Can IT Even Be Automated? 5 Reasons to Say Yes
March 23rd, 2018 • Business Process Automation
If you suggest that the IT department think about automating some of its processes, you might hear, “Our processes are too complex/ad-hoc to be automated,” or “Our users will never be able to figure it out. They can’t even remember the wifi password without coming to me every week.”
While there are some shades of truth, everyone knows that’s not the full story. Although many IT processes are difficult to automate, there are structured workflows you can put in place to ensure a smooth transfer into IT process automation.
So what are some of the common processes you can automate in IT?
Service requests are extremely common with the IT department. These requests can range widely, from a new laptop, to fixing damaged hardware, to debugging an internal software tool.
You can automate IT processes like these, because even if they are initially ad-hoc, you can set a solid workflow to ensure that your team doesn’t get swamped with innumerable and undocumented requests from everyone. And, it sure beats having to use a paper form for each and every request.
Once a request has been raised, it can be assigned to the required IT member so that they can take a look at it. After completion, it can clear the queue without needing any paperwork signed or any forms sent from one department to another. This saves the IT department a lot of time and effort, since they don’t have to worry about filing paperwork and keeping records up to date. They’re already done automatically.
Laptop servicing isn’t the only thing that IT does. A lot of their work revolves around updating records and databases, implementing changes to the company’s ERP system, and updating information where and when required.
Another process that helps with IT process automation is change requests. These can be initiated when there’s a database or record that needs to be updated. Instead of having to walk up to the IT department and ask for the change manually, or have your request lost in a sea of emails, a change request can help IT keep track of the request, and have it done in a timely manner.
Any and all clarification required is done through the request itself, so no one misses the communication, even if they’re brought in the middle of the conversation. By doing this, you can automate IT process, and not break your head by doing everything through simple forms and emails.
You might be using a ticketing system within IT, but beyond tracking, it doesn’t really help much unless you add a structured workflow around it. IT process automation is about taking something like ticketing and building a flexible enough workflow so that all tasks can be tracked, assigned, and closed as efficiently as possible.
With a ticketing system on hand, IT can easily tackle those pesky ad-hoc requests that seem to come every day.
Another advantage of an automated process around ticketing is that all the information can be gathered in one place, instead of handwritten notes and clusters of emails. If someone is on leave, the ticketing system can be used to transfer a case to another person who can have all the information they need before they even start addressing the issue.
When it comes to the issue of what to automate, IT processes like these rank highly, since without automation, they are one of the biggest time and resource sinks that IT has.
No forms, no papers, no chaos.
During employee onboarding or offboarding, one critical stop is the IT department to either be assigned or return some hardware. Rather than having manual forms and papers tracking the entire thing, IT process automation makes this much simpler.
When a new user comes to IT for their new equipment, they’ll just have to fill out a digital form where they’ll be recording all of the necessary details. Once that’s completed and confirmed by IT, the new user gets their laptop, network key, and anything else they may need.
The same goes for offboarding. Returning assets can be a part of that process. The IT team will get an automated notification with the details required. If you connect a dataset to your automated process, you can even have the form display all the assets assigned to that person.
Here, IT process automation makes it easy for offices to distribute and collect equipment without having to jump through paper hurdles.
Compliances and Auditing
Compliance is no joke in any organization. Software needs to comply with safety and regulatory standards, and regular audits need to be done to ensure that all employees are following proper safety protocols for data security.
This is where IT process automation comes to the rescue. Initially, this would mostly be done through emails and digital forms, but this isn’t very efficient, especially if IT has to check random systems.
Through automated forms, IT doesn’t have to manually see if each and every employee has finished the auditing checks. They can have a master record show them who have finished and who haven’t. This way, there’s no running behind people to ask them to complete the compliance testing.
“IT cannot be automated” is a misinformed myth that some people use to excuse themselves of trying to automate a department that is a bit more difficult than others. IT process automation can definitely be done, but it just takes a little more inventiveness and effort than some of the other departments. If you aren’t convinced, then take a free trial at KiSSFLOW, or ask for a demo, to see how IT process automation can be done in your organization.