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IT Automation Benefits and Best Practices

Home » IT Operations » IT Modernization » IT Automation Benefits and Best Practices

Author

Craig Davis

Director, IT Services

In today’s uncertain economic climate, IT organizations face mounting pressure to work more efficiently while driving transformational innovation. The benefits of IT automation create a powerful tool for maximizing efficiency and effectiveness – reducing the cost and complexity of day-to-day operations while freeing staff to support the business at a strategic level.  

By 2025, Gartner expects 70% of IT infrastructure and operations leaders to implement automation that delivers flexibility and efficiency to their organizations – a significant jump from 20% in 2021. In fact, Gartner predicts that IT automation will shift the balance in IT by 2024, enabling teams to spend only a third of their time on operations management and dedicate most efforts to value delivery.  

Traditionally, the day-to-day logistics of IT operations leave little time for innovation, overwhelming IT staff with tedious, time-consuming, error-prone manual work. The pandemic and subsequent rise of remote work increased the time, energy, and resources needed to “keep the lights on” even more – spurring a 37% increase in IT’s overall workload, a 66% surge in security issues, and a 39% rise in ITSM (IT Service Management) issues and requests.  

The hybrid workforce slams IT help desks with an unprecedented number of end-user requests as well, making it even harder to focus on strategic projects that grow the business or help insulate it from future disruptions. A severe IT labor shortage compounds the problem, leaving many organizations stretched too thin to escape a firefighting approach. 

IT automation presents a viable solution to these daunting challenges – relieving organizations from mundane, time-draining work and setting the stage for transformational change. Let’s examine how. 

4 important ways IT automation benefits IT performance

1. Improve productivity and effectiveness.

Automation optimizes IT resources – freeing human staff from repetitive tasks that monopolize their workdays like provisioning new servers and monitoring systems. Instead, they can focus on value-add work like deploying new applications and services.  

Amidst the labor shortage, IT automation benefits enterprises as well by allowing them to accomplish more without increasing headcount.  

2. Decrease errors, increase reliability.

IT automation mitigates operational risks that can disrupt critical business processes and raise IT costs. While manual processes are prone to human error, automation executes tasks accurately and consistently – significantly slashing process-related errors. 

Automation also improves the uptime and availability of IT systems with next-gen monitoring capable of identifying and addressing issues before they trigger business-impacting outages or slowdowns. More than 60% of IT outages lead to at least $100,000 in losses, according to a 2022 Uptime Institute report.  

Avoiding service disruptions also creates goodwill, driving end-user satisfaction with IT. 

3. Better scalability of IT systems.

React faster and more effectively to changes in the business environment. For instance, autoscaling in the cloud with a tool like Kubernetes enables enterprises to instantly respond to unexpected spikes in demand.  

Autoscaling also prevents needless spending, efficiently and automatically managing workloads based on application goals and thresholds. Without autoscaling, organizations tend to overprovision – and thus, overpay – to ensure availability. Otherwise, services can fail if they don’t have enough resources to handle surges.

4. Real-time visibility into system performance and health. 

Previously, troubleshooting involved hands-on work and physical, on-premises equipment. But the advent of cloud computing increased environment complexity and interconnectivity dramatically – making it nearly impossible for IT to manually monitor performance, track end-user transactions, mitigate vulnerabilities and back doors, and pinpoint the root cause of issues or bandwidth slows. 

IT automation benefits businesses with real-time visibility into today’s complex, highly distributed IT landscape. It delivers actionable insights that help IT make informed decisions about optimizing operations. It also can provide AI-powered early warning capabilities, as well as automated alert thresholds, escalation chains, workflows, and more. 

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10 areas to consider for IT automation

While many IT areas are ripe for automation, here’s a sampling that can deliver substantial impact and ROI. For instance, UiPath reports that automation reduced the average handling time of IT ticketing by 98%  for its internal IT Ops Center of Excellence, saving 15% of the workload per year.

  • Backup and disaster recovery. Minimize data loss and speed recovery time. 
  • Network and server monitoring. Quickly identify and resolve issues, decreasing downtime while increasing performance. 
  • Software and patch management. Reduce system vulnerabilities by ensuring deployment of the latest software updates and security patches.
  • Cloud management. Automated management of cloud resources like servers, storage, and networking helps improve efficiency and reduce costs.   
  • IT asset management. Improve efficiency and cut costs with automated tracking and management. 
  • Help desk management. Improve efficiency and reduce response times, automating management of tickets, incident reports, and more.  
  • Security management. Automating processes like monitoring logs, analyzing data, and responding to threats can improve security and reduce risk.  
  • Software and application testing. Improve quality and minimize costs.  
  • Repetitive tasks. Automating tedious work like data entry and file transfers improves efficiency and productivity while cutting costs. 
  • Compliance. Avoid costly fines and penalties by automating compliance activities for complex regulations like HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and GDPR.

7 benefits of IT automation for your entire business

Of course, with business and technology irrevocably linked, automation that increases IT performance also accelerates business transformation: 

  • Reduce operational costs. Increasing efficiency, reducing manual work, and streamlining workflows in IT optimizes business costs – for instance, requiring less staff, mitigating outage costs, and reducing the need for expensive software licenses. Gartner expects hyperautomation technologies will allow companies to decrease operating costs by as much as 30% by 2024.
  • Better teamwork. Foster a more collaborative, efficient work environment by streamlining communication and information-sharing across different departments and teams. 
  • Enhance customer experiences. Speeding response to customer inquiries with automated self-service portals, for instance, improves resolution times and satisfaction rates. Even when relegated to back office processes, automation frees IT staff to focus on projects that benefit customers like improving service delivery. Automated security protocols also drive loyalty and trust by showing every measure is taken to protect customer data. 
  • Increase innovation. With greater bandwidth for developing new products and services, IT is better positioned to help organizations stay ahead in today’s fast-moving markets. Reducing mundane work creates a more appealing work environment as well, helping attract and retain more highly skilled IT professionals with a natural drive to innovate. IT automation blso helps drive digital transformation company-wide, building the foundation for new technologies and optimized processes. 
  • Improve governance and compliance. Regulatory compliance regarding data processing, privacy, security, and management is a top-of-mind concern for enterprises across industries. Automating audit trails and other compliance-related processes makes it easy to demonstrate compliance. Automation also eliminates security risks that stem from human mistakes and improves accuracy for processes that must adhere to regulatory guidelines.  
  • Greater agility and resilience. By enabling IT to respond faster to unexpected changes or disruptions, IT automation benefits enterprises by improving their ability to adapt and remain resilient amidst challenging times. 
  • Heighten security. Average data breach costs surpassed $9 million in the U.S. in 2022 – more than twice the global average. Automation not only can speed security practices, but also delivers drastic improvements to the accuracy, reliability, and consistency of business processes that strengthens an organization’s overall security posture. 

Maximize IT automation benefits with a quality partner

Modern organizations need IT to serve as a strategic partner – crafting innovation roadmaps with cutting-edge solutions for driving new business opportunities. The benefits of IT automation are clear: driving efficiency, reliability, and cost optimization that dramatically improves IT operations and value delivery. 

But IT automation opportunities are vast, including scripting, configuration management tools, AI, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and more. Assessing the right approach can feel daunting – and successful journeys are far from guaranteed.  

A McKinsey report found that only 55% of organizations characterize their automation programs as successful – and more than half say they were much harder to implement than expected. 

Partnering with a quality automation provider delivers the skills, best practices, and experience organizations don’t possess to optimize ROI and do automation right. Nearshore firms can also help you avoid the headache of recruiting and retaining hard-to-find automation resources, delivering consistent access to top talent via a deep pool of high-quality tech resources in Latin America. 

With the right automation partner, IT can transition away from reactive work – prioritizing strategic, value-driven opportunities that reshape the future of its organization. 

Want to learn more about maximizing IT automation benefits? Schedule a consultation with our IT automation experts today! 

Written by

Craig Davis
Director, IT Services
Craig is an Information Technology Leader who has a real passion and a strong track record for delivering significant improvements to IT Organizations specifically, IT Service Delivery, Cloud Services, IT Operations, Project Management (PMO), and IT Service Management functions. He has experience in Service Delivery and IT Operations, Cloud Migrations and Services, Customer Satisfaction Improvements, Financial Management and Cost Containment, Strategic Planning & Implementation, Contract Deployment & Implementation, and ITIL, and IT Service Management. He previously worked for companies like CoreLogic and First American Finance Corporation. He holds a Bachelor degree in Computer Science from Tyler Junior College and other certifications in IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Amazon Web Services (AWS)

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