March 27, 2023
Top Opportunities for IT Automation
Automating routine tasks can improve processes and help organizations overcome vexing talent shortages.
Whichever talent trend is making news this week, the reality remains the same: Organizations are having trouble hanging on to their best employees. And as a result, leaders and teams are finding themselves overwhelmed with tasks that they once handled manually.
This is especially true in IT, and even more so for organizations beyond the Big Tech juggernauts in Silicon Valley. While some of those companies have been shedding staff in recent months, hospitals and power companies and insurance firms in the rest of the country are still having a tough time attracting and retaining quality IT talent.
Here are four great opportunities to use automation to reduce the burden on employees.
1. Automating Can Improve Your Help Desk
Many organizations are still bogged down with manual help desk processes that are cumbersome and time-consuming for employees. By contrast, automating the help desk can result in faster response times, more accurate reporting, improved productivity and a boost in employee satisfaction.
Organizations can embrace automation at varying levels, but many have had success using it for logging incoming requests, assigning tickets to specific groups or technicians, prioritizing issues and notifying users of resolution or escalation.
2. Automating IT Monitoring Can Reduce Employee Fatigue
Not long ago, human workers could more or less keep tabs on all the data being created and transmitted by their organizations’ IT systems. But today — between applications, servers, databases, Internet of Things devices and more — it has become essentially impossible for employees to make sense of everything. Organizations should automate as much of their monitoring as possible to help them identify trends and raise important alerts.
3. Empowering IT through Self Service
The process of provisioning IT resources has become more complex over time in many organizations, especially as the number of required integrations between various systems has ballooned. There’s a bit of boiled-frog syndrome at work here: The amount of work required to provision resources has increased incrementally, to the point where self-service is the only feasible solution.
By setting up their IT service management tools in ways that allow for self-service, organizations can automate tasks such as setting up new virtual machines, freeing up employees for more strategic projects.
4. Automating IT Tasks Can Prevent Unnecessary ‘Toil’
The concept of toil has grown legs in the IT world in recent years. It describes the kind of repetitive, manual tasks that are unpleasant (and often downright boring) and that provide little to no enduring value.
A perfect example of toil is the application regression testing process: It’s necessary, but it is generally completely rote. This can lead to process breakdowns. For instance, we worked with one company that still relied on manual testing, and an employee simply failed to perform a required check before passing the application on. That failure resulted in a systems issue in the field, one that could have been avoided if the organization had taken steps to automate toil-intensive processes such as regression testing.
Roger Campbell, a member of the Digital Services Transformation team at CDW, a group of highly experienced technology experts who work strategically with Sirius clients to design custom solutions addressing critical business needs.