In our last post, we outlined some of the benefits of IT automation. By minimizing manual administration and maintenance tasks, IT automation enables organizations to increase operational efficiency, reduce human error and maximize the availability of systems and networks. This allows organizations to control costs while enhancing service quality and achieving digital transformation.
As we discussed, IT automation is the foundational layer of the automation hierarchy, providing support for business process automation and the hyper-automation that drives complex workflows and decision-making. If IT staff spend all their time on routine maintenance and “putting out fires,” they will be unable to deliver the services required for higher-level automation efforts.
IT automation requires more than simply installing tools. In fact, most organizations already have a plethora of tools that do not talk to one another. The objective is to streamline operations and minimize complexity as much as possible.
IT automation begins with a careful analysis of workflows with an eye toward maximizing efficiency. The goal should be to standardize processes across the IT infrastructure, eliminating silos and redundant or overlapping efforts.
- Which devices to monitor, and the events and conditions on each device that require action
- What action(s) should be taken when a particular event or condition occurs
- What preventive and proactive processes should be performed, and on what schedule
- What additional processes, if any, should be performed on specific devices, groups of devices or applications
Exceptions and ad hoc processes should be minimized as much as possible. With a policy-based approach, IT teams can ensure that best practices are applied consistently throughout the environment. Devices within a category or group will run the same maintenance processes according to a predefined schedule.
Auto-Remediation of Incidents
Next comes the definition of workflows for the remediation of incidents. The IT automation solution should integrate with the IT service desk so that a ticket is generated when the monitoring system issues an alert. That should then trigger the automatic execution of one or more scripts and notifications.
That’s not to say that technician involvement will never be required. For example, system administrators may need to review patches and updates before they are applied to ensure they don’t create incompatibilities. However, auto-remediation of incidents dramatically reduces response times and enables faster problem resolution.
IT onboarding and offboarding processes can be automated, ensuring that users have the resources they need quickly while minimizing errors and security risks. Automation also facilitates IT asset management by capturing device data and applying policies to devices based upon association with a category or group.
IT Automation Challenges
Most of the challenges related to IT automation involve humans. Often there is cultural resistance to change, or automation efforts lose steam because there is no champion driving the project. It’s important for IT leaders to help define an automation strategy, standards and best practices, and establish KPIs for measuring success.
IT staff will need to update documentation and validate and optimize processes. Ironically, a shortage of people and skills can prevent organizations from taking full advantage of IT automation.
That’s where Technologent can help. We have a team of experts with a proven track record of success in designing and implementing IT automation solutions. Give us a call to get expert guidance for your IT automation project.