IT Automation: Developing a Roadmap for Priorities
How do you accomplish more, do it faster, and reduce risk? Wouldn't it be great if you could offer new services to improve efficiencies without adding work to the team? Do you feel like IT automation is an option only for large enterprises? Good news. IT automation can help you meet these goals, and it is no longer only for big companies.
Many companies maximize their teams asking employees to wear multiple hats. Hiring a team of IT experts isn't reasonable. Here is where IT automation can help. IT automation enables you to eliminate tedious manual processes with a repeated automated process.
Why not just automate everything? The upfront work isn't worth it for infrequent tasks. The first step is to identify those areas that can significantly reduce manual labor, improve quality, fill-in deficiencies, and simplify complex procedures. Your priority should be to focus on the people, processes, and machines that make your business successful.
IT Automation: Start with the People
Your team is an essential part of your business success. IT automation does not eliminate the need for people. It does free employees from repetitious manual work and minimizes the chance of human error, but human involvement is still required. In fact, people are a priority in any IT automation initiative.
Clear and open communication between all human stakeholders from the start of the automation process is paramount. The various teams must work hand-in-hand during the planning, transition, and implementation stages. It is worth noting that each stakeholder will have different goals in mind.
Stockholders may want a healthier bottom line. The production team likely wants to increase output. Quality control is probably aiming for zero deficiencies. And, the IT department's goal could be sustainable systems. By communicating and collaborating, stakeholders can put together a cohesive process that includes the perspectives of everyone involved.
Automating IT Processes
Prioritizing processes for IT automation is not an easy task. The general business goal of automation focuses on efficiency and reliability without negatively impacting quality and safety. The specifics boil down to the reduction of labor-intensive, time-consuming, and repetitive tasks such as configurations and patching. It may also include frequently occurring problems such as network slowdown and poor CPU utilization.
Your industry, company size, and goals will determine the processes to prioritize. The resulting automated design should be modular and scalable to allow for easy expansion or downgrade. The processes chosen for automation should also help increase output, capacity, and accuracy while shortening the time needed to complete tasks.
IT Automation for Machines
Machines excel at accurately performing monotonous mechanical steps repeatedly for an extended length of time. These jobs are where people are prone to make mistakes. For example, a person tasked to spend their day reviewing thousands of statistics is likely to miss something. It is physically and mentally exhausting work that is well suited for machines.
An essential step for IT automation is to create standard interfaces between machines. By enabling these technology elements to interoperate, you are creating a framework that is flexible and collaborative. Interconnecting different groups provides them with the ability to share information and work in harmony for success.
An IT automation project can be daunting, especially when faced with a cluttered framework, legacy systems, skeptical employees, and different processes. With adequate planning, prioritization, integration, and standardization, you'll have a smooth automation implementation. To learn more about how we can help with your IT automation, contact us at BlackPoint IT Services today.