All business eyes seem to be focused on the current challenges of an unsteady economic environment, and organizational leaders are working to figure out the best plan to overcome them.
Leaders have their own collection of key initiatives as no two companies are the same. Most commonly; however, they want to double capacity and productivity, cut costs, enhance customer experiences, and future-proof their organizations. They’re also determining the metrics and KPIs that matter most for their business needs and goals.
Automation has the power to help advance their vision, but realizing the promise of automation requires thorough consideration and detailed planning. It all begins with defining the right technology, processes, and success.
Using automation to drive efficiency is not new to IT. For years, IT teams have been using out-of-the-box solutions and heaps of off-the-shelf content, as well as in-house tools and scripts to alleviate pressing pain points and solve problematic issues.
The current landscape presents a real opportunity for IT leaders – to elevate and progress tactical, existing automations, and build on those automations already in place to drive efficiency at the process level.
The power of the Resolve Actions platform reaches way beyond the platform itself and includes an automation and orchestration tool to create and produce new, complex, and intelligent automations, enabling more efficiencies to be achieved with end-to-end automation.
A Comprehensive Approach to Driving Business Value with Automation
Type 1: Eliminating Toil – Famous Small Starts
The very first step that pretty much everyone takes toward moving the business needle with automation starts with considering, and determining, what investments are most important and applicable.
Toil — the tedious, tiresome work that no one actually wants to do (nor should they) — is most often the first batch of work IT engineers think about automating. It’s an easy place to start, and it makes IT jobs easier by getting simple, low-value tasks out of the way of individuals, so they no longer have to complete them.
A favorite among the crowd, automating away obvious pain points one at a time, does free up IT staff of a single department and allows them to do more purposeful, satisfying work.
When ITSM teams can automate the many manual tasks of carrying out access requests, such as password resets, AD synchronization, account management, and others, there’s significantly less potential for human error, an incredible efficiency gain, and more solid support for the business.
Type 2: Single IT Processes – Deepening the Defense
Forward-thinking leaders of the pack have stepped up, just beyond automating individual tasks.
They’re automating multiple steps within an IT process. An evolution from eliminating toil, automation of single IT processes span across technologies, but they’re still limited to a specific function inside IT. Known for keeping the lights on, these automations tackle server provisioning, troubleshooting, ticket enrichment, and the like. They have just a bit more strategic impact than tactical task automations.
For example, the IT Operations function has evolved from having to support applications and workloads on-premises to a combination of cloud, multi-cloud, and more, adding an evident degree of complexity to processes and getting them done. Today’s request of provisioning a resource includes the umbrella of actions that goes with it, such as a new network configuration service.
Automating the countless moving parts of server provisioning, while within the NetOps department, breaks down roadblocks for IT and leads to a drop in human error, much shorter response times, and maintaining the terms of service level agreements (SLAs).
Type 3: Cross-functional IT Processes – Getting Ahead of the Game
When they’re ready for more, organizations will start thinking more critically about the IT processes that make the most sense for the business, from a strategic lens.
End-to-end IT process automation (ITPA) can handle cross-department IT functions, with the potential to impact more than one silo in one fell swoop. ITPA is proactive and predictive, and can detect and repair issues before they arise. It’s well-suited for auto-remediation of system
s outages and internet-based networking, for instance. Organizations can start mapping a business process or a full technology process from end-to-end.
Automatically remediating web application issues, for example, is critical for meeting the escalated expectations of employees and customers today. Impeccable experiences are capturing significant attention as key strategies for locking in employee retention and customer loyalty, which can make or break business survival. As automation remediates potential issues behind the scenes, employees and customers won’t be affected, and they may never know an issue was on deck.
Automating every step of a particular process, getting visibility into it, and adding intelligence along the way also eliminates the need for human IT staff and allows a company to cut labor costs.
Type 4: Business Outcomes – Transforming Customer Experiences
As organizations and IT teams start seeing the transformative potential of automation, they begin to think from an automation-first perspective and reimagine the role of technology. Tapping into the true potential of ITPA begins with fully customized automation unique to organizations, tailored specifically to their use case.
Telecommunications companies, for example, can automate quite a bit, starting in their NOCs. When a customer call comes in, it goes straight to the telco’s telephony system, which recognizes the caller’s phone number. This kicks off end-to-end process automation in the background.
The automation workflow, to ultimately solve the customer’s problem, runs multiple health checks along all the services that the customer uses, as to prepare the telco’s representative.
That way, by the time the customer’s call reaches the representative, an automatically generated report showing the diagnostics is already available with helpful details. It enables the representative to know what the customer needs right when the phone call begins, which can include a router issue, service down in the customer’s area, the estimated length of time it will take to restore the service, and the ability to provide updates to the customer.
From there, organizations can assess an automation investment in their unique business landscape, based on business needs and top priorities.
As IT cross-functionality increases with implementing and building automations, the strategic impact of differentiating the business in the competitive market becomes more powerful.
Orchestration: Filling Automation Gaps to Feed Business Processes
Automation and orchestration are not competing initiatives.
Instead, the perspective on the two concepts starts with any work done to map out IT processes and eliminate toil (as in Type 1), and then reusing those automations, alongside existing process and efficiencies, to orchestrate larger processes (as in Type 2 and 3). By linking automation and orchestration together, organizations can use and apply these building blocks to more meaningful outcomes.
Back to the telco representative who already knew the customer’s problem before answering the phone, in cases like these, someone would have already written the health check, which runs against the router to determine packet loss, for instance.
Orchestration unlocks abilities for organizations as they build their business process and think about them from a business perspective. Often, this planning helps organizations identify the gaps between their existing automations and those they need to support business processes, which leads to bringing them together into groups, as well as discover where the most effort is being spent.
The latter opens opportunities to continue building automations into the business — or — partner them with an army of software like UiPath, Automation Anywhere, Fintech tools, ADP, Workday, and so forth. This brings automations from different silos together and orchestrates them as part of the greater framework – creating and providing transformational customer experiences.
Work Smarter, Not Harder: End-to-end Automation Made Easy
IT leaders have an opportunity to step up and approach automation strategically, and get beyond the silos.
Automation, when used as a strategic initiative, helps leaders overcome any business challenges they’re facing and future-proof their organizations. However, most projects fail when organizations fall prey to the promise of automation and jump in before thinking strategically and planning things out.
The Resolve Automation Flywheel fuels intelligent IT Process Automation success by breaking down the steps to get there, and helping IT teams maintain consistency and rhythm.
The Flywheel ensures that IT teams evaluate potential automation candidates with important concepts in mind, including:
- Providing a structured way to analyze and consider automation initiatives across all IT touchpoints by understanding inter-dependencies
- Establishing a meaningful plan to continuously evaluate automation ROI in the context of the business
- Building a pipeline of automation use cases and prioritizing them based on what matters most to the organization
From there, pairing the Flywheel with Resolve’s Automation Capabilities Framework model provides organizations with the opportunity to obtain the following benefits:
- Taking advantage of investments already made to utilize resources more efficiently
- Using building block
gs for future, more elaborate automation and orchestration use cases, such as creating a new hire in an organization’s system (toil), and then reusing the automation to onboard them.
- Increasing customer satisfaction by standardizing processes and focusing on automation
- Reducing toil after opening up resources to focus on higher value automation opportunities
- Slashing the potential for human error with greater repeatability
- Making governance, security, and auditing available through a single pane of glass and following best practices.
Embarking on a new automation journey — one that leads to a place where efficiencies and productivity seem to multiply by the millions — can become more work than it needs to be. Because of the powerful, proven promises of end-to-end automation, leaders can imagine leaps and bounds that despite their first thought, they don’t actually need to take. However, working smarter to utilize and incorporate existing resources means there’s no need to start back at the beginning or erase any effort that’s already been made.
Adding initiatives provided by CIOs and CTOs to solve challenges and the automations that can help accordingly — to an organization’s business outcomes-based conversations — enables a sure-bet, “cherry-picking” method for bringing it all together: Starting with automation that’s already in place, strategically building on to it, and then driving the business forward with enhanced technological capabilities.
The Resolve Actions solution powers many workflows that cut through process and team complexities, to touch mission-critical systems and drive end-user satisfaction. We can help you apply automation according to your unique business goals, and to gain competitive advantage for sustainable success. Start your journey now.