As surprisingly as it may seem, IT tends to be the least automated department in many companies. IT process automation (ITPA) is the solution IT professionals have encountered towards automating tasks that don’t need to be done manually.
ITPA refers to the set of activities involved in combining people, tools and processes through automated IT workflows. There’s a growing number of available software in the market focused solely on performing repeatable IT patterns or tasks, eliminating repetitive tasks prone to human error.
IT process automation can be used to streamline IT operations in a vast number of situations and its general purpose is replacing repetitive manual tasks and processes with automated solutions.
Automating IT processes can be highly beneficial for companies of all sizes and industries, especially considering that ITPA technology can be leveraged to match specific criteria for almost any process/task currently performed manually.
How does ITPA work?
It’s actually rather simple. ITPA software works as a trigger/reaction system: when a pre-determined event A occurs, the specified workflow is triggered and automatically executed to address (and, if it’s the case, fix) the situation at hand.
When setting up ITPA, each of those action patterns mentioned above is designed as a workflow containing specific triggers to set it in action, conditions for it to be triggered and procedures that must be followed every time it’s triggered.
Let’s make it simpler to understand with an example, shall we? Your IT team can setup an automated workflow to perform routine system maintenance tasks every Friday 6PM (or any other time of a specific day of the week).
By doing so, you eliminate the possibility of someone forgetting to run these maintenance tasks or even performing them in any way other than the specified standards, risking the effectiveness of the process.
You can also setup automated it processes to be triggered based on very specific and particular events such as an augmented response time on your system. ITPA tools allow you to automatically fix those common situations and/or send pre-set alerts escalating the situation to the person responsible for it, when necessary.
Advanced ITPA applications are simple enough to use and allow users to automate any type of process, from the most simple system maintenance check-up that doesn’t require human input to a complex process run across multiple systems that demands multiple human decision points.
When necessary, these apps allow human decision points to be embedded through the workflow in order to ensure that the appropriate people receive instant alerts demanding quick responses.
What are the benefits of ITPA?
Automating IT processes offers the same benefits of automating any other processes as well as some specific benefits, such as:
- Reduced cost: Automation normally reduces time spent performing tasks and, therefore, results in saving money (the math is done including the cost companies have purchasing an automation solution, of course);
- Reduced human error: Automating means, most of the time, crossing out the human element of a process and, therefore, reducing the possibility of errors generated by people’s actions such as overlooking a step of the process, typing down the wrong value, etc.
- Faster response time: Automated IT processes normally reduce response time drastically. This can be essentially important in mission-critical system failures;
- Increased productivity and efficiency: This is a combination of reducing human error with a faster response time. Automating repetitive, time consuming tasks allow teams to focus on the most important workflows that require direct human interaction;