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.