Reading Time: 14 minutes

For at least the last eight years, the IT project load has increased annually by more than 30%. But it’s the cumbersome, repetitive tasks that have historically burdened IT departments. 

This has created a drain on valuable time and resources. Whether it’s updating a form or addressing support and equipment requests, IT professionals find themselves entangled in the monotony of daily tasks. So how can we shift these tasks away from our valuable IT resources? That’s where IT process automation comes in. 

latest report
Learn why we are the Leaders in API management and iPaaS

These powerful tools provide relief to tech teams by automating and streamlining repetitive processes, procedures, and protocols. Through automation, tech teams can win back precious time each day to focus on more strategic, high-impact initiatives. 

What is an IT process? 

Can I get a new laptop? Did I just fall for a phishing scam? Should we use artificial intelligence

IT teams field requests like these across organizations on a daily basis, but oftentimes their expertise far exceeds the skills needed to address more basic tasks and requests. They’re the subject matter experts on emerging technologies, playing key roles in the purchase and deployment of hardware and software. On top of that, they also safeguard digital assets and data to protect against cyberattacks, not to mention that they help ensure organizations stay in compliance with ever-growing digital data privacy laws. IT teams are the bread and butter of any moving business. 

And all these tasks – plus many more – involve IT processes, or step-by-step activities aimed at keeping organizations agile and thriving. 

Why automate IT processes? 

IT process automation is a smart and strategic way to boost your IT team’s efficiency and capitalize on their talents. And in a tech-driven business environment, those time-savings and new efficiencies are not only crucial, they’re expected: 80% of executives believe automation can be applied to any business decision.

It allows organizations to effectively adapt to new technologies, reporting requirements, and business needs. And top tech talent can do what they do best: deploy the latest technologies and better respond to the fast-moving and complicated technology needs of the organization. 

3 ways to apply IT process automation to your organization

Automation is no substitute for the context a human can bring into a scenario. In some cases, automation is not a fit; critical thinking and meaningful connections may be more needed in some tasks than others. However, plenty of other essential tasks are ideal candidates for automation.

So what can be automated? Here are some examples of IT process automation that enable skilled IT teams to spend their valuable time elsewhere – addressing more complex challenges for the business. 

1. Operations management 

Whether it’s delivering IT services, protecting against vulnerabilities, or tracking the performance of the IT systems they manage, IT teams carry a heavy, daily load. Thankfully, IT process automation can lift that heavy burden off their shoulders.

For example, IT process automation can send automated alerts about software glitches, triage requests for software installations or equipment needs, and explore what’s behind ongoing disruptions or errors.

When it comes to project management, technology can automate a project’s workflows, push out reminders as deadlines creep closer, send real-time status updates, and manage the distribution and version control of documents. 

In asset management, IT process automation can create up-to-the-minute lists of an organization’s software licenses and hardware, record the current location of hardware such as tablets or video-conferencing devices, and redistribute those assets as required, based on business needs.  

2. Security and data recovery 

For any IT team, cybersecurity is top of mind, and IT process automation can support efforts to safeguard company data, business information, and intellectual property.

IT process automation can be programmed to detect potential breaches and jumpstart automated workflows that enable an immediate response while ensuring that required software patches and other cybersecurity updates are scheduled and launched. Not to mention, it can automatically enforce cybersecurity practices such as multi-factor authentication as well as access control policies for users across an organization.

After a breach or other technology glitch, IT process automation can help teams recover data quickly. Data backups, including verification that the backups are complete and valid, can be automated. Automated post-attack recovery tasks can help organizations quickly rebuild data and applications for a swift return to regular operations. 

3. Reporting, governance, and compliance 

Finally, IT process automation streamlines tech teams’ responsibilities in reporting, governance, and compliance, helping churn out consistent, transparent, and trackable information. 

Automation solutions create reports and analytics that provide real-time insights into an IT department’s overall performance. They generate audit trails and compliance reports, helping organizations stay on top of internal policies, industry expectations, and government regulations.

When built with the right logic and rules that match an organization’s standards and requirements, automation processes safeguard against users deviating from IT policies and notify IT team members when something goes awry. 

Unlocking the benefits of IT process automation 

Tired of losing time on mundane and tedious tasks? Here’s a little pick-me-up: minimizing busy work happens to be a large benefit of IT process automation. When your highly skilled tech talent doesn’t have to spend their precious work hours fielding laptop requests or manually searching for data, you can make the best use of this particular human resource.

And the advantages tumble far beyond that. Other benefits include: 

  • Better data: When data entry is automated, there’s less risk that a human will log the wrong information. Instead, those automated processes will deliver results that are both consistent and reliable.    
  • Ability to grow: As workforces or business models expand, automation tools can streamline the distribution of laptops, the purchase of software licenses, and other related IT tasks, helping tech teams quickly scale to meet demands. 
  • Fewer IT disruptions: When incident management is automated, automation tools alert tech teams to disruptions in real time, ensuring quicker response, action, and resolution. 
  • Around-the-clock service: Automation tools don’t sleep. They can constantly scan IT functions for potential breaches and interruptions quicker than a human and respond to a remote worker’s overnight request for a new laptop or software tool. 
  • Easier reporting: With the collection and aggregation of data streamlined, automation tools bring critical visibility into how a company uses technology. Those insights can prompt cost savings and new efficiencies across an organization. They might reveal that a department has too many software licenses or help identify the location of a video-conferencing system to use for a hastily planned board meeting.

Choosing the right IT process automation tools and software

Every organization and IT department has its own specific needs and objectives, and not every tool is a perfect fit for every organization. Choosing the right IT process automation tools and software will require a thorough understanding of what your organization’s requirements really are. 

As you evaluate your options, consider these questions to help you choose the right IT process automation software and tools: 

  • Which IT processes are you automating, and will the solution deliver in those areas? 
  • Can the solution integrate with the tools and systems your organization already has in place?   
  • Can it grow and adapt to the shifting needs of your organization as it expands or deploys new technologies?  
  • Is the solution easy to use? Does it include, for example, low- or no-code tools that encourage adoption?  
  • Does it meet your organization’s specific security and compliance needs? 

With IT process automation, transformation is ahead

“Smart work” is the name of the game, and organizations are laser-focused on optimizing their talent. In fact, 25% of CIOs are forecasted to use an augmented connected workforce in the coming years to accelerate their talent’s ability to upskill, in part, because of advancements in workplace automation and AI.

That’s because automation can transform the work of tech teams. With responsibilities streamlined and the canvas cleared, your skilled IT professionals are free to paint the future – one that drives innovation and pushes boundaries.