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5 Key Areas I&O Leaders Should Automate First

Posted by on August 21, 2020

I&O Automation

Many infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders struggle to identify where they should focus their automation efforts. Poor strategy means tool usage suffers. In a Gartner 2020 client inquiry, most companies reported having at least eight different automation tools, yet they experienced redundancy, duplication, and underutilization issues. By understanding your team’s skills and processes, you can better select service management software and other tools that match your company’s specific needs.

5 Key Areas I&O Leaders Should Automate First

Looking to implement a successful automation strategy? Target these areas first.

1. Provisioning & Orchestration

One area you should automate first is provisioning and orchestration. This area manages user request and fulfillment services typically in the form of repetitive manual processes. By creating a self-service portal, items like IT service requests and HR-related tasks can be fulfilled via an Intranet system, increasing the productivity of the IT staff. The portal can also set up individual permissions for employees based on management level as well as address FAQs. 

2. Asset Management

The goal is to have one unified system that monitors when assets are changed or removed. Investing in asset management software can save you upwards of 15 percent on your annual budget by centralizing assets across multiple platforms like Linux, Windows, iOS, and Oracle. A flexible and intuitive asset management system will help you quickly reconcile data, manage licenses and subscriptions, and receive detailed reporting on assets. You’ll also be able to track the least utilized tools, which can aid in renegotiating contracts and re-allocating licenses.

3. Configuration Management & Patching

Automating the delivery of patches and upgrades should be at the top of your list. Configuration management software can support tasks, manage workflow, and deploy patches and updates, all while reducing errors. Also, configuration management software can quickly root out and resolve problems, increasing the stability of your system overall. That increased stability means you can redirect your resources to new services and innovations. 

4. Monitoring

Successful automation relies on a robust monitoring system that can capture data, perform problem-solving, and anticipate malfunctions. According to a Gartner 2017 CIO agenda, analytics is the number one tech investment. With a dashboard management system, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of performance through role-based dashboards that highlight KPIs and metrics, give insight on staff workloads, and provide real-time reporting. Having a more precise look at analytics will also take the guesswork out of making data-driven decisions.

5. Security & Governance

Automated systems must be able to respond swiftly and effectively to security and compliance incidences. An information security management system (ISMS) will help you manage data and privacy protection 24/7 and bring governance, risk, and compliance processes (GRC) under one dashboard. By mapping security controls, highlighting citations, and calculating risks, the ISMS will increase the visibility of potential impacts to business and minimize the effect of security incidents.

Successful automation can positively change your business for the better. With the right strategy in place, automating tools for service management and other functions can build trust among stakeholders and instill confidence in automating even more processes. By choosing areas that impact your business the most, you’ll achieve a more streamlined system with tools that truly add value.

Looking to create and activate a targeted automation campaign that drives results? Get insight from Gartner's report How to Start Executing a Successful Automation Strategy. 

Download the Report