What Is IT Process Automation?

By Sydney Wess / 2 November 2021

Regardless of industry, many business leaders have embraced IT process automation as a means of improving day-to-day operations. Learn more.

A significant area of automation focus is business process automation, or BPA. In fact, two-thirds of businesses surveyed in 2020 by McKinsey reported piloting the automation of at least one of their business processes. Common areas for BPA include employee onboarding tasks and expense report generation.

Another popular field that business leaders turn to for efficiency purposes is robotic process automation (RPA), which involves using bots to complete formerly-manual tasks such as data entry. According to a Deloitte study, 53% of businesses have launched RPA endeavors.

While businesses adopt BPA and RPA, one area for growth that has not garnered as much attention is IT process automation.

Executives are often deeply familiar with organizational processes and thus can easily find or approve opportunities for automation in these areas. However, since IT is a relatively new business competency that is often removed from the value-add operations of a company, it is an accessible area for key decision-makers to overlook.

Read on to learn more about IT process automation and how it can streamline processes and give you the competitive edge in your space.

What is IT Process Automation?

Simply put, IT process automation refers to the use of software or apps rather than IT professionals to complete IT services, support, and administration tasks.

With the vast number of responsibilities entrusted to an organization’s IT department, it can be challenging to envision where or how IT process automation measures could be implemented. 

Defining an opportunity for IT process automation is relatively easy, though. The process must be centered around a recurring event, be defined with a specific workflow, or be monitored for bugs or critical errors.

In a typical IT process automation workflow, the software will monitor a predefined area of your IT infrastructure. If it encounters a trigger event in this area, it will go through a series of actions to react to the trigger to rectify the situation.

While IT processes may not be core to your business model, they certainly support the systems that enable your business to function. As such, IT process automation is an area worth exploring to help your business run without any hiccups.

It can also help you cut costs and improve your profit margins. Employing IT process automation to respond to network outages, for instance, represents a viable, cost-effective alternative to keeping a 24-hour IT team on retainer.

3 IT Process Automation Examples

Now that you understand IT process automation and its benefits, you may be wondering how to apply it to your organization. Outside of the system outage response example outlined above, there are several more everyday areas where your business could benefit from automation.

1. Help Desk Ticketing System

Whether via internal or external means, many companies employ an IT help desk ticketing system that allows employees to report any IT-related issues or needs and be promptly connected with someone who can assist them.

Help desk ticketing system for IT process automation
Source: Zendesk

As the most forward-facing area of your organization’s IT infrastructure, the help desk is an area ripe for IT process automation. Many tasks that a user might report can be easily handled by an app rather than by taking an IT professional away from a more analytics-driven job.

From an issue reporting standpoint, IT process automation can also make a massive difference to your business. For example, implementing software that automatically submits a ticket when it detects an error within a given system rather than waiting for affected users to report it can minimize the impact of the error manually.

By saving the time of your IT team, these measures can easily save money. In one instance, a company reported 22% of their submitted tickets being related to password resets. By automating the response to these tickets, they estimated a savings of over $1 million per year.

2. Cybersecurity Automation

Since March 2020, cybersecurity has been a hot topic in IT-related business discussions with an intensified focus on remote work. In addressing this area, IT process automation can be advantageous.

By utilizing automation to track cybersecurity and compliance-related events across all your business systems, you can ensure that your employees are upholding your security standards and that you’re prepared for any audits that may arise.

Cybersecurity automation for IT process automation
Source: ProcessUnity

In addition to supplying increased visibility of internal actions, IT process automation can help you quickly address data breaches. 

By providing your IT team with an automated response if a data breach occurs, you’ll be going a long way to protect any PII or other sensitive information.

3. System Integration

Often, business leaders look at IT process automation as a series of software integration projects that will slow down operations in the short term as the systems are tested, and the organization acclimates itself to the new part of its IT infrastructure. However, IT process automation can sometimes be done without incorporating anything new into your framework.

systems integration for IT process automation
Source: 345 Technology

You’ll save your team hours by ensuring that all existing IT software and systems are integrated in the best possible manner. 

They’ll no longer need to spend time tediously searching for a piece or manually entering information that’s already captured somewhere else in your infrastructure.

IT Process Automation is a Serious Opportunity for Your Company

Even if your IT team is entirely auxiliary for your overall business model, IT process automation is sure to save you and your team time while enabling a greater level of operational efficiency.

By automatically generating and responding to IT help desk tickets, building cybersecurity and audit reports, and transferring data between properly-integrated systems, your business will be as agile as possible in today’s tech-focused world.
 

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