline operations, it’s not meant to replace human workers. In fact, at least as of the time of this writing, this wouldn’t even be possible. In reality, ITPA is meant to enhance and improve the work environment for humans and only with their support, input and management can the true benefits of automation be realized.

Curious about how ITPA works and whether it would be a good fit for your organization? Request a free product demo today.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

How To Get Prepared For The 2018 GDPR Deadline

How To Get Prepared For The 2018 GDPR Deadline

This article was originally published in Forbes.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to affect thousands of organizations worldwide. In fact, GDPR is the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years. For those unfamiliar, GDPR defines a broad set of rights and principles governing the protection and use of EU citizens’ data, independent of physical location.

Heavy fines for noncompliance and rapid breach notification requirements, coupled with a mid-2018 implementation deadline mean that organizations must immediately and aggressively begin working on GDPR. At a minimum, they should start by developing data classification strategies, data usage and retention guidelines and baseline security controls. Furthermore, by automating these processes and controls, they can lower the cost and ease the implementation of GDPR compliance.

GDPR Background, Rights And Principles

GDPR was developed by the EU in order to formalize the rights of its citizens and their personal data. It applies to any firm or organization that processes or stores such data, regardless of where they are located. For example, a U.S.-based company that held client data in Singapore would still be subject to GDPR, provided that data included clients who are EU citizens.

Unlike its predecessor, GDPR contains strong enforcement measures. First, fines for noncompliance of up to 4% of worldwide revenue can be assessed for extreme violations. Second, in the event of a serious breach, violators may have to notify both EU authorities and the citizens affected within 72 hours, which will be extremely challenging and potentially disruptive.

The key element of GDPR is the definition of data protection rights for its citizens. The list of rights is extensive and will impact business models and processes in many ways. Some of the more important rights to take note of include the following:

• Consent must be given for data processing, and the way the data will be used must be stated in a way that is easy for the citizen to understand.

• Organizations must clearly state what data is being processed, how it is being processed and with what other organizations the data might be shared.

• Citizens have a right to be forgotten. That is, they can request that all copies of their data be deleted. They also have a right to be easily able to transfer their data from one organization to another.

Given that there is less than a year before the deadline for compliance, organizations absolutely must begin preparing immediately. There are several areas that are high priorities for action. These include staffing, data audit and classification, risk analysis and basic system logging. Beyond that, organizations must begin aligning their business models with acceptable GDPR practices, building their client notification and consent frameworks and defining a fundamental security control set.

GDPR Preparation

The first step in adapting to global regulation change, beyond understanding what the change entails, is preparing as far in advance as possible. With just about five months until implementation, the time to start prepping is upon us. While each individual organization will ultimately need to develop its own unique strategy, there are certain constants that are recommended for all enterprises to remain GDPR compliant. Those constants include four key steps, as follows:

Discovery: Identifying what personal data the organization is in possession of and where it resides.

Management: The governance of how personal data is accessed and used.

Protection: Establishing security controls to prevent, detect and respond to infrastructure vulnerabilities and data breaches.

Reporting: Acting on data requests, reporting data breaches and maintaining required documentation.

These four key factors should become the foundation of any GDPR policy. There is, of course, leeway as to how these steps are carried out and what tools and techniques are applied in doing so. Forward-thinking business leaders will leverage as many tools as available in order to streamline and strengthen their GDPR compliance.

Using Technology To Close The Gap

In response to the proposed change in data security regulation, many developers and vendors have begun offering various tools and technologies specifically designed to help organizations prepare and comply with GDPR. For instance, there is a growing number of risk assessment tools that provide deep analysis and visibility into database infrastructure along with recommendations for remediation. There are also a number of implementation solutions that have been preconfigured with GDPR rules, standards and processes.

From a control standpoint, automation is emerging as a valuable option, particularly because it creates a consistent, automatic and well-documented process that will stand up to scrutiny during an audit. It makes it much more certain that a spot check for compliance (e.g., validating the control for a particular day) will pass successfully. And with a flexible solution, an automation platform can integrate with virtually all security solutions in the market. This means that the organization can choose whatever security solutions they feel are best and still have the automated process they need to be successful.

Another consideration is segregation of duties. A security control must be separated from the people the control is monitoring. Using an automated process means that staff members do not need to be involved, eliminating the risk of staff members having access to both the data and the security control that protects it. Furthermore, a reliable record of that access is created in a data store that is closed to system administrators, creating a solid audit trail to validate the controls.

No Magic Bullet

It should be noted that there is no absolute perfect solution when it comes to compliance. The question of whether a control set is sufficient to protect data relative to risk is quite subjective. What auditors look for is not a fixed set of deliverables but a consistent methodology for analyzing risk, arriving at a control set and implementing those controls. By preparing ahead and leveraging the appropriate tools and technologies, organizations can improve the chances of maintaining compliance on a consistent basis.

EBOOK: HOW TO MEASURE IT PROCESS AUTOMATION RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)

Best practices for rolling out Robotic Process Automation

Best practices for rolling out Robotic Process AutomationAwhile back, we pointed out the many distinct benefits that robotic process automation has to offer businesses of every size and industry. But what about those first few steps? How can one develop an implementation strategy that will make rolling out RPA as smooth and stress-free as possible? If you’re preparing to adopt RPA for your organization, here are a few best practices to keep in mind.

Involve the Whole Team – Even if the RPA technology will be managed by a specific department, such as IT, that doesn’t mean the implementation process should be exclusive to that group. To the contrary, nobody will understand the very processes you’re trying to automate better than the end-user. Tap into this resource during the planning and implementation process to ensure that every necessary angle is covered.

Make it a Collaborative Effort – Expanding on our previous point, the implementation of robotic process automation shouldn’t be handled in silos, but rather as a collaborative effort amongst all of the teams and departments that will be directly affected by this new technology. During the planning stage, it might be helpful to hold focus groups and gather as much feedback as possible from different perspectives. As a bonus, this process can help you identify change champions who will further support the adoption of your automation initiative.

Develop a Core Team – When it comes time to focus on which tasks and workflows should be automated and what each step of the implementation process should be, it’s always good practice to have a dedicated automation team to lead the cause. Most likely, this group would be made up of individuals from within your organization, but it may involve some external consulting, depending on the size and scope of the project at hand.

Leverage Self-Service – The goal of robotic process automation is to maximize efficiency and productivity levels. Self-service automation is a great tool for achieving these goals. Not only does it save the end user time and aggravation, but it also frees up your IT help desk personnel to focus their efforts on more strategic and complex issues. Incorporate self-service into your RPA initiative as much as possible.

Drive and Measure Adoption – One thing is for sure, nobody likes change. Driving adoption of a new technology, such as RPA, can be incredibly challenging. That’s why developing a strong and strategic change management plan is critical. It’s also why identifying change champions is such an important step, since these individuals will lead the charge on your behalf.

As with anything else in the business world, preparation is the key to success when it comes to implementing robotic process automation. By planning ahead and keeping the above best practices in mind, your RPA initiative will be a much more positive and painless experience for everyone.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

 

What is ITSM Automation?

What is ITSM Automation?IT Service Management (ITSM) is the lifeblood of an organization. Yet, if the people, processes and technology that are in place aren’t appropriately optimized, the very function of ITSM cannot adequately add value. Automation can pull all of this together and streamline operations for maximum efficiency and service levels. But what, exactly, is ITSM automation? More importantly, what can it do for your business? Let’s take a look.

There are several different levels of ITSM automation, each offering a certain level of functionality. The most basic form of automation used in the context of IT service management is that of ticketing workflow. This involves automating the following tasks:

  • Opening tickets based on the service catalog
  • Updating ticket SLA based on priority
  • Setting ticket attributes based on category
  • Initiating ticketing status workflow

The next level of ITSM automation is capable of repeatedly opening tickets based on a particular schedule. For instance, the IT team can schedule weekly or monthly maintenance workflows for network equipment.

Beyond this is advanced ITSM automation, which is intelligent and intuitive and adds the most value. With this type of automation, tickets can be moved from creation all the way through resolution without the need for any human intervention. A sample workflow using this type of automation might be as follows:

  • Monitoring software detects low disk space on a specific server
  • Monitoring software opens a ticket in the ITSM automation platform
  • The automation tool automatically assesses the ticket request and categorizes it accordingly
  • ITSM tool initiates the automated workflow for disk space remediation (i.e. deleting temp or large files that are no longer needed)
  • Upon completion of the designated workflow and a follow-up disk space analysis, the ITSM tool automatically updates the ticket and marks it as resolved

Of course, this is just one example of the myriad of tasks, workflows and processes that can be fully automated. Perhaps the most important takeaway here is that an advanced ITSM automation tool can dramatically streamline the way IT operates, shifting most or all of the system administration tasks from human to machine. And because the automated processes are recorded, management can review these events to determine if there are areas where further improvement can and should be made.

Not only does ITSM automation save the enterprise a significant amount of money in terms of operating costs, but it also frees up service desk agents to focus their efforts on more mission-critical tasks and projects, such as those pertaining to increasing customer satisfaction rates.

In seeing the functionality and benefits of ITSM automation, the question then becomes not if an organization should adopt this technology, but how soon can they do so.

Take our advanced ITSM automation platform for a test drive today and see it in action!

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

5 Ways Robotic Process Automation is Improving the Healthcare Industry

5 Ways Robotic Process Automation is Improving the Healthcare IndustryThese days, it seems everybody is buzzing about robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and other so-called next generation technologies. One area where a number of these technologies are already helping to streamline process and improve operations is in healthcare. In particular, robotic process automation has enabled those in the healthcare field to shift a significant amount of manual, time-intensive and error-prone work from human to machine with incredible results.

To demonstrate how RPA can be applied in healthcare, let’s take a look at five real-world examples.

Administration – Much of the busy-work that healthcare industry workers get bogged down with, including training, data entry and accounting, can be transitioned to software robots. Not only does this save time, but it also eliminates the risk of human error, improving accuracy and client satisfaction levels.

Claims Administration – A good portion of daily time is spent handling claims, whether it’s inputting and processing, adjusting or dealing with appeals. Imagine how much more your team could accomplish if those routine, time consuming tasks were shifted to machine. This is one of the biggest areas where robotics process automation is revolutionizing the healthcare industry.

Membership Management – Another area where time is not optimized when performed manually is that of managing members. For instance, setting up accounts, verifying eligibility, processing enrollments, managing benefits, billing and customer service are all part of the daily drudgery. All of these functions can be automated.

Provider Management – On the flip side of things, providers must also be managed just like members are. Credentialing of new providers, data and network management and assisting with contract audits are necessary evils that can and should be transferred from human agents to robotic process automation.

Care Management – Last, but certainly not least, there are the important workflows involved in managing care, including coordinating that care, case and utilization management, population wellness and remote monitoring. Once again, RPA is ideal for centralizing and streamlining these workflows effortlessly.

The result of shifting these and other routine tasks from human agents to software robots is far more than just cost savings. More healthcare leaders are recognizing the value-added proposition that robotic process automation has to offer, including greater quality and innovation. When workers are no longer bogged down by their daily tasks, they are freed up to focus on more critical activities, like engaging in more meaningful customer interactions.

The most exciting part? Robotic process automation isn’t something that’s coming in the near future. It’s already here, and it’s already changing the face of healthcare as we know it. Don’t miss the boat! Schedule your free product demo and see our Next Generation automation platform, powered by AI, in action today.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide