Let’s just get this out of the way, because it’s a common fear: the goal of IT automation is not to reduce team size or completely change processes – it’s to give your IT department their time back.
The concept of automation can be daunting, but, if done correctly, it allows room for significant business growth. In order to identify what can and can’t be automated, we recommend a fact-finding mission: Advizex’s LEAN Value Stream Analysis-Process Workshop. Once a strategy is in place, the benefits of automation become obvious (and desirable!) Let’s look at three ways automation helps your organization.
1. Automation makes your IT department more effective.
Your IT department keeps your business running. They keep your network secure, fix day-to-day digital issues, monitor the cloud, and more. They might technically have the time in a day to do all of these tasks – and do them well – but then they’re left without time to propel the business forward through longer-term, complex business initiatives IT departments are made up of talented problem solvers. Let’s give them the time they need to do what they do best.
2. Automated tasks don’t need much maintenance.
With IT automation, your IT department doesn’t have to constantly monitor automated actions. For example, patches to a virtual machine (VM) could take days out of each month to manage. Automated processes still require occasional oversight, but time spent is reduced significantly.
3. IT Automation prevents context switching.
When a member of your IT department has to stop a project to fix an urgent IT issue, they lose focus on their work. Automation allows your IT department to maintain concentration and get more work completed without distractions.
Automation also produces the same results every time, which means it’s immune to context switching. Context switching can go beyond the workplace as well. If IT emergencies consistently happen over weekends, employees might become dissatisfied having to switch from relaxation to work, leading to lower productivity during business hours. Automated IT processes can be scheduled during down times when no one is working so employees aren’t impacted – and they can spend uninterrupted time with family and friends, which is important for morale.
Start with a little automation and scale up.
Your business is already successful. Automation takes those successes and amplifies them. Much like any new system, it takes time to get used to automation. Start with a small portion of IT tasks to automate and see how it fits in with your company strategy. Identify other tasks that can be automated and grow from there. We often say that the best place to start automating is somewhere.
By automating some of your IT processes, you could return 60+ days per year to your IT staff. That’s 60+ days where they’re focusing on projects that propel your company forward.