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Is IT Process Automation Really Taking Over Jobs?

Is Robotic Process Automation Really Taking Over Jobs?When IT process automation first hit the market, some thought it was too far-fetched to ever become a reality. But as more and more organizations began recognizing the many benefits – from increased productivity and efficiency to lower costs and fewer errors – people started worrying, wondering whether this technology would spell the end of the human workforce as we knew it. Would robots really start taking over jobs? To answer that question, those asking it must look inward.

In reality, the impact ITPA has on the workforce will depend largely on how humans themselves respond. When faced with the rising adoption of automation, workers will likely take one of two paths. The first group will continue to focus on the type of work they’ve always done, but do so more efficiently thanks to the assistance of digital labor. The second will take this as a golden opportunity to pursue their ambitions, increase education and broaden their skill sets, put their creativity and innovation to work and move on to more value-added tasks. In either case, the organization will benefit, as will most of the employees.

In particular, roles that have a primary focus on people, such as customer support and call center agents, have the potential to benefit greatly from IT process automation. Instead of being bogged down by repetitive, menial tasks that can easily (and more quickly) be handled by software, agents will be freed up to tackle more complex issues requiring a human touch. Furthermore, the improved allocation of resources afforded by ITPA will allow agents to prevent issues from occurring in the first place. This can dramatically improve both customer and employee satisfaction rating.

This concept can also be applied to the IT help desk. Rather than waiting until system problems arise and scrambling to fix them in a timely and effective manner, help desk agents can use the extra time IT process automation provides them with to monitor and proactively address technical issues before they occur. Imagine how impressed the VP of Sales will be when he gets a call from IT letting him know his hard drive was about to fail, but it’s been taken care of.

In both of these scenarios, the human worker is enhancing their interactions with their colleagues and/or customers. And since IT process automation is there to take on the routine, manual tasks, the human agents themselves are also able to improve.

The reality is, very few organizations are focusing on using IT process automation to eliminate jobs. Instead, they are focused on automating tasks, which in turn will improve productivity, streamline how work is completed, eliminate errors and cut costs. In other words, companies implementing ITPA are not doing so to replace human workers, but augment and make their lives easier. As a result, everyone benefits – from employees and management to clientele to the organization’s bottom line. It really is a win-win.

Still not completely sold on the idea of IT process automation and the value this technology brings to businesses across all industries? Don’t take our word for it. Try it for yourself. Click here to download a free 30 day trial of Ayehu. Trust us – you won’t be disappointed!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Shaping The Future Of Work: A Collaboration Of Humans And AI

Shaping The Future Of Work: A Collaboration Of Humans And AI

Article originally published on Forbes (Photo by Ken Ishii/Getty Images)

Since the industrial revolution, business leaders have been leveraging technology to augment human workers with the goal of maximizing efficiency and productivity while simultaneously cutting costs. Now, thanks to the recent tidal wave of intelligent technology advancement, we have suddenly found ourselves staring down the barrel of a workplace that looks quite different than the one we have become used to.

What do automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) mean for tomorrow’s workforce? Will AI eliminate the need for human workers altogether? The reality isn’t quite so cut and dry. In fact, the future of work will likely be a hybrid that involves both human and machine intelligence working in conjunction toward the same shared goals. Let’s explore this in a little more detail.

Redefining The Way We Work

The basic concept behind automation hasn’t changed all that much over the past century or so. When menial tasks can be shifted from human employees to robots, work can be completed faster and without the risk of human error. This dramatically improves efficiency levels, which means a better bottom line for an organization as a whole. And because the output of quality of work increases, service levels also receive a boost, so in theory, everybody wins.

However, automation powered by artificial intelligence has taken this basic concept and brought it to an entirely new level. Now, it’s not just about programming a machine to perform simple tasks; rather, it’s about relying on technology that is intuitive enough to adapt and improve without the need for human input. Take chatbots, for example. This technology is capable of using the data gathered over time from incoming customer inquiries to continuously develop a robust catalog of answers. In other words, the more it’s used, the smarter it becomes.

A New Realm Of Possibilities

Automation will inevitably lead to redundancy in certain roles. It’s only logical to assume that if software robots are capable of performing the majority of a lower-skilled employee’s tasks, it’s a much more economical business decision to shift those duties to technology, subsequently making certain roles obsolete. This doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that we’re doomed to a future of humanless offices. The truth is that while automation may eliminate some jobs, it also creates new roles and opportunities for human workers to pursue.

It’s also important to point out that as far as intelligent automation has come, there are still certain areas where the human touch cannot be replaced or replicated. For instance, a chatbot can be programmed to perform basic customer support, but it is not capable of managing complex situations. Likewise, intelligent automation can be highly effective in identifying ideal candidates for a job opening, but the actual hiring process is still a human-centric function.

Humans And Machines: A Match Made In Heaven

Ideally, the best way to approach the adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace is to view it from a more holistic perspective. Rather than machines and humans working independently, the two should be working in tandem toward the greater good of an organization. For example, process automation can be leveraged to handle the majority of the mundane, repetitive IT tasks while seamlessly transferring more complex issues to human workers.

AI can also be highly effective in helping business leaders make smarter, more data-driven decisions. Machines handle the data mining process, identifying, extracting and organizing the most relevant information available. Executives can then use this information to more accurately project and plan for the future. This facilitates greater innovation, which means those enterprises who adopt AI will lead the charge in their respective fields.

A New Definition Of Work

As artificial intelligence continues to evolve and improve, the very definition of what we consider to be mundane or routine will also continue to change. With smarter technology, more and more tasks will be shifted to machines. In fact, according to a recent report from Gartner, smart machines and robots could take over the tasks performed by highly trained professionals in such fields as IT, medicine and law by 2022.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean certain unemployment for those individuals working on the front lines. To the contrary, according to one study conducted by ServiceNow, 79% of executives surveyed say they expect an increase in the adoption of automation to lead to the creation of new jobs. Furthermore, an incredible 94% agreed that when repetitive tasks are automated, the demand for jobs that call for soft skills like communication, collaboration and creative problem-solving will grow.

Ultimately, it’s the way human workers approach this technology that will determine what tomorrow will bring. For those who choose to embrace artificial intelligence and all of the opportunities it presents, the future certainly looks bright.

This article was originally published on Forbes as part of the Forbes Technology Council. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Could Self-Service Automation Be Your Organization’s Key to Success?

Could Self-Service Automation Be Your Organization’s Key to Success?You’ve dedicated a lot of time and energy into building an IT department that is highly qualified. You’ve probably also invested a good deal of money into providing that team with the advanced technology they need to do their jobs more efficiently. What you may not realize is that the secret to sustainable success, not just in IT, but across the entire organization, may actually lie with the end-user. In fact, when it comes to productivity and competitive advantage, self-service automation might just prove to be your ace in the hole. Here’s why.

What is self-service automation?

Before we delve into the many business benefits self-service operation has to offer, it’s important to first understand just what this term refers to. Essentially, self-service technology empowers non-technical employees across the enterprise by allowing them to proactively perform a variety of routine and ad-hoc tasks and processes. This could be as simple as resetting a password or generating a report, or as complex as initiating and carrying out the new employee onboarding process.

Why is self-service automation such a powerful tool?

There are a number of advantages to employing self-service technology in your organization. From an end-user’s perspective, not having to wait for a help desk agent to complete the task in question can save a tremendous amount of time. Imagine if a user is locked out of his or her workstation and submits a help ticket, but all available IT agents are busy putting out bigger fires elsewhere. In the meantime, the end-user cannot perform his or her work duties. Multiply this by several users and you’ll see a significant hit on overall organizational productivity.

Now, imagine this situation with self-service automation instead. Rather than opening a help ticket, the user could take the necessary steps to regain access without having to involve IT at all. The employee saves time and can get back to being productive again much more quickly.

Self-service automation makes everyone’s life better.

Now let’s take a look at that same example from an IT agent’s perspective. Do you know how much time is wasted performing routine tasks such as password resets and system restarts? Essentially, you’re paying a highly skilled IT professional (or several) to do mundane work. By shifting this responsibility back to the end-user, you free up your talented technicians to be able to apply their expertise toward more mission critical tasks and projects. This is a much better allocation of resources for the organization.

And while many IT staffers may initially resist the idea of a self-service portal, they almost always change their tune once they experience how liberating it can be for them. Even lower-tier and entry level personnel can benefit, as they will have the freedom and flexibility to focus on improving their skillsets and making themselves more marketable.

Overall, self-service automation can improve productivity of employees across the board. When everyone is optimizing their time and work is being completed at a more efficient rate, the company as a whole will perform better. The better your company is running, the higher your customer satisfaction rates will go and the more traction you’ll be able to gain against the competition. In other words, with self-service automation, everyone wins.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Experience the many benefits for yourself by downloading your free trial of Ayehu today and start positioning your business for a more successful tomorrow.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

Want to improve your MTTR? Try a different incentive.

Want to improve your MTTR? Try a different incentive.Are your IT personnel currently being rewarded for accelerated incident resolutions? If not, this could be a way to significantly improve your mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR), by including rewards that incentivize your Level 1and 2 technicians to quickly response and resolve issues. Once MTTR becomes established as a benchmark metric for your team, additional improvements can be achieved via IT process automation.

Why is MTTR so important? Consider for a moment that 86% of companies suffer some type of system outage each year. Furthermore, a recent survey conducted by Acronis and the Ponemon Institute revealed that such an outage can cost a business an average of over $366k annually. Managing such an outage and bringing critical systems back up as quickly as possible is fundamental in how it will impact the future success of the business.

In order to improve MTTR, IT managers must find a way to drive home the importance of quick response and timely incident resolution to front line employees. What’s the best way to do this? Incentivize. Here are a few of the ways you can motivate your team:

  • Set key performance indicators (KPIs) at both the team level and the individual level that are clear, specific and measurable.
  • Offer varying rewards that include a mixture of cash incentives as well gifts and other non-monetary perks. Different people are driven by different things, so add some variety.
  • Don’t discount the value of flexibility itself as a reward. The ability to work from home or on flexible schedules can often be enough incentive to improve performance.
  • Keep the entire process transparent and conduct regular performance reviews. The IT industry in and of itself is defined by specific causes and effects, and those who work within tend to be analytical and results-driven.
  • Make incentives clear and attainable and measure progress regularly for optimum results.

These are some of the ways you can make an incentive program successful. Now, let’s take it a step further and look at what specific metrics should be included in that incentive plan.

  • Response Time – Amount of time it takes for a caller or live chatter to actually connect with a support agent
  • Average Handle Time (AHT) – The average amount of time support spends handling calls or chat sessions
  • First Call Resolution Rate (FCR) – The number of incidents that are resolved on the first call or session
  • Escalation Rate – The number of incidents that are escalated to upper tier levels
  • Service Level Agreement (SLR) – Whether specific service levels, such as promised resolution timeframes, are being successfully and consistently met

Of course, each IT group may have additional metrics, based on the specific roles and needs of that particular organization, but these are the basics that relate directly to MTTR. When these five KPIs are tracked, management can get a much clearer picture of how critical incidents and outages are being handled and where improvements can and should be made for future success.

So, where does IT process automation come into play? Simple. ITPA allows technology to do much of the heavy lifting in terms of managing incidents, ensuring that notifications are sent to the right people at the right time and making it easy to track progress at any point within the process. To take it one step further, automation can even provide the opportunity to proactively handle incidents so that they can be resolved before they become a serious problem. All of this leads to improved MTTR and allows IT personnel to successfully meet their goals and achieve their incentives.

Want to learn how you can leverage ITPA to not only incentivize your IT personnel, but also get your critical systems back online in minutes? Download our free white paper below!

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

Leveraging Robotic Process Automation to Help with Regulatory Compliance

Leveraging Robotic Process Automation to Help with Regulatory ComplianceThere are lot of resources out there that list the many benefits of robotic process automation (our blog included.) One of the least talked about, however, is compliance. When it is mentioned, it’s typically just that – a brief mention with little to no elaboration. The fact is, compliance is a very important topic for most organization and since RPA can make a significant impact, it’s worth delving into in greater detail. Let’s take a look.

What is regulatory compliance?

In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was put in place to establish and enforce new standards that govern the security, confidentiality and transmissibility of health care patient information. While these types of regulatory standards weren’t necessarily new, HIPAA thrust the topic of compliance into the limelight, making the public more aware.

There are, in fact, a number of other public and private compliance regulations that govern more than just health care. These include:

Sarbanes-Oxley Act – This act came about largely as a result of the Enron Corporation collapse. Signed in 2002, this act oversees the adequacy and scope of internal procedures and controls as they relate to financial reporting. All organizations, regardless of size, must comply with this act.

PCI-DSS – Established in 2004 by MasterCard Worldwide, Visa Inc., American Express, Discover Financial Services and JCB International, PCI-DSS is a set of standards that cover the operational and technical security standards of payment cards. These standards apply to all businesses worldwide that process, transmit and store payment card information.

Regulation SCI – These SEC regulations, established in 2014, are directed toward financial trading companies and cover the establishment and maintenance policies and procedures for the continuous operation of IT systems. They also regulate the flow of information and records between applications.

Regardless of which regulations your organization happens to fall under, the consistent factors across all compliance efforts include clear policies, enforcement of those policies, documentation of that enforcement and retention of that documentation.

The Role of Robotic Process Automation

As with all financial statements and even personal tax returns, the threat of government audits of regulatory compliance is ever present. When these audits occur, the speed and ease with which they are completed depends on the organization’s ability to successfully demonstrate its accordance with compliance regulations. This is typically done with the production of supporting documentation, such as log files.

Robotic process automation can provide tremendous support during such times as a compliance audit, particularly when it comes to producing network log files. Most RPA tools feature comprehensive documentation of all network activity and facilitate fast and easy retrieval of said documentation.

When you implement RPA at the enterprise level, you can design robotic log files and develop storage rules which conform to and integrate with other log files. This enables access to compliance and audit documentation and eliminates the hard file searches and subsequent data gaps that can occur with manual processes. Robotic process automation also ensures that enterprise leadership is provided with fully integrated, company-wide compliance reporting as needed.

When robotic process automation is applied to compliance reporting and management, not only will audits run much more smoothly, but company leaders will also be better able to anticipate and address compliance issues, proactively review compliance status and prepare in advance for effective responses to any audits that may arise.

For most organizations, compliance is a necessary evil. Thankfully, with the right tools – including robotic process automation – it doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

To experience RPA in action, simply launch your free 30 day trial of Ayehu today.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

How to Choose the Right ITSM Automation Solution

How to Choose the Right ITSM Automation SolutionWhen it comes to ITSM automation, there are almost as many solutions out there as there are issues to address. Sifting through the mountains of options and listening to every self-professed ITSM expert can be nothing short of overwhelming. But ITSM automation has proven to be the differentiator in achieving long-term success and ongoing competitive advantage. So, it’s a battle that must be fought. Thankfully, knowing what to look for in advance can make it a much easier process to endure.

Benefits of ITSM Automation

Before we delve into the key characteristics of a good ITSM solution, it’s helpful to get a clear understanding of how automation can become a force multiplier for your organization.

  • Reduced need to depend on people, as best practices are clearly defined and ITSM automation is leveraged to allow technology to do the heavy lifting
  • Less people dependency brings with it a greater cost savings to the company as a whole
  • Significant reductions in human error
  • Accelerated and improved incident response process
  • Greater IT service delivery process, which improves both internal service levels and external customer satisfaction

That being said, here are some of the main considerations to keep in mind when evaluating various ITSM automation solutions.

Ease of use and speed to deployment. The quicker you can get your ITPA platform up and running, the sooner you can begin getting a return on your investment. As such, a plug-and-play, out-of-the-box solution that offers preconfigured templates is a great place to start.

Single user interface. These days, IT support is delivered across a plethora of different devices. As such, being able to access your automation platform from anywhere through a single-user interface is recommended. Be sure to inquire on how the interface is configured.

Customizable, intuitive workflows. Not only should your ITSM automation solution be capable of tracking and recording incidents and service requests, but it should also be able to intuitively automate the appropriate assignments, tasks and actions related to them. The goal should be a closed-loop process that provides optimum visibility from start to finish. You’ll also want to look for a platform that allows complete flexibility and the ability to customize workflows as needed as well as agility to support your changing needs over time.

Enterprise-wide automation. With a solution that’s flexible and configurable, you can achieve widespread process automation across the entire enterprise. In other words, your ITSM automation solution shouldn’t be limited solely to IT service requests, rather it should be available to optimize other functions and business processes performed throughout the organization, such as employee onboarding, facilities management, HR and even marketing processes. The more robust the functionality, the better.

Ability to integrate. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel, nor should you have to invest in an entirely new infrastructure in order to adopt automation. To the contrary, look for an ITSM automation platform that is fully and seamlessly integratable with existing applications, such as active directory, desktop management, network monitoring and more.

Enhanced incident management. One of the biggest time killers in ITSM is spent fielding and managing incidents. Far too many organizations waste hours upon hours of manpower creating separate incidents for each task that needs to be performed. Still others assign entire incidents to second-tier support agents only to lose control and visibility. With ITSM automation, you can create and manage multiple tasks and assignments under one incident while maintaining complete visibility over the entire process.

Self-service options. Empowering end-users to handle many of the common IT support requests on their own not only improves productivity and satisfaction, but it’s also a great way to free up IT personnel so they can focus on more critical tasks and projects. Choosing a solution that offers self-service automation is a wise investment.

Comprehensive reporting and metrics. All the data in the world isn’t worth a thing unless you are able to extract and leverage what’s relevant to you. The ITSM automation solution you choose should have comprehensive and easy-to-use, multi-level reporting that will provide valuable insight into your service desk operations. This information can then be used to develop best practices, improve operations and make better business decisions.

Are you feeling overwhelmed in your search for the perfect ITSM automation platform? Ayehu offers all of the above features and functions along with the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning. See it in action by scheduling a live demo or download your free 30 day trial and experience it for yourself.

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

Data Center Automation is the Key to Optimizing Performance

Data Center Automation is the Key to Optimizing PerformanceIf you’re an admin in a data center, chances are you’ve found yourself overwhelmed more often than not with the complexity and tediousness of manual management tasks. The good news is data center automation can make a huge difference in your day to day workload and ultimately improve the operations of your department and entire organization over time. Let’s take a look at how IT process automation can be leveraged specifically to enhance the task of performance monitoring.

As an admin, one of your biggest duties is ensuring that your virtual machines (VMs) are running smoothly and performing optimally. Monitoring this is no simple feat. In fact, it can take a large portion of your time and resources, both of which could be better spent on other more important tasks. Furthermore, the process typically involves writing and running manual scripts, which is incredibly labor intensive and can leave the door open for the possibility of error and subsequent downtime. Enter data center automation.

With ITPA, you can automate your virtual monitoring activities, allowing technology to do the heavy lifting for you. The right data center automation tool can handle the entire process electronically, from locating and identifying physical servers, virtual hosts, applications and VMs to ongoing monitoring, alerts and notifications, and even metrics and analytics. Previously, all or most of this would be handled manually by IT personnel, tying up skilled workers to focus on menial tasks.

With a robust and sophisticated IT process automation product, complex workflows can be developed and orchestrated to bring all the necessary tasks together and integrate them into one single platform. Users can then visualize all events and their statuses in real-time. Detailed reporting is also available to help identify and predict future alerts for a more proactive approach to performance monitoring. Over time, this can reduce incidents and their impact on the IT team and the organization as a whole.

By tying together numerous processes and automating them, IT will be able to more effectively orchestrate workflows, all of which provide the foundation for developing an internal cloud – something many enterprises are working toward. There may be challenges along the way to this point, particularly when it comes to establishing a virtual infrastructure that is capable of handling data center automation. Having the right expectations of these potential challenges and preparing to overcome them is key, as is choosing the right ITPA platform for your needs.

Ultimately, if you’ve got the right tools at your disposal, you can turn your heavily-burdened, manual-laden workload into a highly efficient, well-oiled machine. You can also effectively bridge existing gaps between various devices, systems and silos to create a more cohesive infrastructure. It all starts with data center automation.

If you’re tired of feeling overwhelmed every day, the time to switch is now. Download your free 30 day trial of the Ayehu platform and put the power of automation to work for you.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

How IT Process Automation Brings New Opportunities

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business environment, one of the biggest challenges organizations are facing is how to successfully bring together all of their various technologies to ensure that their operations are run as efficiently as possible while also remaining secure and compliant. To further complicate things, many businesses are struggling to find a way to marry their physical, virtual and cloud environments effectively. Finally, for investors, there are many unanswered questions about whether opportunities truly exist and what those opportunities may be. IT process automation delivers the solution to both of these dilemmas.

Out with the old, and in with the new.

As technology improves, more and more businesses are finding it necessary to begin shifting from their existing IT systems, many of which are becoming obsolete, to more up-to-date options. Cloud computing has broken down barriers and opened countless doors, particularly for small to mid-size enterprises to be able to “come of age” and deliver the same level of service and performance as their larger competition. This has been easy for those firms just coming to market, but for those existing companies that have thus far subsisted with various antiquated programs and systems, makiHow IT Process Automation Brings New Opportunitiesng the transition can be a challenge.

How IT process automation can help.

ITPA continues to revolutionize the way organizations do business, both internally and externally. One of the most powerful benefits of this technology is that it can become both a catalyst for change and the glue that connects the old on-premise systems to the new, improved and much more flexible cloud environment. This technology allows businesses to seamlessly integrate their legacy on-premise applications with new cloud-based systems and effectively pull together all of the various silos that once might have slowed the organization down.

What does this mean for the end user?

Another excellent advantage that IT process automation offers is its incredibly low technical learning curve. Whether your end users are familiar with Active Directory, ServiceNow, VMware vSphere or another system or program, integration with an IT process automation system is virtually undetectable. Organizations have the option of still sticking with a program or system that they feel comfortable using, while also receiving the benefits of ITPA, such as improved productivity, better allocation of resources and faster mean time to recovery (MTTR).

What does this mean for the potential investor?

Investors want to see that the businesses they will be supporting are on top of their game – particularly in terms of technology. How are operations run? What kind of systems are in place to maximize efficiency and improve production overall? When an organization is operating with multiple separate silos (physical, virtual and cloud), there is a much greater risk of interruption, which can be costly for the business and ultimately for the investor. With the right ITPA tool in place, all of these silos can be seamlessly knit together for optimum performance and operational efficiency.

This type of solution presents more opportunity than risk to investors, which in turn creates better opportunity for the businesses themselves to receive the support they need to grow and achieve further success.

In conclusion…

The moral of the story is this: if your business is a little bit behind and you’re finding it necessary to somehow bring together all of your systems, IT process automation can help. Not only will you be able to easily integrate all of your silos, but you’ll also realize improved efficiency with the added tools ITPA delivers. And when investors explore the possibility of supporting your organization, all of these benefits will make your business a more attractive option. In short, ITPA can enable you to rise to the next level and gain the competitive advantage you need to truly be successful.

What can IT process automation do for your business? Check out 10 things that you could and should automate below and start your free 30 day trial of Ayehu today!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

How Automation and Machine Learning Are Solving the Technology Staffing Crunch – An IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview

IT Briefcase

This article was originally published in IT Briefcase.

Browse any tech news site today and you’re bound to see at least one headline pertaining to automation and machine learning. The fact is, this technology has made leaps and bounds in advancements since it was first introduced, which has led to its more widespread adoption in almost every industry across the globe. One specific area where intelligent automation technology is making a significant impact is in that of the staffing IT shortage.

We recently sat down with Gabby Nizri, Co-Founder and CEO of Ayehu Inc., to learn a little bit more about how automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence are being used as a force multiplier to help organizations overcome the staffing crunch and operate at peak performance.

  • Q. What is machine learning?

A. Machine learning is a level up from basic process automation. Instead of simply automating pre-defined or ordered steps and workflows, machine learning uses an algorithm that is capable of learning patterns in existing data and then using that information to predict similar patterns in new data. Essentially, it uses intelligent technology to implement dynamic rules and workflows while also recommending next best actions for further business optimization and better decision making.

  • Q. What are the benefits to IT?

A. The most obvious benefit of automation and machine learning technology is its efficiency. Transferring time-consuming, repetitive tasks and workflows from human to machine can dramatically speed up operations. It also eliminates human error, which can reduce costs and improve satisfaction levels.

What many organizations are now realizing, however, is that automation can also provide a solution to their staffing woes. We all know that skilled IT professionals are at a premium, particularly those who are experienced in the area of cybersecurity.

By leveraging automation to do much of the heavy lifting, essential business functions like incident management can be handled electronically while existing IT personnel are freed up to focus their skills on more mission-critical tasks and projects.

  • Q. How is it having an impact on the industry?

A. Thanks to the overabundance in available data and more affordable tools for gathering, processing, deciphering and storing that data, machine learning algorithms can now easily be applied to produce fast, affordable results for businesses of every size and industry. Companies are no longer held back by the fact that they are smaller or have limited staff or IT budgets. That’s why we like to call it a force multiplier, because it truly is a game changer for many organizations.

  • Q. Why should organizations should embrace it rather than fear it?

A. It’s understandable why many people view automation and machine learning as a threat, but what they need to realize is that this technology isn’t designed to eliminate humans from the workplace. To the contrary, its purpose is to augment and complement human capabilities. In other words, the ideal scenario is to have humans and machines working side by side.

Will some jobs be eliminated? Likely so, but in reality, those types of jobs were actually better suited for automation anyway. At the same time, the adoption of machine learning and introduction of artificial intelligence into the workplace will also create new roles and opportunities. So, those individuals whose jobs are made redundant may have the chance to learn new skills and change their career paths.

Overall, the benefits far outweigh any downsides, particularly in how automation helps organizations do more with less. So, even those operating on a shoestring budget or with a skeleton crew of IT workers can remain competitive.

  • Q. How is Ayehu using artificial intelligence and machine learning?

A. The next generation of Ayehu is a simple yet powerful web-based automation and orchestration platform for IT and security operations. The platform leverages proprietary, sophisticated machine learning algorithms to provide decision support via suggestions to optimize workflows and dynamically create rule-based recommendations, insights and correlations. It is both agentless and codeless, and is easily deployed, allowing users to rapidly automate tasks and processes, including interoperability across multiple, disparate solutions and systems from one, standalone platform.

  • Q. What is the role of automation in the future?

A. What I find most exciting is that we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface with automation and machine learning. As these technologies continue to develop and improve, the way they can benefit businesses will only continue to increase as well. What we’re seeing now – and it’s pretty amazing stuff – is really just the tip of the iceberg. In my opinion, the best is yet to come.

 

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

MSPs: Overcoming Common Challenges to Achieve Growth

MSPs: Overcoming Common Challenges to Achieve GrowthMaking the transition from basic IT support to the more lucrative role of Managed Service Provider (MSP) isn’t always as easy as it seems. Achieving growth from there can take even longer. So why, with automation becoming such a mainstream accepted tool in the IT world, is becoming a successful MSP so challenging? We thought it might be helpful to uncover some of the most common challenges hindering MSP growth and, more importantly, what can be done to overcome them.

Challenge #1 – Being Too General – Many managed service providers out there that are struggling to achieve growth and ongoing success are missing the mark because they’re not positioning themselves as the gurus they truly are. Obtaining the appropriate certifications and credentials and honing your individual service offerings is key. Additionally, selling these services either by competency or by vertical can boost business tremendously and increase the amount of revenue you could be earning.

Challenge #2 – Not Differentiating from Break/Fix IT Support – The main driver keeping this barrier in place is fear. Many IT pros want to transition to selling managed services, but they hesitate for fear that they’ll lose some of their customers. In reality, not every client is suited for a managed service provider vs. break/fix type of support. But while you may, indeed, lose a small segment of business, you will gain it back and then some over time. Understanding and accepting this fact can help overcome the uneasiness and make the shift a little bit easier to make.

Challenge #3 – Underpricing Themselves – Switching from fixed price and/or cost plus pricing to a more realistic and profitable pricing model can be challenging, particularly if you don’t fully understand the true value of your services or, more importantly, how willing your customers are to pay what you’re worth. If you’re undervaluing and underpricing yourself, you will not be able to realize growth. In fact, you may even price yourself out of the industry all together.

Now that you know what may be standing in your way, here are a few helpful tips for overcoming these common barriers to growth:

  • Evaluate your existing business plan and MSP strategy, the strength of your software, and the skills and abilities of your team members.
  • Leverage technology and tools, such as automation, to buckle up your service delivery and make it much more efficient.
  • Keep a close eye on the market and your finger on the pulse of your customers to recognize and capitalize on trends and opportunities.
  • Develop and foster specialties by obtaining certifications, etc. in areas where your customers are.
  • Assess and modify your pricing model to ensure that it properly supports your level of service.
  • Establish a specific goal (i.e. 20% growth in 12 months) and develop a strategy for achieving that goal over the designated time frame.

Making the shift from one-off, break/fix IT support to a qualified, highly sought after Managed Service Provider isn’t as difficult as you may think. By understanding what factors might be hindering your ability to change and grow and applying the above advice for overcoming those obstacles, you’ll be well on your way to securing your position in the profitable MSP world.

Want to learn how the right IT process automation platform can help propel your Managed Service Provider career forward into a successful future? Start your free 30 day trial today!

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