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ITOps: Best practices to improve performance and service quality

ITOps best practicesThere’s no doubt about it. Intelligent automation is the biggest driver for increasing the overall performance of ITOps and service quality for businesses today. It allows IT management and personnel to streamline their workflows by automating the time consuming day to day tasks that bog them down, allowing technology to do the heavy lifting so they can focus on more important business-critical issues.

Intelligent automation can be applied to almost any pain point your organization may face, from frequent password resets to service restarts to disk space cleanups and much, much more. The key is to begin with a few small things so that the value can be easily identified and then work up to include more complex projects and workflows to utilize automation to its fullest potential.

Best Practices for Systems and IT Operations Managers:

As with anything else in business, there are certain “best practices” that have been established and should be implemented to achieve optimum results with automation. Here is a brief list of guidelines for system and ITOps managers to follow:

  • Pick one or two pain points with value. What simple processes or small tasks are important to your organization but are bogging your team down? Pick points that you can quickly and easily measure the value of once you’re up and running.
  • Once you’ve got your list of pain points, it’s time to sell the value of your automation project to the key decision makers within the organization. Go over the benefits in detail and be prepared to counter any objections and show evidence of projected ROI (try our free ROI calculator). The more prepared you are ahead of time, the better your chances of winning over the “powers that be”.
  • Carefully evaluate available intelligent automation tools to help you choose the right product and then learn as much as you can about the one you choose so that you can truly convey the benefits that it will have for your business operations.
  • Foster IT automation skills within your team. Make it clear to IT personnel that automation isn’t something to fear. That it’s not there to eliminate their jobs, but rather to make them more efficient and productive, and to provide the opportunity to enhance their skills, become more marketable and achieve more growth in their careers.
  • Encourage communication between IT teams and business people. Devops and automation go hand in hand, with the shared goal of bridging the gap between IT personnel and those on the operational end of the technology. For optimum results, a solid relationship built on trust and open communication should be developed and fostered.
  • Develop key performance indicators and measure results. Once you’re up and running with automation, it’s critical that progress is continuously monitored, measured, analyzed and modified accordingly. Develop a list of which performance indicators are most important to your organization and then measure regularly to ensure optimum results.

In summary, organizations that follow these practices will not only increase agility and reliability, but they will also have a more productive, happier staff. ITOps teams that know how to utilize these tools will have more opportunities for growth, both within the workplace and beyond, as demand for these skills continues to grow.

In the end, it’s a triple win: employees, your business and your customers all benefit in multiple ways through automation. So, the question then becomes not “should you automate”, but rather, “why haven’t you started yet?”

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

3 Ways AI is Revolutionizing ITOps

It’s hard to imagine that while just a short time ago, people were asking what AI was all about and whether it was something worth investing in, yet pretty soon we’ll be asking how we ever lived without it. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have radically improved the lives of many, in particular, IT managers, enabling them to optimize their precious time and add legitimate value to their organizations. Here are three specific ways AI is redefining the role of ITOps.

Reduction/Elimination of Time-Consuming Tasks

Each and every day, IT managers are burdened with tasks. Some of those tasks are complex, tedious and mission-critical. Others are menial, mundane and time-consuming – administrative tasks, such as scheduling, setting deadlines and alerts, establishing priorities, directing daily operations, coordinating project activity, managing and analyzing workflow…the list goes on (and on, and on).

Here’s where AI is already making a remarkable impact on the lives of ITOps managers. By shifting most or all of these time-sapping administrative issues to intelligent automation, these leaders are freed up to allocate their skills and expertise to what’s most important. AI is particularly beneficial in terms of managing any process that is repeatable, such as preparing reports (and we all know how much IT managers adore reporting). Many organizations worldwide are already taking advantage of AI’s quantitative data analysis capability to generate analytical reports.

Increased Knowledge/Skill/Judgment Work

Only an IT manager would understand how a so-called promotion can actually be more of a headache and disappointment. Think about it. You’re awesome at what you do – ITOps work – so you get moved up the ladder, into a role that is filled with endless administrative tasks (as mentioned above). Feels more like a demotion than anything else. Many IT managers in this position would much rather be focusing their time, energy and expertise on things like:

  • Developing standards and best practices
  • Overseeing complex workflows
  • Identifying duplication and waste, quantifying outcomes and providing analysis
  • Coordinating and managing operational budgets and initiatives
  • Analyzing data
  • Developing departmental and interdepartmental goals
  • Evaluating proposals to determine requirements and feasibility
  • Consulting with users, stakeholders, technicians and vendors to determine needs and requirements

Artificial intelligence has gifted IT managers with the ability to perform more of the knowledge, skill and judgment work that they love, not only because it frees up time, but because the technology is inherently designed to support enhanced decision-making within ITOps (and beyond). That’s not to imply that human expertise and insight will be replaced by AI. To the contrary, cognitive skills and critical thinking will become even more prevalent because IT managers will have more time.

More Room for Creativity

The flood of demanding day-to-day tasks that ITOps manager face leaves little to no room for the creative thinking that is necessary to drive innovation. Some of the areas where these leaders can add value include brainstorming to improve future IT initiatives, strategizing on organizational goals and objectives, keeping up with tech developments, acting as champion for the IT department, just to name a few.

Integration of artificial intelligence is facilitating more creative thinking by enabling better experimentation and collaboration. When IT managers are able to spend more time strategizing, the human element of creativity will flourish for the betterment of ITOps and the organization as a whole. What’s more, IT managers will be able to take on more advisory roles thanks to AI’s presence. The ability to hone social skills will continue to open up new and exciting opportunities.

Conclusion

ITOps managers across the globe are already experiencing drastic changes with the growing adoption of AI technology. The relief from administrative tasks alone have made it well worth the investment, with the promise of even more widespread benefits that will change the scope of everyday life for the better.  

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