The IT department is one of the busiest and most important departments in organizations these days. From handing over a new employee their laptops to downloading software for all the staff, everything is handled by the IT department. If you observe and look closely at these processes, you will find out there are a lot of leaks in the productivity and efficiency of your processes. That makes us think about all the IT processes that you can and must automate. In this blog, you will see a list of IT processes that you can automate in 2020. With these practical examples of IT process automation, you would get an action plan on which IT process you can automate right away.
List of IT Processes that you must automate:
1. Service Requests
Service requests take up most of the time of your IT department managers and executives. Everyday tasks like problems with hardware, issues with logins, and fixing some technical issues from employees’ systems are included in service requests.
Make employees aware of the service request form
Gather information through forms
Read each form and categorize it according to the requirements
Fulfill all the possible requests
Assure that the employees receive the right service
Modern Approach You need to map this process after analyzing the tasks involved in the process. Once you have a list of tasks, you can create a process in the process automation tool and execute it. The request is raised by one of the staff members, it directly reaches to one of the IT members that take care of that format of the request. Once they have the list of requests, they will get a reminder of the context in their workflow. It will save you from long cluttered requests that are choked in the workflow. The employees won’t need to go through trials of paperwork. Due to technical process automation, the system will become less bureaucratic and processes will move faster. For example, if you are not automating your IT processes, your employee will fill a form to request a service of installing anti-virus on their computer. The IT person will read all the forms received on that day. They will read the requirements and prioritize it in their brain. If the task is not followed up after a few days by the concerned employee, it will get lost in the obsolete data. This will create communication gaps and unnecessary issues in your organization.
2. Change Management
Every business has to go through changes in their IT infrastructure or your overall business as the digital world is becoming more and more dynamic each day. Your IT department helps you ideate, approve, and implement change after analyzing through a change management process. There are three main types of changes.
1. Standard changes These are small scale changes to the IT infrastructure or services required by employees. These changes are managed according to the predetermined IT policies. Example – Installing a new copier machine or software on a laptop
2. Normal changes These are changes that have to be approved by an authority before they can be implemented. There is a risk analysis done before implementing these changes. Example – Moving from on-prem infrastructure to cloud-based
3. Emergency changes These changes can come at any time. It needs to be dealt with as soon as the IT department can. Example – Regulating a threat to the security to your system
Traditional approach Instead of posting down a step by step process to explain the traditional approach, here’s an overview of it through a diagram : It is a bit of a theoretical concept but that’s what most IT departments use. It is tough to manage change when you haven’t mapped out an actionable step by step process.
Modern Approach Here’s what a step by step procedure of change management looks like:
Identify what you want to change and improve
Involve everyone in the research process
Do a risk analysis
Design a plan and implement it
Improve the process
For example, if you want to move from on-premise infrastructure to cloud-based one, you need to first identify how will this help you by making a pro-cons list. Then research upon the same. After analyzing the risk attached to it like security issues and other issues that might come up, implement the change. Process automation solutions will help you gather data after you have implemented the process.
3. Audit and Routine checkups
When we are talking about the IT department, safety and security is their first priority. Every company has a corporate code of conduct when it comes to securing their software and data. The tasks involved in this process depends on the policy of your company.
Going on rounds to check each system individually
Keep a track of problems
Provide technical assistance wherever required
Fix appointments for large and time taking updates
Here, the IT department has to go on rounds of checking each system individually to make sure all employees are taking enough precautions to safeguard their data. The data leaks are so easy that a non-technical person can fall in the trap of it and won’t even know. It becomes a tedious task to manually go on and check each computer, that’s where automation comes into play. The length of time between two audits or maintenance checks differ from company to company. If these checkups are done yearly, your IT department might not have a big problem with manually engaging in it. It is not advised because there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds which gets us to an average of 2244 attacks a day. That’s why you must frequently go on these checkups. And if these checkups are done on a weekly or monthly basis, you need to automate it right away.
Modern Approach You can create a checklist that enables the employees to audit their systems themselves. It might increase a 15-minute work for every employee, but it would save hours for your IT department. They will get a list of everyone who has done the audit in their system and can follow up with the people who haven’t done it directly. You can also automate reminders after a few days if the task is still incomplete. If they find out that there is a certain flaw in one of the systems, then and only then, the IT guys will have to manually go and check that specific system. Imagine how much stress will go down just with this one automation. 4. Asset Management
There are a certain set of tasks that an IT manager has to do every time an asset is acquired or relieved. These assets include technology bought by the company like hardware, servers, cloud storage, etc. These processes can be automated for the smooth functioning of its workflow. For example, let’s say an employee is leaving the company. This is a major task of the HR department but a huge chunk of tasks is authorized to the IT department. It comes with a certain set of tasks and best practices.
Create a list of important permissions that are supposed to be revoked
Revoke the necessary data
Close all the paid plans that we dedicated to the employee
Close all the accounts after deleting the sensitive information
Assure all the hardware and software are reacquired from the employee by the company
Asset management is a tough task and has a scope of mistakes. Automating it might make sure that you don’t forget any important steps attached to the process.
Modern Approach You can automate this process by making a list of all the assets and data that are to be managed by the IT department. Even if the employee leaves the company, they will get an exact idea of what process they have to follow before leaving. The IT department and the employee can collaboratively work together on this task and get it done within a few minutes rather than wasting time.
5. New IT Employee Setup
IT departments play a crucial role when a new employee joins your organization. Having a good onboarding experience is important for a new employee. If the process of setting up their system is automated, the IT department will have a clear idea of what are the set of tasks they are supposed to execute. These tasks include creating new accounts, setting up their systems according to their requirements, giving them access to data, assigning them to an empty system, etc.
Create new accounts
Set up their systems according to their requirements
Give them access to the data
Make their time tracking system if required
New employees are not that comfortable with the new systems and the people around them. That’s you must think about having an effective onboarding that would be beneficial for employees and make them comfortable.
Modern Approach Make a default process for each position of the employee. The process won’t vary much but there might be some departmental specific items like license version of photoshop for designers, Grammarly subscription for writers, etc. The IT department can bifurcate these processes and assign them to the new employee. The new employee will have a plan for the day as well as will be able to communicate efficiently. For example, if a new designer joins the company, the IT guys will assign them with their onboarding process along with the HR department. This detailed and automated workflow will make sure there are no productivity leaks from your IT department and assure an effective onboarding experience for your new employee.
6. Maintenance of network system
A network system is a platform that keeps all the systems in your company connected. These systems need maintenance and planning because if it gets overworked, it will go down. This will waste a lot of time and resources for the company. The IT department makes sure that network systems stay intact.
Regular checks to keep the network system up-to-date
Identifying the back-up plan, if the system goes down
Implementing the backup system as soon as possible
Making reports on the data of network systems
As the network system can cause company-wide problems, it is essential that this process is automated out of all the IT department processes. Creating a workflow with regular reminders of updating the systems will assure that there is no chance of human error and that you don’t have to rely on back up systems. Also, here you assign individuals to their specific tasks like maintenance of these systems. With this automation, it becomes easy to focus on more important tasks like managing and strategizing big picture and saving costs on back up systems.
Conclusion IT processes are very technical and time-consuming. If you don’t have an automation plan for your IT department, you will end up wasting their valuable time. These were some of the most common IT processes in an organization. It just takes a leap towards automation to automate your processes. Once you have done it, you will see your performance get better and a reduction in human error. If you think that your organization has some IT processes that you cannot automate, let us know in the comments below. We will find a way to automate it because we love challenges.