IT process automation has come a long way in the last few decades, from the support of simple processes and very few business applications to a complex hybrid environment where almost all business processes depend on IT operations.

Hence, CIOs must allocate a significant budget to maintain and support business applications, business processes, etc. However, with the ever-increasing demand to support such a complex ecosystem and shortage of skilled talent pool, all these factors keep CIOs on their toes to keep key KPIs in control.

What is IT Operations and Process Automation?

A set of processes and services carried out by an IT department for the smooth operation of technology is considered IT operations. These activities enable companies to perform business operations and manage all IT systems. This includes external operations software and hardware.

IT operations are one of the four functions of ITIL, and it is among the best frameworks for ITSM, emphasizing effective IT management. Therefore, companies dedicate a separate team within the IT department for IT operations.

Activities that fall under IT operations are responding to IT support inquiries from across the company or department using the IT ticketing system and carrying out maintenance work.

The IT capabilities are increasing, and the range of responsibilities they handle is growing, thus making IT operations automation more complex to manage and run. This led to the creation of different IT operation models to address this issue.

3 Critical Challenges with IT Process Automation

Nine out of 10 IT decision-makers agree that IT process automation has helped them drive business growth over the past year, and more than 90% say that IT process automation is critical for digital transformation. One out of 3 IT leaders says they are achieving 2X or better ROI per year from IT process automation, and 90% of IT leaders are planning to raise their budget for IT process automation.

However, only 12% of organizations can implement process automation according to their current year plan. Why are they falling short? Well, the issue lies in the age-old system, hindering their goals. Let’s look at the top 3 critical challenges faced by IT leaders.

Look at the top 3 Critical Challenges faced by IT Leaders.

IT Leaders don’t Know Where to Start

Most IT leaders say that their biggest hurdle with IT process automation lies in not knowing where to start. Numerous processes are waiting to be automated, thus making it hard for the IT department to decide where to start. Multiple opinions add analysis paralysis to the whole process.

IT leaders should deal with such problems by creating time-bound, measurable, and goal-specific targets. To do this, IT leaders should generate proof of concept (PoC), which helps showcase whether or not an automation project is possible in a given scenario.

IT leaders are Struggling with Legacy Systems

Most IT leaders agree that legacy technology prevents them from adopting process automation. Replacing the legacy system is disruptive as they have critical dependencies, and replacing this old but working system can take years, costing thousands of dollars.

The best solution for such a problem is to start small, replace or automate redundant and less critical processes first, then gradually move towards more critical and complex automation. Thus reducing the disruption and giving them more time to adapt.

Lack of Business Alignment

IT leaders have difficulty convincing other departments and setting practical goals for their process automation. This different set of priorities among the organizations halts the overall automation process.

Business Process Model and Notation, aka BPMN, is a great way to solve this problem. It helps to simplify the process, enabling others to understand the complete IT automation process better. BPMN uses diagrams and flowcharts for visual, providing visual cues to people unfamiliar with the overall concept or the process creating a win-win situation for everyone.

Most IT process automation goals start with high ambition but slow down amid the process because most operations start by ripping and replacing an entire legacy system. Starting slow, avoiding critical legacy system at first, and ensuring every step is carried out according to the plan is key to successful IT process automation implementation. This approach will give you measurable results and alert you if something doesn’t work out according to plan, giving you enough time to reflect and solve the problem and helping you to keep everyone on the same page.

Why should You Look for Mundane IT Operations and Automate Them

Most IT operation tasks are mundane and repetitive. That causes a significant amount of time of human capital spent on dealing with data (cleansing, aggregation, and so on), consuming standard actions, creating reports, etc., instead of analyzing trends, reports, or high-valued tasks. Such trends add to the operational cost and low output.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has recently caught up in the market, especially after COVID hit the world. This technology emulates or mimics human actions through its component called BOT. RPA can integrate with any system or read data from a UI screen. Lately, the introduction of AI/ML technology and RPA has made it possible to achieve hyper-automation.

A survey by Gartner on RPA state, 2019, suggests that IT Operation is one of the most sought areas for automation. Approximately more than 50% of processes in IT operations can be automated.

A survey by McKinsey, “McKinsey Digital 20/20 automation and productivity diagnostic,” suggests that highly repetitive processes, for example, “password reset,” can be automated up to 80%.

A report by BMC on the service desk suggests that the Service Desk avg cost per ticket is $15.56 and avg cost per minute handle time is $1.6 (BMC 2016 for NA)

RPA

Conclusion

Apart from core IT Operations, CIOs spend significantly on internal compliances and audits. A study by Cherwell-Express suggests that 45% of the manual audits lasted over three months, leading to high operation costs, and 45% of organizations incurred > USD 50K, 17% of organizations incurred > USD 1 mn & In some cases > USD 5 mn.

IT Operation tickets for services like password reset, account unlock, email DL management, user onboarding/off-boarding, user license allocation/de-allocation, etc., can be automated using RPA. In contrast, processes that may require cognitive capabilities, for example, ServiceDesk ticket triaging, can be automated using RPA augmented with AI/ML capabilities.

How Jade can be Your Transformation Partner for IT Process Automation

Jade Global has served multiple customers to automate their various operational processes in finance, HR, IT Operation, etc. Through our vast experience in the automation of IT operations, we have built accelerators in major RPA technologies like UiPath, Automation Anywhere, Power Automate, etc. Our accelerators are spread across IT Service Management, IT Incident Management, and IT Asset Management.

We also have accelerators for compliance. We bring accelerators along with our process expertise to identify the right set of processes that can be automated in the customer environment along with an ROI view. Accelerators enable us to implement automation 20%-30% faster.

Checkout Jade’s Automation Services: Intelligent Robotic Process Automation

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About the Author

Atul Pareek

Atul Pareek

Director - Client Services Enterprise Cloud Apps - Integration

Atul is a Global Technology Leader with 20 years of IT experience across the US, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam & India.
Experience spanning Telecom, BFSI, Manufacturing, Automobile, and Media domain. Expertise in Customer Experience Transformation through Digital initiatives, Omni Channel Strategy, and Automation through Integration and iPaaS.

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