Automating your IT Support Services—What It Means

One of the most misused terms in the information technology (IT) industry is automation. The term is often used to portray different meanings depending on situation and context. These include operations automation, tools automation, service provider automation, process automation, and monitoring automation among others. Lately, thanks to the wide adoption of cloud computing, the use of the term has increased manifold, and more and more variations have come up.

What Is Automation?By and large, automation describes non-manual ways of completing tasks—and this is applicable to IT as well. While other industries use robots and machines, automation in IT involves the use of programs, scripts, and other methods of achieving automation. In the IT world, automation can be used to accomplish a plethora of activities, including creating new infrastructures, operation IT infrastructure, modifying IT infrastructure, and gathering metrics among others.

Automation in IT support provision

In IT consulting services, automation can be applied into three distinct categories:

  • Workflow automation: This involves any automation that helps in moving tasks or work items. Common examples include approval processing, alert-to-ticket automation and auto-escalation among other tasks.
  • Workload automation: Encompasses any form of scheduled automation. Common examples include cleanup activities, reporting, triggering backup tasks, moving files, and automating on-demand among others.
  • IT process automation: Encompasses all the major aspects of IT including incident management, event management, capability planning, dashboarding, reporting and service management among others.

The value of automating your IT support services

In this new era of dynamic IT infrastructure, it is vital that normal IT functions are automated. New infrastructures are developed on a need basis and their monitoring and management need to be updated in real time. As an IT consulting services provider, it is not advisable to depend on manual solutions to update new IT infrastructures.

Additionally, the dynamic IT infrastructure comes with a wide range of new change management processes. Conventional maintenance periods or change windows are things of the past. Problem management, incident management, and reporting need to be done in real time and should be accompanied with comprehensive information that details the root cause of the problem. Besides, to effectively solve a problem, you need to get a true picture of the infrastructure that was active, when it was active, and when the issue occurred. These are other crucial areas where automation can help.

Conclusion

As an IT consultant, automation can help you take better command of your clients’ IT infrastructure: complete visibility, fewer errors, more speed, full control, and improved service levels. However, automation shouldn’t be the end but just the beginning of an effective and efficient IT support provision. A continuous automation program can go a long way in improving your clients’ IT operations and providing additional coverage to their IT environments.

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