The most important component of any business decision, particularly in terms of IT, is being able to measure the results as quickly as possible. Ongoing success depends heavily on whether or not the money you’re spending is truly getting you the type of return that warrants continued investment; otherwise you may end up wasting cash and resources. Obviously, the sooner you can identify what is and isn’t working, the better. If you’ve recently launched an IT automation project, or are about to do so soon, here are five simple ways you can quickly identify results.
Identify Quick Wins or pain points that can show quick value – What was it that ultimately drove you to make the decision to adopt IT automation for your organization? What pain points were you hoping to address with this technology? Perhaps you identified areas where your team was being bogged down by time-consuming manual tasks, which was killing their productivity. Or maybe you realized that writing scripts was becoming a huge waste of valuable time and resources. Whatever the reasons, when you clearly identify them, you can quickly match the appropriate solution with each one, making it much easier to see the results.
Clearly Define Your Outcomes – Know ahead of time what your desired outcomes are and how you can anticipate achieving them. Then, calculate the potential savings you will realize by automating these steps. This gives you a clear picture of future savings and ROI that you can use as a benchmark to measure against as you work further into the process of shifting to IT automation.
Choose the Right Tool – Understand that not all ITPA tools are created equal. Be careful and diligent when evaluating your available options and know ahead of time what to look for in a quality IT process automation tool. For instance, some of the criteria you should be using includes determining whether the product is easy to use, modular, offers any type of pre-designed templates, and if so, what kind of customization is available. You should also be particularly aware of the 80/20 rule – that is, avoid tools that require 80% of your time, but that you will only benefit from 20% of the time.
Get the Right Sponsorship and team engaged in the process– Make sure that you’ve got the right team in place to help see this process through to fruition. Not only do you need buy-in from the “decision makers” and those high level team members that will lead the project, but you’ll also need to ensure that everyone involved remains focused and motivated to achieve the end result. This will help you stick to your timeline for implementation, avoiding costly delays that can affect your overall ROI.
Measure Results of this project and Identify Other Areas for Expansion – IT automation isn’t something that only presents solutions for the here and now – it’s a long term solution that can help streamline your operations, improving ongoing efficiency and productivity, and enhancing your bottom line over the long haul. Don’t just focus on the short term benefits. Measure results on a regular basis. This will help you determine your long term ROI as well as identify other areas for expansion that could further benefit your firm.