To say life in the IT business is “busy” would be a major understatement. IT professionals are tasked with nothing less than the job of keeping their organization up and running. They are the unsung heroes of the office who ensure that we have easy access to our bank accounts, an endless stream of DIY YouTube videos and a constant connection to the outside world.
Today’s IT departments often function as the central hub of their organizations. Requests for help flow in all day through email or phone, systems need constant updating and it’s members of the IT team who must face down inevitable dreaded network issues. With so many ever-changing projects on their plates, it may be surprising, then, to consider how much time IT teams spend doing repetitive, dull tasks.
If you’re an IT expert, you probably feel like you’re wasting way too much time sifting through communications coming in from multiple sources, onboarding new team members and flipping back and forth between legacy systems that refuse to communicate with one another. Day in and day out you might be haunted by the feeling that “Wait, haven’t I done this all before?”
It’s not just those long hours playing tricks on your imagination. McKinsey Global Institute, an international think tank focused on the global economy, revealed some eye-opening stats in a recent report.
McKinsey found that among the surveyed IT professionals:
- 40 percent spend a quarter of their time on repetitive tasks
- 70 percent point to repetitive functions as a waste of their time
- 78 percent say they’d spend that wasted time on activities beneficial to the organization if they could
As it turns out, they could. The answer lies with automation.
How Does Automation Help End Users?
Automation removes repetitive steps from manual tasks, allowing organizations to speed up their IT teams.
Take your worryingly tall stack of service requests as an example. Most likely, you’re collecting service requests from multiple sources. When you’re ready to start on a new request, you may need to sort through requests from multiple sources, from email to voicemail, to your company’s proprietary interoffice chat system in order to find all the information you need.
Automation can help with the flow of service tickets by centralizing the service process. Thanks to the common-sense organization automation can provide, your team can answer tickets in order of priority. At a high level, the automated flow is straightforward:
- Assign responsible parties and an urgency rating
- Work through requests to determine next steps
- Handle data updates and SLA tracking
- Escalate requests as needed
- Finalize requests assigned to you
- Rinse and repeat
This basic flow structure is appropriate for simple projects, but users can also tackle complex, multi-step processes by weaving substeps into this overarching framework.
A streamlined system that’s easy to implement and to learn can help improve processes directly and can lead to improvements for other processes as well. A platform that gathers data as it is used can help your organization develop a deep pool of proprietary knowledge that can be applied to future tasks.
Bonus: with Pipefy’s automation system, when employees send a request, automatic status updates can be sent to both parties throughout the service process. With any luck, this means no more fielding time-consuming calls from every department with pending issues. When everyone is on the same page, it makes for a happier, more efficient workplace all around.
Automating IT Tasks
It’s not just service requests that can be streamlined with automation. Automation can enhance many IT tasks, from quick onboarding new IT employees to organizing routine maintenance projects and plenty of similar work.
Commonly automated IT tasks include:
- Order management
- Release management
- Incident management
- Asset tracking
- Certain project management tasks
Automation can be integrated into other routine activities as well.
The Fringe Benefits of Automation
Automation can help your IT team centralize all kinds of multi-step tasks, allowing you to analyze past tasks and processes to identify issues. Over time, these “lessons learned” will contribute to the wisdom you’ll use to run future projects better.
Introducing more automation into your process affects more than just the tasks at hand too: streamlined, automated processes eliminate inefficiencies and let employees get back to what they do best. An IT department that takes a deep dive into automation might end up functioning better in some unexpected ways.
When you add automation to routine processes, fewer IT department employees will need to stay glued to their desks. This means more time for more rewarding tasks, tackling exciting new challenges and building the department’s unity as a team. You might be surprised by how much an IT team can benefit from increased creative stimulation and communication with coworkers!
Not only can automation make getting through existing tasks simpler, but it can give your IT department the freedom it needs to grow and thrive.
How Automation Furthers Enterprise Goals
Automation can benefit IT departments in several fundamental ways, especially as it relates to accuracy, consistency, and efficiency. In turn, these improvements benefit companies as a whole.
Automated systems can distribute information seamlessly from centralized points of origin. When employees don’t have to track down data across multiple systems, they can work more efficiently and accurately. This applies to employees in IT and across the entire enterprise.
While IT professionals routinely handle the same tasks several times a day, they are not alone in this frustration. Employees from other departments experience similar issues. Multiply that by weeks and months, and it’s no wonder that these tasks add up to hundreds of hours each year. With automation, that time could be spent furthering other company goals instead.
In addition to wasting time, employees are more likely to make errors when they need to switch between incompatible systems. Automatic synchronization allows for updates among disparate systems without a need for multiple data entry processes.
Better Use of Employee Skills
Your employees are highly skilled and educated, but too often, they end up squandering their talents on tasks that could be automated. When employees can’t work to their full potential, valuable resources are going to waste, and your company is not able to advance as robustly as it could.
What Automation Can Do for You
If your IT team is struggling to stay ahead of their workload, automation can help them get back on track. Reach out to a friendly Pipefy representative today to find out how to use automation to speed up IT teams and improve your enterprise across the board.