IT automation is transforming business.
IT teams in small and midsize businesses are struggling with budget constraints and skill shortage. As a result, they are constantly overloaded with tasks as the demand for IT services increases and are hence looking for ways to increase their efficiency. As reported in the 2020 IT Operations Report – Strategic Priorities for IT Leaders, 60 percent of IT leaders worldwide are planning to invest in IT automation in 2021.
With IT automation a top priority for today’s organizations, IT teams are now applying automation to a wider range of business and IT functions.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at the various automation technologies IT teams are implementing to optimize their business processes.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
RPA tools use software bots that replicate human-computer interaction to automate highly repetitive tasks. The benefits of RPA are lower staffing costs and reduced human error. RPA bots typically don’t require software customization or deep system integration.
According to Gartner, global RPA software revenue is projected to reach $1.89 billion in 2021, an increase of 19.5 percent from 2020.
Implementation of RPA
Like every evolving technology, RPA comes with its share of challenges. As per a Deloitte study, while RPA continues to meet the expectations of business leaders when it comes to improving compliance and business productivity, many organizations have found scaling RPA more difficult than anticipated. Larger implementation of RPA, when the number of bots is more than about 50, often take longer and are more complex and more costly than businesses originally expected.
RPA, being a disruptive technology, requires a solid strategy along with the right expertise and vendor support for its successful implementation. It’s important to set and manage realistic expectations for your RPA project. It’s also a good idea to involve IT in the process early on.
Predictive analytics is an emerging technology that can benefit businesses in many ways. Predictive analytics, as the name suggests, involves the collection, analysis and interpretation of data from various operational sources. The goal is to predict future outcomes based on the analysis of this historical data. It typically applies statistical techniques, predictive modeling and machine learning to accomplish this goal.
There are many applications of predictive analytics, including fraud detection, enhancing cybersecurity, optimization of marketing programs and improving business operations.
For IT teams, predictive analytics can use adaptive algorithms to study system, application and network performance, allowing organizations to take a more proactive approach towards IT operations management.
With predictive analytics, IT security professionals can detect potential vulnerabilities, determine the probability of cyberattacks and work to improve the security posture of the organization.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI refers to “intelligent agents” or devices that mimic human cognitive functions, such as learning and problem solving, to imitate human intelligence and reasoning. AI-based automation tools, such as chatbots that you find on many of today’s websites, are mostly used to improve customer service experience. Gone are the days when customers had to be kept on hold, waiting to speak with someone. Gartner predicts that by 2022, 70 percent of all customer interaction will involve chatbots, voice assistants and other AI-based technologies.
There is an entire branch of AI called AIOps — Artificial intelligence for IT operations, that applies AI to “automate the identification and resolution of common information technology (IT) issues,” as described in this TechTarget article. AI-based automation helps optimize network performance by monitoring networks, evaluating root causes of performance problems and implementing procedures to resolve performance issues.
IT Process Automation
One of the primary functions of remote monitoring and management (RMM) and endpoint management tools is IT automation. These tools typically deploy an agent, a lightweight piece of software installed on servers, hypervisors, workstations and laptops, to facilitate the management of these devices.
RMM and endpoint management tools use these agents to automate many IT processes such as:
- Discovery and inventory of all devices on the network
- Software updates and patches on all managed devices on the network
- Routine maintenance processes
- Monitoring, alerting and remediation of IT incidents
Agent procedures are the scripts that automate these processes.
RMM and endpoint management tools leveraging agent procedures drive cost savings for businesses by dramatically reducing manual effort and increasing IT efficiency and productivity as explained in the video below.
Gartner defines hyperautomation as end-to-end automation that involves a combination of tools, including robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent business management software (iBPMS) and AI, with a goal to increase AI-driven decision making.
Touted as one of the top 10 strategic technology trends in 2021, hyperautomation can be a means for real business transformation by automating not only simple tasks but also complex business processes.
Hyperautomation gives way to improved analysis and insights, enabling companies to make better data-driven decisions.
The main goals of IT automation are to increase operational efficiency, reduce costs and improve business agility. Organizations that don’t embrace IT automation are bound to be left behind in an increasingly competitive environment.
Learn how to take IT automation to the next level with Kaseya VSA and find out which IT processes are the best ones to automate to increase your efficiency by downloading our checklist – 7 Processes to Automate to Improve Productivity and Reduce IT Costs.