How to Best Automate Your IT Processes for Efficiency and Cost Effectiveness

Business Intelligence | August 15, 2023

The term IT automation may seem contradictory. When people think of IT processes in modern organizations, they believe it is automation. The question then becomes. How do you automate what’s already in place?

For the most part, process automation isn’t words most IT departments want to hear. However, automation strategies are needed. Companies explore them to enhance data security and improve workflows.

Check out our quick guide on automated IT processes and how to reduce repetitive tasks.

What is IT Automation?

IT automation is all about implementing software and systems to stop repetitive tasks. It should also assist in reducing manual labor.

Automated IT processes assist IT teams with improving delivery time and consistency. Security is enhanced because you’re removing manual tasks that were delayed until someone responded to the work order.

Repetitive tasks could involve the following automated IT processes:

  • Implementing new systems
  • Monitoring existing systems
  • Maintaining systems
  • Collecting and analyzing data

With automation, the software takes care of setting up common instructions, processes, and policies. Your IT leaders save time and provide their staff with more time to focus on strategic work.

As virtual networking becomes more popular, cloud services must become faster and enhance security. Automation is for IT teams to advance with the company’s growing demands.

Defining Automation Strategies

Automation strategies are all about using tech to make processes more autonomous. The ultimate goal of an automation strategy is digital transformation.

IT automation makes it easier for teams to work in environments where they might need to set up thousands of servers, for example. Other types of process automation can include the following tasks:

  • Cloud automation
  • Configuration
  • Network management
  • Resource provisioning
  • Security automation

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are still in the early stages of development. However, they could help automated processes learn and get better over time. Automation tools are getting more powerful so IT staff can build workflows faster.

Automation Strategies to Implement Now

Once you decide to implement automated IT processes, it’s time to create a strategy. What IT processes will you implement first?

It’s best to start off slow using a process that won’t create a disruption to your IT team, service departments, and the external client.

Let’s look at a few initial options for process automation.

Asset Management

An important step in asset management is onboarding and offboarding. IT processes require assigning hardware to employees and logging when it’s returned. Instead of manually completing multiple paper forms and maintaining physical files, automation tools simplify asset management.

For example, when new employees require new equipment, they complete an online form. The form is designed to meet the requirements for designated positions.

Once completed and approved by IT, their laptop, phones, network key, and whatever else they need gets assigned. Similarly, when someone returns an asset, the IT team gets an automated notification with all the necessary information.

Automated IT processes also link a dataset showing every asset assigned to the person. IT process automation helps offices distribute and collect equipment quickly and easily without using paper forms.

Audits and Compliance

Compliance should be taken seriously in every business. Software must meet safety and regulatory requirements. Regular checks ensure everyone is following the right safety protocols and protecting data.

Usually, it’s done by email and online forms. Today, that’s not efficient. Automating forms means IT doesn’t have to manually verify that everyone has done their audit checks. Instead, they can use a master record to show who’s in compliance and who’s not.

Eliminating repetitive tasks like these saves time. Your teams can now address only the individuals who aren’t in compliance.

Change Requests

Although assigning equipment like laptops and smartphones is a big part of IT duties, it’s not the most important. IT processes also include maintaining records and databases, updating the company’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, and updating info when needed.

Change requests are a great way to automate IT processes. They eliminate employees going to the IT department to ask for the change. Or worry about it getting lost among hundreds of email requests.

All the required info is in the request for easy reference.

Service Requests

Service requests are common requests your IT department receives. These requests can be for anything from a new laptop to creating emails for new hires.

Automation tools allow the set up of a solid workflow to make sure your team isn’t overwhelmed by countless undocumented requests. It cuts paper forms for every request.

A request can be automatically assigned to the right IT member for review. Once completed, it’s placed in a service queue. No paperwork needs to be signed or forms sent from department to department.

Automation strategies like this saves your IT department time and effort. Plus, records are automatically stored for easy recall.

Ticketing System

Ticketing systems allow IT to keep track of requests. It saves time and resources.

Automating IT processes like ticketing creates a flexible workflow to track, assign, and close tasks quicker. It cuts daily paper requests and tracking them. The automated process assigns the task to the next available support person if a tech is unavailable.

Devising an Implementation Plan

When you tell the IT team to automate some of their processes, you will receive some pushback. Expect to hear every excuse ranging from IT processes being too complicated to automate to automation costing too much.

Many IT processes are hard to automate, but there are built-in workflows you can implement to ensure a smooth transition into IT process automation. The biggest hurdle is buy-in from the team that has to accept change while implementing automation tools that have a direct impact on their roles.

The goal is to show the many benefits while reducing the fear that changes will have a negative impact on workflows.

We Can Help!

No matter how big or small your business is, you must keep improving. IT automation will help you grow your business, give your customers the best experience, and help your employees be more productive and happy.

We can help implement your automation strategies. Contact us today to discuss the best automation tools.

 

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