Automation serving business efficiency

Blog
July 3 2014

Efficiency is the bottom line of most businesses, and this is especially true for the IT department in today's technology-driven world. Process automation enables the IT department to handle user issues without being overworked or losing efficiency, help the business to keep costs down, and ensure an easier, more accessible overall process to help with technological issues. Here are a quick overview of potential automated processes as well as some automation key benefits.

The majority of IT processes can be automated. These can include:

  • Integrating applications
  • Accessing data from multiple systems
  • File operation transfers
  • Software testing
  • Data backup
  • Monitoring event logs and automating resolution of errors

Existing IT Systems

Because IT is mostly digital to begin with, expanding the existing processes can be an opportunity to automate them even more. As the processes are already tailored to the specific organization, they can simply be expanded to bring in more functionality and customized to link all separate applications. While this may be more time-consuming initially and requires the hiring of knowledgeable personnel - especially for more complicated systems or those that rely on cloud or virtual system - this is offset in the long term by the improvement in support efficiency and the reduction of service costs.

Reduce Human Errors

One benefit of computers over humans is that computers don't get tired, distracted, or overworked by multiple tasks. When programmed correctly, computers will always complete a task in the same way, and when automated, this benefits businesses by reducing the time needed to fix any mistakes. Automation processes supply the correct solution much faster and more efficiently than a human operator, and will guide users through a framework that reduces the amount of people needed to look at one problem. By using these processes to handle everyday IT issues, the IT department is free to allocate resources to more critical system errors that need human monitoring.

Benefits to the End User

By automating IT processes, a business encourages a more trusting relationship between the IT department and the end users, who are usually the employees. Users are able to access filtered service catalogs that show them what they can request and the amount of time it will take for the process to be completed, as well as allowing them to monitor what steps are being taken. This helps maintain visibility and allows users to feel that their problems are being worked on, without them constantly pulling the IT department away from other work with requests for updates. Happier users mean less complaints and improved productivity on both sides.

Communication between systems

One major benefit of automated processes is that they allow multiple disparate systems and applications to be mutually linked. This saves time for users and allows data to be automatically read from or written to other systems, reducing the need for information silos. Within a single company, this also means that systems are customized towards the business' specific culture and needs. Eliminating overlapping functionalities and controlling new sub-processes within already existing systems allow smoother workflows, as well as a more simplified use of the system as a whole.

Supports Efficiency

IT process automation not only reduces errors but also allows for the handling of high volume of service requests. Because most steps are automated and only specific people are alerted to the issue, work is streamlined and completed quickly and easily. This allows both users and the IT department to turn their attention to tasks that cannot be automated, such as dealing with customers or setting up new employees in the system.

Ultimately a business needs their automated processes to enable a linear flow from user request to the end solution, essentially improving service and efficiency while reducing costs. Automating these processes will allow for greater support efficiency, better integration between systems, less human error, and a more satisfying experience for end users and for the business itself.