Whenever the topic of IT Process Automation (ITPA) comes up, there is usually a desire for examples of how it's being used in other organizations to help understand the potential value. The challenge is that every organization is different and has different automation needs. But I have observed some patterns where ITPA can help any organization address three common IT challenges faced today: improving IT productivity, reducing the risk of human error and accelerate the speed of business.
Improving IT Productivity
First of all, IT organizations want to improve their productivity - don't we all, whatever department we are in. But, many IT organizations struggle with keeping up with daily operational tasks, for example, many applications have memory leaks. Those memory leaks sometimes are never repaired and so operations teams have to go out and reboot servers on a regular basis to free up the memory. IT Process Automation can automate operational processes on a schedule, in response to events or even on-demand so that operations teams don’t have to perform these tasks manually.
Reducing the Risk of Human Error
Another common problem I see, that people would like to apply automation to solve, is reducing the risk of human error. Some operations and security tasks are absolutely mission critical. For example, if an auditor identifies servers that have a security vulnerability then a process to remediate that is initiated. IT Process Automation can direct this process to make sure that the correct staff are notified and that actions are taken within a prescribed time frame so that nothing gets missed.
Accelerating the Speed of Business
The third common problem that I see, that IT organizations want to automate, is to accelerate the speed of business. Many IT organizations are starting to use interfaces like service catalogues to allow their users to request IT services. While this helps communicate the services that IT can offer, it also creates an increased demand for services, causing a backlog of requests. IT Process Automation can be used behind the scenes of a service catalogue or other request management tools such as a ticketing system, to automate many of the steps of fulfilling requests, reducing the time that users spend waiting.
If you are investigating IT Process Automation to address these or other challenges you should take a look at NetIQ Aegis. It has a drag-and-drop workflow designer using pre-built activities and connectors to reduce the skill level and time needed to create processes. NetIQ Aegis offers a complete life cycle management solution for processes, including rollback capability if changes aren’t effective and reports that assist with continuous improvement efforts. It also comes with an embedded correlation engine, which is unique to Aegis. Correlation enables efficient handling of events as process triggers - because we all know that we would love to reduce the amount of manual workload and effort it takes to respond to events.
Aegis also gives real-time visibility of the progress of process execution. You actually can see little green check-marks appear on the screen as the process is running. So you know exactly where you are in the process and you can troubleshoot it if there are any bottlenecks or things that hang up the process. Take a look at the video to see a demo of these features.