As more and more organizations undergo digital transformation, IT automation is becoming more important and essential to implement. A report by Smartsheet found that more than 40% of those surveyed spend about a quarter of their time working on repetitive tasks, and almost 70% of them say that automation’s biggest opportunity would be that it significantly reduces the amount of time spent on these tasks.
Cutting down on wasted time and streamlining businesses tasks and processes through automation will enable your organization and its individuals to level up and become more effective. You can think of IT automation as a force multiplier for your business. To do this, though, you’re going to need a well thought-out and properly executed IT automation strategy.
What tasks can IT automation make more efficient?
There’s a big hype around IT automation and automating business processes, but how do you know what things to automate in your organization? The list below is by no means comprehensive, but it demonstrates how IT automation can be used for a variety of tasks within an organization.
IT automation real world use cases
Complex processes: tasks that require many manual steps to accomplish.
- User onboarding
- Endpoint setup
- Network/wifi configuration & management
- Manage unintegrated security suites
- Printer management
- Auto-install applications
- Uninstall software
Repetitive processes: tedious procedures that take up too much time.
- Password resets
- Restarting services
- Deploy software
- Map network drives
- Log file management
Monitoring: gathering important data metrics that need to be quickly interpreted.
- Security auditing
- Print queue monitoring
- Documentation users
- Network speed tests
- Software utilization
4 elements to create an effective IT automation strategy
Identify opportunities for IT automation
Start by taking a look at common issues that happen in your organization, especially your service desk tickets. What is happening repeatedly? Are there applications that are crashing? Are you getting configuration problems rearing their head over and over again? Are you continuously solving the same type of problem? Once you’ve created a list of those problems and identified how automation can help, rank them by impact, priority, and ease of implementation.
Connect IT automation with business objectives
It’s one thing to implement IT automation in organizational processes just for the sake of automation, but that’s not very helpful. When you are looking for IT automation opportunities, consider whether the automation actually creates value for end users. Does it make it easier for them to do their job, or does it save them from wasted time on menial, repetitive tasks? If so, you’ve identified an area where IT automation would be ideal.
Build out an IT automation process
After deciding what steps you can automate and how you can automate them, create an IT automation process. You’ll first want to check whether there’s already an existing automation script to achieve a goal. For automations that don’t already have a script, determine what’s required to automate a given process, use the necessary tools to set it up, test it, and then implement it. Once an automation has been added, you should continue to monitor it to determine whether it works, how effective it is, and whether it can be further optimized.
Systematically implement IT automation
With a list of steps and procedures to automation and a solidified IT automation process, you are now ready to implement IT automation within your organization. It’s impossible to automate everything at once, so decide how many you’ll work on at a given time and how you’ll work through the list. Ranking your IT automation opportunities initially will help guide the implementation process.
Steps for setting up complex automations
An example of a complex automation you could set up is the creation of a local administrator account. These accounts are used to take privileged actions on endpoints that are managed, and are one of the many ways to automatically deploy security resources to your endpoints.
Using NinjaOne, follow these steps to create a local administrator account automation:
- Navigate to the scheduled scripts section of your device policy
- Create a new scheduled script
- Fill in the name and description
- Set the schedule to Run Once Immediately
- Add your Create Local Administrator Script (NinjaOne users can see the scripts we used here in the dojo.)
You can check out other NinjaOne automations here.
Applying an IT automation strategy to your ticketing process
A lot of the work that IT and MSP teams do is hands-on endpoint and device management that occurs in their RMM. With all those responsibilities, there’s also a lot of things happening in their system that adds to the administrative burden of work. IT automation is not just about delivery, but also about administration and management of your business.
When each ticket comes in, technicians have to go through the process of either assigning the ticket to someone, taking notes and putting it in a ticket, or going through an escalation process. Luckily, there are ticketing automations that you can do on the help desk side of your organization to drive your business efficiencies.
Here are some examples of using IT automation to drive efficiency in your help desk:
- Routing tickets to a specific board by parsing the subject line
- Auto respond outside of business hours and escalate urgent tickets
- Automatically remind requestor we’re awaiting a response and change status if no reply is received
- One click ticket escalation via response templates
- Automate the approval process with custom fields
An unnamed MSP stated, “Anytime I see a ticket that makes me sigh or want to cry, I automate.” IT automation can relieve MSPs and help desk technicians of time-consuming tasks, allowing them to better support end users and increase the number of tickets they resolve.
How to integrate IT automation into your organization
Automate the low-hanging fruit today
Reflect on the necessary tasks within your organization. Determine what tasks drive a high volume of tickets in your helpdesk, or what you’re doing multiple times per week or month in other areas of your business that use IT. If there are easy tasks you can condense into a one or two step process, that’s also IT automation. Additionally, any information gathering that can be automated can remove unnecessary manual effort.
Invest in more complex automations
Simple IT automations are beneficial for basic tasks, but your organization could gain more benefit from using more complex IT automations. For example, consider what can be done with scripts rather than remote access. You can also consider what tasks are prone to human error, or figure out which tasks you can fully close-loop automate and completely remove the human element.
Automate entire workflows
Multi-step or complex processes can take up a lot of time, but IT automation can simplify these processes and cut down on overall time spent. You can use Ninja for monitoring and as a logic switch to route automations and tickets.
Increase business efficiency with IT automation
Complex, manual processes and an overload of IT tasks can weigh down the individuals in your organization. Fortunately, you can automate many of these tasks and increase business productivity. IT automation reduces wasted time and increases process effectiveness and efficiency across your entire IT environment.
NinjaOne uses IT automation to enable you to increase productivity while reducing cost and wasted time. With NinjaOne you can automate repetitive endpoint tasks, important documentation, recurring maintenance tasks, and more. Discover the advantages that IT automation can bring to your organization and sign up for a free trial today.