Reducing IT costs has invariably been a major concern for IT departments in small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Even while grappling with budget constraints and having fewer resources at their disposal, they must always strive to add value to the business.
Kaseya’s 2019 State of IT Operations Survey Report revealed ‘Reducing IT Costs’ as the second-highest priority among the respondents.
According to Gartner IT Key Metrics Data, about 70 percent of the typical IT budget goes to simply ‘keeping the lights on’ i.e. to run the business. Only about 30 percent of IT budget is available to grow and transform the business.
Meanwhile, CIOs and IT teams are required to do more to help transform the business and drive innovation. It is not surprising that reducing IT costs, particularly concerning the large portion of the budget allocated to running the business, remains a perennial priority.
A key way for IT teams to reduce operating costs and have more time to focus on strategic initiatives is through IT automation.
What can we automate?
As discussed in our earlier blog Take IT Automation to the Next Level, there are a couple of categories of IT functions that can be automated:
- Common IT processes like software deployment, patch management, routine maintenance, on-boarding and off-boarding of employees and their computers, etc.
- Remediation of IT incidents, such as printer issues, applications that are hung and need to be restarted, system resets, and more.
By automating these IT processes, you can free up technician time and ‘manage by exception.’ This allows you to apply your IT management skills to the problems that really require your expertise.
How to Automate IT Processes
An endpoint management and network monitoring solution can provide policy-based IT automation that dramatically increases your IT team’s productivity. Automation is accomplished by:
- Deploying an agent to each endpoint device
- Creating scripts to run on the agent (scripts are called “agent procedures” at Kaseya)
- Setting up policies to guide the application of scripts for individual machines, machine groups or organizations
- One aspect of your policy could be to set up the script execution schedule for routine IT tasks such as disk cleanup or weekly server maintenance
- Of course, auto-remediation of IT incidents requires the agent to execute the script in response to some condition or event, as opposed to running on a set schedule. Monitors are used to detect these conditions and events and trigger the script execution
- Changes to a machine’s membership in a machine group or organization cause the appropriate policies to automatically be re-deployed to the endpoint
Your endpoint management solution can also perform a compliance check to see whether your endpoints are in compliance with assigned policies.
Ideally, your endpoint management solution should help you build the scripts for processes like software patching, antivirus / anti-malware deployment, incident remediation and other common IT tasks. Templates, pre-built scripts and a built-in agent procedure editor all come into play to make building your IT process automation fast and easy.
Check out the Kaseya Automation Exchange, our marketplace for sharing, buying, and selling automation resources. Find agent procedures, monitor sets, reports, templates, and more to help you get started quickly.
To learn more about what processes you should automate, download our checklist 7 Processes to Automate to Improve Productivity and Reduce IT Costs.