IT Team work is hard. They are owners for almost all the hardware, software , network, devices, tools and systems used in an organization. There is no denying the fact that at some stage you will think about automation. Anakage is helping IT Teams to automate their end user support. While helping our partners typically we also help them to take a holistic view of their automation agenda using our methodology, processes and tools. Below are some of the points to think over in your automation journey –
- Finding what to automate is first thing you should think about. Data is important, follow the quote “In God we trust, all others must bring data”. Pull up as much data as you can gather and find ways of analyzing it. Use some freely available tools on internet to analyze your data quickly but do not forget to mask sensitive and personal data before taking it online. When in doubt refer internal policies before taking these data out. Do not use intuition or your gut feeling at this stage. Sometimes just using a plain word counter tool will reveal so much information. Incident and Service request data will come handy for analysis at this stage.
- Take this opportunity to think hard if it is time to optimize the process itself rather than automating it. Think of doing RCA and eliminating the root cause rather than automating the faulty process. Take a wholistic view, automation is not only RPA or scripting, many times it could be a new tool which was never used by IT Team in organization. If you have a password reset tool that cannot be accessed by an employee if he is locked out then what is the use of tool.
- Set realistic goals. Everything starts small and trying to perfect everything in all manner before go live is too ambitious. Start as soon as possible, measure and iterate. Keep goals like we will reduce incidents by 10% in six months rather than just saying we will reduce incidents.
- Do not underestimate power of End Users – They are different than what they use to be. Involve End Users in your automation, think beyond process and backend automation. May times end users are forgotten or out rightly dismissed in this plan. Most common refrain is – “We know our users, they will never do it“. The skillset of new age workforce is different and if you provide them correct information and tools they will take care of themselves. Available tools project very narrow view of how an end user can help in IT automation.
- Should you reinvent the wheel. Scripting is not automation. Scripting is easy, it can take care of few initial cases but the components needed for an automation platform to measure, iterate, build, scale is not something which can be build inhouse using scripting. Then there are lot on non-functional requirements like security, performance, design etc. is best left to experts.
- Understand levels of automation that can be achieved. There is plethora of options available – scripting, RPA Tools, bots, ML and AI based cognitive platforms among many. Based on what you want to automate choose right technology. Each tool will market themselves but it is on you to decide what is best fit.
- Understand your stakeholders. They can be sponsors, decision makers, users etc.
- Handle low hanging fruits first. Release MVPs (not half baked) early and frequently. Take baby steps, create POCs, validate, scale, measure and iterate.
- Build a business case and roadmap. Not all will happen on day 1 but have a complete plan.
- Measure your outcomes. Do not try approach which you cannot measure.
- Build vs Procure – Based on how many off the shelve automation cases you can use from day 1, effort, time to go live, number of automation cases to be done, skillset of team and ultimately total cost of ownership decide whether you should build or procure.
- Set up right team. You will realize that finding full time resources from within IT Team is very difficult as escalations can come in at any time and priorities will shift soon. Find people who are eager to go overboard and is passionate about new things. Maintaining balance between ultra short term and project goals is key to success. Also include early adopters/champions in the team to take feedback.
- Go Live and scale.
Anakage has been helping organizations realize full potential in their IT automation journey by helping them to take holistic view of the process using our tools right from data analysis to 100s of off the shelve end user support automation cases that can be used from day 1, and integration cases to automate their service request fulfilment besides other processes as they progress. Contact us to get a demo and walkthrough of the tool.