The idea of automating IT tasks can be a daunting prospect for many IT teams, with the concern that your infrastructure is going to develop a mind of its own and control will be in some way lost. In reality, this doesn’t happen and by embracing an automation strategy you can significantly improve the efficiency and productivity of your IT department.
As with any IT project the key to automation is to plan your strategy and start small. Don’t try to automate every task instantly, break the project down into easy to handle logical steps. Take the time to evaluate which tasks will actually benefit from being automated, if a task is better carried out manually, leave it alone.
There should be real benefits from full or part automation of a task. For example, automating the creation of new user accounts is an obvious step as workload on staff can be reduced and it ensures the consistency of every new user account created. A server build may not jump out as something to automate as servers are used for different purposes and require different roles and features. Although there may not be a clear standard build here, this could be a task that would benefit from part automation to ensure all servers begin at the exact same place before being customised to meet the final requirements.
If the thought behind automating tasks is to reduce head count then this is the wrong approach. Automation should allow an IT department to standardise how tasks are completed while ensuring the exact same outcome every time. It should allow skilled IT staff to spend their time developing and upgrading the infrastructure, rather than performing time-consuming repetitive tasks, ultimately allowing the business to progress.
By presenting automated tasks to end users through a self-service portal you enable them to quickly satisfy their own requests while freeing up the time of your expert IT staff to focus on projects that really need their skills and attention.
Microsoft System Center suite is especially suited to embracing this automation approach. Using tools such as Service Manager, Configuration Manager, Orchestrator, Virtual Machine Manager and Operations Manager you can allow your IT department to gain greater control over your IT infrastructure, while increasing productivity and efficiency.
For further information about how you can automate tasks and improve your IT department’s productivity, please contact us.