IT departments have to face extreme pressure of increasing organizational efficiency and keeping the cost down. Moreover, they are also responsible for delivering tangible business value while mitigating the compliance risk. With automation sweeping across enterprises, many businesses have automated their IT processes and others will follow in their wake. Unfortunately, this automation exercise doesn’t go according to plan as your IT team tends to fall apart when automating the IT processes. To ensure that does not happen with your IT team, we have compiled a list of common IT automation mistakes that will help you learn valuable lessons without making the same mistakes.
Automation for The Sake of it
Don’t get me wrong. There has been a large hoopla surrounding automation in IT industry and most businesses are influenced by it. On the other hand, IT vendors have extended their services and started IT automation services as well. Then there are articles highlighting the demerits of a traditional IT process. Yes, there is no denying the fact that automating your IT processes has its perks, but you should not start automating your IT processes just because your competitors are doing it. Do you really need to automate your IT processes? If so, you should identify which ones to automate, create a strategy for it, consider the business value it delivers and set key performance indicators to justify the resources you are putting in.
Having A Short-Sighted Vision of Automation
According to David Emerson, the Vice President and deputy CISO at Cyxtera, “The most common mistake I see today is myopia.” Most businesses have a shortsighted vision of automation and they only focus on the short term gains. Instead, you need to focus on the long-term benefits.
He suggests that if you want to automate your IT processes successfully, you will have to take the following steps.
- Increase system comprehension among your employees.
- Align documentation with configuration
- Reap the benefits of less complex compliance audit, improved security, minimal output hampering processes and controls.
Choosing the Wrong Tools
The tools you use for IT service management will influence the outcome of your IT process automation efforts. As a rule of thumb, you should automate few processes and as your IT automation strategy matures, you can extend your IT automation process across the enterprise. Consider the cost and ease of implementation when choosing the toolset for IT service management. In most cases, you might have to choose multiple tools for efficient IT service management. Make sure you choose ones that work in the background without disturbing other tools and functions. This will ensure a smoother execution of your IT service management process, helping you achieve IT automation success.
Thinking Automation can Improve a Messy Process
As mentioned before, there is so much hype around IT automation that many businesses believe that IT automation is the answer to all their problems. With IT automation, they can fix their inefficient processes. If you think that IT automation can mend your broken processes, you are totally wrong. Vipul Nagrath, Global CIO of ADP summed it up brilliantly when he said, “Taking an existing process and automating it does not make it better. It just makes a bad process faster.” Instead, you should make process improvements an integral part of your IT automation process. He suggests, “Take time to measure, learn, re-engineer and then automate.”
Not Tracking The Right Metric
Many organizations start automating their IT processes without setting the key performance indicator. They don’t know which metric to track, which is why they fail to track the success and failures of their IT automation efforts. When you are measuring key metrics, it is important to focus on both short term and long-term goals. Your IT automation process should deliver the ROI but there are many non-quantifiable measures such as improved customer satisfaction that you should also keep an eye on. This is exactly what you get with HostNoc dedicated server hosting.
By tracking the right KPIs, you can easily figure out what is working and what is not. This will give you a direction and help you achieve your IT automation maturity goals. By constantly monitoring your progress, you know where you stand and where you have to go. This keeps your IT automation efforts on-track and you are more likely to succeed.
Not Understanding the Value of Time
When businesses try to automate their IT processes, they take painstakingly long to do so, killing the overall purpose of all the activity. Gordon Haff, a red hat technology evangelist said, “Time scales matter a lot. By time scales, I mean the amount of time you have to react. If you’re scheduling where a process runs, you might have microseconds. If you can’t do something manually in that time frame, you have to automate.
He further adds, “Conversely, if you do something over the course of months, automation may not help a lot except in so far as it can reduce cognitive load. Some of the interesting automation questions are at the minutes and hours scale, where humans are capable of making decisions – but you may not want to force them to.”
Poorly Prepared or Incompetent Team
The success of your IT automation hinges on your IT team, responsible for automating processes. Make sure you choose your team wisely and select team members based on their experience and skill with IT automation. The more competent your team is, the more chance it has of achieving your IT automation goals. Similarly, preparation plays an important role as well.
Most businesses expect overnight results. IT automation takes time. You have to be patient and your team should keep pushing forward because IT automation is a continuous process. It is an iterative process and you have to make constant changes along the way to see results.
Which is the biggest IT automation mistake you have ever made? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.