Legacy operations and technology are often unable to support growing organizations, leading to several inefficiencies as business continues to evolve. The way IT teams manage 50 devices will be fundamentally different from the way they manage 500 devices. In response to these evolving business needs, organizations have started looking to process automation to reduce time and money wasted on repetitive, tedious tasks. According to Zapier’s 2021 State of Business Automation report, 94% of workers say they perform repetitive, time-consuming tasks in their role. With automation, that time could be better spent on more hands-on responsibilities.
Unfortunately, devoting resources to automation can frequently be an uphill battle. Due to complex processes and high initial investments, IT teams often need to make a strong business case to secure organizational buy-in.
Why organizations struggle to invest in automation
Don’t know where to start
Automation often comes with complexity and IT teams that are starting from ground zero will often struggle with where to start. In the 2023 State of Process Orchestration study conducted by Camunda, 79% of respondents say the time it takes to design and agree upon automation process changes is a bottleneck in their organization. Because there are so many directions to go, teams have trouble deciphering which tasks should be automated first. And with a wide world of potential automation workflows, teams feel like they need to implement complex automations, which can often be too convoluted and hard to manage. When starting with automation, a great rule of thumb is to start with your low-hanging fruit and evolve from there. Your team will likely have a list of repetitive tasks that take up the majority of their time, which are great candidates for automation. In addition to getting feedback from technicians, look directly at tickets and take note of tasks that have a high volume of submissions.
Sufficient staffing for automation
Implementing new automation practices and tools can require some level of experience in the subject, which some organizations may lack if they’ve never invested in automation in the first place. To provide adequate support and implementation for these new processes, organizations will spend money and time training existing IT employees, hire new automation experts or both. Hiring and training expenses can be a hurdle that teams will need to overcome. IT teams should also tread carefully and make sure burnout doesn’t become an issue as training needs increase. Teams can minimize the burden of training by utilizing the vendor’s out-of-the-box integrations to help get started with automation processes.
Current systems are incompatible with automation requirements
In the Camunda State of Process Orchestration Study, 86% of IT leaders responded that they feel they need to have better tools to manage how their processes all intersect. In addition to needing approval for more training and software, many organizations will need to work within the bounds of their current platforms to accommodate new processes. In many organizations, this may be impossible as legacy systems cannot support these new activities. This means that working with executives and the rest of the organization to support additional investment will be an important piece of the puzzle.
Large upfront investment
Though the outcomes of investment will outweigh the upfront costs, getting buy-in from executives can be tricky as the benefits of automation will prove themselves over time, but they are often not immediate. For executives to feel comfortable with their spend, teams should be able to provide them reporting and metrics to back up IT’s various automation needs. Automation can be difficult to quantify, so your best course of action is to choose a few of your biggest pain points as they are easy to track and will have the biggest return on investment. Also, if your organization is burdened by legacy systems, getting buy-in on your investment will be incredibly important in your automation journey.
How can organizations set themselves up for success when investing in automation?
Gather feedback from the IT team and assess current processes for pain points
IT teams should know where their most impactful investment would be. IT leaders may not realize how much time is wasted on a specific task, so managers should be sure to gather as much information from their team as possible.
Start with small, reactive tasks and expand from there
The most impactful tasks organizations can automate are basic tasks that take up the most time. Organizations shouldn’t start with complex workflows, but simple tasks that can make a big impact.
Educate your team (and yourself, if needed) on the basics of automation
As mentioned before, if your team is starting from scratch, you may not know a lot about the world of automation. Invest in training for yourself and your team to make your automation processes as efficient as possible.
Foster growth within your team
Because automation is a blossoming industry, there is a lot of opportunity to promote growth within your team. Focus on building their skills and promoting to automation-focused roles from within.
Encourage the entire organization to embrace automation
Automation should eventually move past standard IT workflows and into the rest of the business. To do so, it’s important to develop an automation mindset to encourage the rest of the organization.
Develop a strategy for measuring automation success
The success of an automation platform can be hard to quantify, so be sure to establish those measurements before implementation to get a good before-and-after snapshot.
Learn how to automate your IT workflows
Automation is a worthwhile journey, but getting started can be the hardest part. And it’s important to know that automation is not one-size-fits-all and what’s right for one organization may not be right for the other. But, with a cohesive gameplan, a reliable platform, and measures of success, it can be easier than expected to implement automation.
If you’re looking to automate some of your repetitive IT processes and need a vendor to help, the NinjaOne platform offers powerful automation for your most time-consuming tasks. Our policy management engine provides the ability to flexibly roll out changes across organizations, sites, dynamic groups, and individual endpoints.
Unlock unprecedented efficiency and cost savings with NinjaOne IT Automation. Streamline your workflows, reduce manual tasks and maximize your resources like never before. Experience the future of IT management today.
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