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How to Maximize ITSM Efficiency Through Intelligent Self-Service

Managing the lifecycle of IT services is a complex and challenging undertaking. Further complicating matters are the many different facets of IT service management (ITSM), of which even one minor failure can disrupt the entire operation.

Meanwhile, IT service desk teams are being asked to do more than ever before, even while operating with limited staff and managing ever-increasing workloads. This, coupled with bottlenecks, delays, and time-consuming manual processes, leaves IT teams feeling frustrated and on the brink of burnout.

There’s got to be a better way. Thankfully, there is.

Inefficiency Impedes Progress

In an ITSM benchmark study by AXELOS, when asked to prioritize their most pressing challenges, ITSM professionals listed inefficiency as their biggest problem to overcome.

Without question, IT operations and development teams across the globe want to improve the way they perform their jobs, and eliminating inefficient practices is the number one concern. In fact, the benchmark study found that 55 percent of ITSM professionals are interested in identifying and eliminating wasteful work.

But how?

Sure, there are plenty of tools and platforms available that can be used to streamline IT operations. While considering the fact that siloed working also made the list of biggest headaches for ITSM professionals, is it really wise to bring on yet another tool for an already overwhelmed IT team to manage? Won’t that just contribute to an already significant problem and make matters worse?

Not necessarily. The key? Integration.

Improved ITSM Efficiency Without Increased Complexity

For a machine to work efficiently, all of the cogs within must be fully functioning. More importantly, they must fit and work seamlessly together as they were intended to. The same concept can be applied to ITSM efficiency. Utilizing codeless service desk management software, such as Cherwell, can help streamline ITSM by automating service delivery.

Integrating Ayehu with Cherwell can lead to even more powerful efficiency for service desks.

Creating an Intelligent Self-Service Help Desk

The integration of Ayehu’s intelligent automation and orchestration platform with Cherwell extends the ITSM solution capabilities and provides significant IT process gains and efficiencies. The integration enables the automation of current manual processes, to reduce time to resolution and allow the service desk to ignore the noise and focus on more critical and complex issues.

Ayehu’s integration with Cherwell allows IT departments to:

  • Automatically open, update, close tickets, and query tables in Cherwell
  • Leverage two-way SMS and email for event notifications and escalations
  • Accelerate the reporting, escalation, and resolution of incidents
  • Eliminate manual work and human errors
  • Ensure fully documented end-to-end processes
  • Reduce the amount of “noise” at the service desk
  • Enforce change management procedures such as ticket status changes

Two-way communication ensures that Cherwell platform is constantly kept updated on the status of tickets, from initiation to resolution. The two systems are always in sync, providing accurate status snapshots regardless of which platform is being viewed. A live dashboard displays all issues handled by the system, along with their time to resolution, providing an overview of what Ayehu is handling.

Most importantly, with this integration, the IT service desk can fully automate and mimic the response of experienced operators and analysts, including complex tasks across multiple, disparate systems, executing thousands of well-defined instructions without any programming required and helping to resolve virtually any alert, incident, or crisis.

In other words, combining Ayehu with Cherwell enables busy or short-staffed ITSM teams to create intelligent self-service desks with fewer (or no) agents, finally making it possible to solve the “do more with less” conundrum.

Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Complexity

Integrated with Cherwell, Ayehu acts as a force multiplier, driving efficiency through a simple and powerful IT automation and orchestration platform powered by AI. The agentless platform is SaaS-ready for hybrid deployments and is powered by machine learning driven decision support, for fully enhanced and optimized automated workflows. It can also be installed on-premise connecting seamlessly with the Cherwell platform.

Managing IT services will never be simple, but with the right tools and technologies at your disposal, you can make it far less difficult than it has to be.

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

ITSM Automation: The Secret Key to Unlocking Business Value

ITSM Automation: The Secret Key to Unlocking Business ValueOne of the more surprising trends in recent history has been the implementation of IT Service Management (ITSM) in areas that are outside of the IT realm, such as facilities management and human resources. Similar to IT, these functions can derive significant business value from standardizing, automating and streamlining workflows and processes. Furthermore, by cutting costs and skyrocketing efficiency, ITSM automation can help all lines of business roll out newer and better capabilities for the benefit of the entire organization.

Widespread Benefits of ITSM Automation

According to a recent survey by PMG, nearly three quarters of the 300 respondents listed self-service automation as beneficial to the entire organization. 68 percent agreed that automation can help lower the costs of IT operations. 82 percent acknowledged that automation has fundamentally changed the way cloud and virtual environments are managed while 65 percent credit automated technology as instrumental in integrating and managing Big Data.

Nearly all survey respondents, however, (98 percent) agreed that automation already provides clear and measurable business benefits, including:

  • Enhanced customer satisfaction
  • Increased productivity and subsequent gains
  • Better knowledge sharing
  • New product delivery

It’s no surprise, then, that ITSM automation is now being leveraged to streamline manual processes across entire organizations, including IT help desks, HR departments, customer contact centers and more. Extending automation outside IT departments into other business units within the company is becoming much more commonplace.

Aligning ITSM Automation with Business Goals

Of course, in order for ITSM automation to truly generate measurable benefits across the enterprise, it must be aligned as closely as possible with broader organizational goals. This isn’t a significant challenge, however, thanks to ITSM’s ability to facilitate better communication throughout the company. By eliminating miscommunication, businesses gain greater efficiencies. When IT becomes less of a silo and more a part of overall business operations, everyone benefits because they’re all on the same page.

Obstacles to ITSM Automation

While the majority of business leaders agree on the many benefits ITSM automation has to offer, there are still certain key challenges that exist and must be overcome. One of the biggest obstacles is the lack of a holistic approach to automation, which results in silos that are not integrated and therefore are not being leveraged to their fullest potential. In some instances, separate automated processes actually work against rather than with one another, slowing down progress and creating more inefficiency than they’re supposed to eliminate.

One of the contributors to these silos of automation is different departments that deploy automation individually, without the IT team’s knowledge and assistance. Other respondents to the survey cited business leaders who create their own automated solutions using incorrect tools or non-standard processes. Clearly these issues must be addressed and overcome if ITSM automation is to become truly beneficial. Ideally, the IT department should take the lead on developing and implementing an interdepartmental strategy for automation.

The first step? Choosing the right platform. Watch ITSM automation powered by machine learning and AI in action today by requesting a free product demo. Click here to get started.

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

Rethinking ITSM for Better Results

Rethinking ITSM for Better ResultsTo date, ITSM has been viewed as just one component of the IT infrastructure library (ITIL) processes. However, with the ongoing shift from fragmented of IT operations services to a more end-to-end, service-driven approach, the concept of ITSM has been positioned to play an increasingly critical role in overeall business operations. In order to successfully navigate this shift toward service, IT professionals must rethink what this practice is really about and how it will serve their organizations moving forward.

The Origin of ITSM

When it was originally developed, ITSM was intended to bring a more unified approach to how technology services were integrated throughout the organization. Rather than managing individual components, ITSM focused on developing a collection of best practice processes (ITIL) and using these best practices to deliver end-to-end services. Organizations would conduct ITSM audits which measured things like ROI, budget adherence, the effectiveness of communication and the ability to effectively detect and evaluate risk. The purpose was to identify areas that needed improvement so that IT services could be better honed to benefit the organization as a whole.

The Missing Piece…

While in theory ITSM is still a solid practice, in order for it to be truly effective it must evolve along with the changes of IT on a more holistic basis. What’s missing from the initial concept of ITSM is the end-user – the customer, so to speak. Internal processes may have been significantly improved, but if these improvements don’t trickle to the customer, it’s not a real victory.

Changing the Perception of ITSM

In order to get the most out of ITSM, there must be a shift in viewpoint from strictly internal to also include external value. The easiest way to do this is to simply drop the “IT” from ITSM and replace it with automation. This essentially expands the benefit from the internal operations of the enterprise to also improve the customer experience through the delivery of higher quality service and faster outcomes at a much more attractive price. Internal processes are streamlined and made more efficient, while external service also improves. In other words, it’s a win-win.

If businesses are going to be successful in the future, they must leverage new and changing technology to truly deliver the unique and unparalleled experiences that their customers are seeking. Adjusting the concept of ITSM to incorporate automation into the mix will accomplish this goal, providing the competitive advantage needed to thrive in the coming years.

Want to learn more about how automation can position your organization for future success? Check out our free ITSM Automation eBook. 





IT Process Automation Survival Guide




10 Biggest Reasons IT Pros Love IT Process Automation

10 Biggest Reasons IT Pros Love IT Process AutomationIf you’re somehow not yet familiar, IT process automation is technology that takes the specific pain points within a business – those time-consuming, manual tasks that are sucking up valuable resources and killing productivity – and automates them to dramatically improve efficiency and service levels, cut costs, reduce mean time to resolution and so much more. Want to know the real reasons why CIOs, CTOs, CISOs, IT managers and operation support teams are embracing IT process automation?

  1. Automating the remediation of incidents and problems. Not only does this free up time and manpower, but it also significantly reduces human error associated with manual incident monitoring and management. When an alert comes in, it automatically gets addressed or assigned to the appropriate person, and it can be easily tracked from start to finish.
  1. Empowering front-line IT operators (L1 and L2) to resolve more incidents faster. Automation eliminates the need for escalation to higher level teams, freeing those more skilled employees to focus on other important mission-critical tasks while empowering lower level staff to take on more responsibilities. This also reduces turnaround time because there’s less red tape.
  1. Reducing floods of alerts from monitoring systems and event sources. Enhanced organization and management of incoming alerts results in better service levels and fewer delays for delivery of that service. Critical alerts are prioritized and assigned immediately to the appropriate party for timely resolution.
  1. Automating repetitive maintenance procedures and daily operational tasks. IT professionals possess skills that could be much better allocated elsewhere instead of processing repetitive operational tasks. Automating these tasks, such as password resets and service restarts, allows technology to do the heavy lifting, freeing up talented personnel to be able to focus on key issues that would further improve performance and service levels.
  1. Creating a consistent, repetitive process for change management. Effective change management is all about organization. IT process automation provides management with the tools they need to create comprehensive processes that can be used again and again to produce the same desired results over time.
  1. Connecting ITIL best practices with incident and problem management. The goal of any operation should be to manage workflow in a manner that is the most efficient and effective, both internally and externally. When ITIL best practices are integrated with the best practices in place for incident management, the organization as a whole becomes much more efficient, productive and therefore more profitable.
  1. Documenting and capturing incident resolution and audit trails. Staying compliant with government and other regulatory bodies remains a top priority among businesses across just about every industry. IT process automation provides the ability to consistently remain compliant and well prepared in the event of an audit.
  1. Building an up-to-date knowledge base to reduce training time and cost. Bringing new employees up to speed costs time and money. Having a comprehensive knowledge base and easy-to-implement software reduces the time spent training, improving efficiency of both existing and new employees.
  1. Integrating on-premise systems management tools and process with ITSM tools. Service management and IT process automation go hand in hand. By joining the two, your organization will be better poised for success.
  1. Establishing end-user self-service portal for better services and fulfillment requests. Advanced technology has empowered people to be able to manage many day to day tasks on their own. ITPA leverages this concept, providing self-service options for the end-user which simultaneously improves customer service and operational efficiency.

Ready to jump on the IT process automation bandwagon? What are you waiting for? Get started with your free trial today and start reaping all of these amazing benefits for your own organization!