For the past several decades, midmarket IT organizations have been gradually applying automation to improve efficiency and drive down costs. While the benefits of automation are obvious, the impact over the years has been incremental at best. Jump to today, and the ability for IT organizations to unlock the potential of mass-scale automation to transform IT management and operations are now within reach of organizations of all sizes.
Cloud technology and machine learning are the latest innovations that are driving an increase in automation adoption. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways the latest technology is creating exciting opportunities to increase efficiencies in ways that will save time, money, and ultimately free up IT resources to focus on more value-added initiatives that drive the business forward.
Leveraging IT Automation
1) Onboarding and Offboarding
Executing and managing the onboarding and offboarding of employees is not only labor-intensive but inefficient and prone to human error when done manually. Companies spend thousands of hours per year imaging devices, assigning permissions and licenses, managing the many different identity lifecycles, and overseeing a cumbersome offboarding process that is prone to security risks.
To solve this issue, IT organizations need to integrate the many systems involved in these workflows and leverage automation wherever possible. For example, traditional desktop and laptop imaging and deployment used to take up a large amount of IT resources and time. Today, with the help of self-service technology such as AutoPilot, these manual maintenance tasks can be automated away. What once took weeks to fully configure a device, can now be complete with just the click of a button!
This gives teams the ability to minimize the upstart time for employees, improve security, and decrease the manual intervention of IT. When employees consistently have the resources they need – and IT is freed up to focus on strategic initiatives rather than manual maintenance tasks – great things can happen!
While traditional monitoring techniques have worked well in the past, they will no longer cut it today. We are part of a culture that expects near-immediate response from our technology, wherever and whenever we need it. Technology downtime not only impacts productivity and profit, it can also damage the relationships between your business and its customers.
Self-healing technology uses automation and artificial intelligence to monitor device performance and detect, diagnose, and resolve issues without IT intervention. In the event that the self-healing technology is unable to fix the issues, the system will proactively alert management teams to ensure the problem is quickly resolved.
Consider the transformative power of self-healing technology when it comes to defending against cyberattacks. By leveraging the intelligent tools like Microsoft 365 and Windows Defender ATP, you can automatically detect, report, patch, and resolve security issues – all without losing uptime. Of course, these capabilities must be enabled and aligned with your organization’s unique risk factors and strategies to be effective. That’s where a service like Managed Defense can help!
3) Runbook Automation
As the reliance on IT grows exponentially, the number of events is increasing and putting pressure on IT to fix problems them faster than ever before. This challenge is compounded by the fact that most organizations are now managing and servicing multiple apps across multiple datacenters and infrastructures with a range of public, private, and hybrid cloud deployments.
According to Gartner, the growth of Runbook Automation (RBA) is in response to these challenges. Runbooks built with Azure Automation include step-by-step instructions for solving problems directly and can even allow users to execute these tasks automatically without having to rely on complex programming. This enables IT to overcome organizational complexity, varying skill levels, and reliance on too much manual effort. Often, runbooks are initially created with the help of a managed services provider.
Common scenarios for runbooks include building/deploying resources, configuring VMs, monitoring changes on machines that are causing issues, protecting against cyber threats, and governing access for teams.