IT Automation

Intelligent IT Automation: A Critical Success Factor for IT Management

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IT Automation can save money, improve security, and increase productivity and satisfaction

IT automation is easier than you think. What’s the most common IT-related task at almost every business? Creating or replacing a user password, a task that usually involves at least one interaction between a user and an IT support person.

According to multiple published estimates, it’s not unusual for IT support teams to handle an average of one password-related request per user, per month. And each such incident can cost $50 to $70, or more. A January 2018 Forrester Research report indicated that many larger organizations routinely allocate $1 million or more annually for password-related support costs.

Automated self-service alternatives not only reduce the costs of creating or replacing passwords. Users who don’t have to contact and wait for a response from IT feel more productive and empowered. And skilled IT people who don’t have to spend so much time on such mundane tasks can take on more interesting, challenging, and valuable tasks.

This is just one example of the power of IT automation, intelligently applied.

Beyond Password Resets

Given the wide range of IT-related tasks that can be automated, intelligent IT automation can deliver significant additional benefits and business value. Examples of tasks that are strong candidates for intelligent automation include but are by no means limited to those listed here.

  • New hardware and software requests
  • User account creation and retirement or deletion
  • Password creation, reset, and deletion
  • Provision of access to networks, storage, virtual machines, and other IT resources
  • Incident response and escalation
  • Software installations, updates, upgrades, and configuration management
  • Device configuration changes, updates, and management
  • Putting idle computers and servers into energy-saving “standby” mode
  • Patch deployment
  • Security scans
  • Storage management (including data archiving and backup and deleting old and unused files)
  • File, folder, event log, and network monitoring (with appropriate notifications of changes)
  • Monitoring of IT services (with restart as needed after a change or crash)
  • Report generation (on schedule and on demand)

Intelligent IT Automation: What To Do Now

Build better business processes. Intelligent automation starts with intelligent processes. Every instance of intelligent IT automation should be driven and governed by clear, outcome-focused business processes.

Start with what you have. Your incumbent IT management tools may have features you can use to automate some IT tasks intelligently. Ensure that these allow you to modify your automation implementations easily as processes and goals change.

Consolidate and rationalize your automation solution choices. If your business uses multiple IT management and automation tools, managing and harmonizing your automation efforts could be even more challenging. To the extent possible, strive to use the same automation tools and processes consistently across the entire IT estate.

Build your best possible configuration management database (CMDB). Automated CMDB updates in response to changes in your environment is one of the most valuable intelligent IT automation deployments possible. Such updates can improve availability, performance, and security of your entire IT estate. If you have not yet been able to justify creating a CMDB, pursuit of intelligent IT automation could be just the incentive your business needs.

Learn more. On January 29, join a panel of industry experts for an informative, thought-provoking discussion of the benefits and challenges of intelligent IT automation. Presenters will include Robert Roberts, Director of IT Operations and Support at Segra (formerly Lumos), Mike Bombard, Chief Operating Officer at Virima Technologies, and Michael Dortch of DortchOnIT.com. You’ll learn things you can do now and things you should be thinking about to achieve and extend intelligent automation across your IT estate. Click here for more information or to register for the live webinar or on-demand access.

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William Goddard

William Goddard is the founder and Chief Motivator at IT Chronicles. His passion for anything remotely associated with IT and the value it delivers to the business through people and technology is almost like a sickness. He gets it! And wants the world to understand the value of being a technology focused business in a technological world.
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