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ITSM Automation

1. Overview

Efficient management of IT services is the major facilitator of digital transformation and development endeavors. As the organizations are looking forward to automating the majority of the processes, an efficacious ITSM, in effect, paves the path of enhanced productivity, greater client-experience, better employee satisfaction- all this at reduced expenses.

With ITSM automation, organizations can greatly improve the operational efficiency and overall productivity as the processes are streamlined and the simple repetitive manual tasks are eliminated. Cutting down costs, enhancing efficiency, and speeding up the processes, automation empowers the workforce to focus better on core business operations. Eliminating manual efforts with technology, 45% of total paid activities can be automated, accounting to $2 trillion in annual wages, says McKinsey.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that IT service management is the lifeblood of an organization. If the tasks requiring great level of attentiveness and accuracy are automated then the Netops team can appropriately optimize the management of IT services and adequately add value to the organizations.

Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Benefits of ITSM Automation
  3. Steps to get your ITSM automation a successful one

1.1 What is ITSM Automation?

Simply stated, IT service management automation signifies building and implementing capabilities for the administrators to develop processes that may be entirely or partially executed with technology, without manual interventions. Such a process may require a kick-off by the specific personnel but can also be self-initiating when specific criteria are met.

Though, in general, ITSM is used as an overarching term for the ways of information system management, but specifically it refers to the programs and advanced methods of use and delivery of ITSM and ITIL processes. Such processes include creating & tracking tickets, self-service simple requests, and facilitation of digital transformation at the organizational level.

Enterprise-level Automation of ITSM is achieved with specialized tools that use stored and structured knowledge and AI-powered technologies like chatbots or virtual agents. As the automation reduces the number of calls to be handled manually and redundant tasks for the service desk, it greatly boosts efficiency across multiple teams of various departments. It has also been established that automation of ITSM coupled with self-service portals is capable of enhancing enterprise productivity by 30%.

1.2 Statistics in support

Process automation, as an industry, is valued at $2.9 Billion in 2021, which used to be only $250 million 5 years ago. A report featured in Forbes, claimed that top businesses earned around 4 times of their investments in service automation. A NASSCOMreport states that with automation there is more than 65% savings on onshore operations, 30% in offshore delivery, and the investment recovery in around 6 months. For such incredible benefits, 78% of the organizations who have already implemented automation best practices, plan to invest more in the next three years. Deloitte believes that if such trends are sustained, the process automation will attain a universal adoption within next five years only.

1.3 Changes in IT Service Desk functions

The cost of manually operating mundane tasks is 51 times the cost of simply automating it. Though other teams are efficiently managing the service operations manually, still the sheer complexity of modern IT infrastructure is a burden on the service desk. If the critical service requests are not easily accessible to the delegated personnel then the productivity and the end-user experience- both will be detrimentally impacted.

In this regard, virtual assistants and other automation initiatives reduce the workload and provide the clients with a greater experience and better engagement with the brand.

1.4 Critical ITSM Automation Priorities

Following are the major aspects requiring automation for the best possible results:

  1. IT Service requests
  2. Incident Resolution
  3. Alerts & Notifications
  4. IT change management
  5. Security-based operation
  6. Enterprise Service Management
  7. Automated infrastructure provisioning

2. Benefits of ITSM Automation

ITSM Automation

2.1 Reduced Operational Costs

With ITSM Automation, organizations can cut down the operational costs by drastically reducing the manual effort involved in executing repetitive IT service management tasks. The high level of accuracy offered, assures zero errors thus eliminating the need of re-work and that adds up to the savings.

2.2 Enhanced Operational Efficiency

Automation speeds up the tasks, processes, and end delivery while being utmost accurate in all endeavors. It even offers greater flexibility in changing the existing methods of process executions. The service desk technicians and IT professionals can now focus more on crucial project-specific or customer-specific projects, ensuring higher customer satisfaction levels.

2.3 Better User Experience

Round the clock availability, error elimination, much greater speed of tickets resolving and service provisioning offer the end users with a better engagement and greater experience.

2.4 Streamlined Ticket Resolution

When tickets are forwarded to the service desk it is crucial that they go to the right person in the first attempt. Automated workflows ensure efficient handling of tickets each time with a high level of accuracy. This reduces the time elapsed in resolving tickets and ensures better efficiency of the overall process.

2.5 Better Release Management

With networking operations automated, the stress related to product/application release is considerably reduced. The app development teams have a better coordination with it, leading to lesser friction in operations.

2.6 Efficient Incident Management

Traditionally, IT service technicians need to spend long hours behind investigating and analyzing the root cause behind the incidents. With ITSM Automation, the incident management process got simplified as service technicians are now empowered with system-level insights around incidents, helping them identify and resolve incidents, and implement required solutions. The automation platforms even help flag major incidents and auto-escalate to the right people for faster resolution.

2.7 Availability of User Feedback for Process Improvement

Automation empowers the organizations to accrue the anonymous feedback from the individuals who are submitting the tickets and those working on them. The higher administration can gain valuable insights from these feedbacks to fix the loopholes in the system.

2.8 Robust Service Delivery Strategy with Analytics & Actionable Reports

Proper analytics and reporting assist the service desk in identifying areas requiring attention in the overall workflow. ITSM automation helps capture the historic data, store it for long-term, and with out-of-the box reporting capabilities help users visualize the trend. These actionable inputs help organizations build robust service delivery strategies.

3. Steps to get your ITSM Automation a successful one

ITSM automation can prove to be a major game-changer, if implemented in the proper manner. The following key considerations will help in getting it right

3.1 Consider the ROI in longer term

The incredible benefits and surprising number can nudge anyone to adopt the automation at once. Instead of investing into automation just because of great capabilities, the benefits must be weighed against the costs first. Speed of executions, operational expenses, reduced errors in operations, workforce working on mission-critical tasks – all factors must be idiosyncratically investigated then must move ahead for automation.

3.2 Consider what can be profitably automated

The simple solution can be to look at highly repetitive tasks with predictable variations. If the tasks and their variations are easy to define, map, and the outcomes of such operations are also predictable, then those tasks can be easily and efficiently automated.

3.3 Consider readiness of capabilities before automation

The tasks sought for automation must be perfectly defined, mapped, and their variations must be comprehensively calculated. When processes require manual executions or there is a lack of transparency, and when the outcomes are not consistent based on the processes defined then there is a definite need to reiterate on the automation readiness of the existing system in place.

3.4 Consider availability of tools

Using technology that is not properly in line with the requirements or not suitable for your ad-hoc needs will land the organization into frustration with the failures and the whole automation plan will be a fiasco.

3.5 Develop the right skills with time

Experienced ITSM practitioners understand the pitfalls resulting from local optimization – and the same applies to automation. Design skills, knowledge of the organizational goals, farsightedness, logical reasoning are some basic skills and the organizations must have the right people with these. Automation will only be successful with people possessing the right set of skills.