IT process automation, also known as ITPA, is defined as any series of processes that use automation to perform repetitive tasks or workflows, which previously were handled by human staff.
To understand ITPA, it’s important to define exactly what we mean by an IT process. In the IT world, both MSPs and IT departments spend most of their time performing different processes, whether that’s patch management, monitoring environments, installing software, handling security, or dealing with service requests and tickets as they arise.
Imagine what your day would be like if you could automate a lot of these processes, and have automation handle them behind the scenes. It would obviously free up a lot of your time, and allow you to focus on higher value and strategic work, such as speaking to your customers or colleagues, looking for new revenue streams, and zeroing in on areas that will impact business growth.
The main benefits of IT process automation are a smoother workflow for you and your team, a standardized way of working that is less error-prone and subject to fewer mistakes, and cost savings, as technicians are freed up from repetitive and manual work.
Key Aspects of ITPA
System Monitoring: ITPA often involves automated monitoring of IT systems, identifying issues, and triggering predefined responses to resolve or mitigate them. This can include monitoring server performance, network health, and security breaches.
Workflow Automation: ITPA allows for the creation of automated workflows that encompass various IT tasks. For example, it can automate the onboarding and offboarding of employees, managing software updates, or provisioning and deprovisioning resources.
Error Handling: When errors occur in IT systems, ITPA can automate error handling by diagnosing the issue and initiating corrective actions. This can help reduce downtime and maintain system integrity.
Reporting and Documentation: ITPA often includes automated reporting and IT documentation capabilities, ensuring that all IT processes are well-documented for compliance and auditing purposes.
Examples of IT process automation
IT process automation can be a series of different tasks that make a single workflow, or it can be a single commonly completed action. The common denominator is that automation covers the process in its entirety, and IT pros can either perform the action with a single click, or even schedule the process to take place ahead of time, when certain triggers or conditions are met, or at a regular cadence.
Here are some examples of IT process automation that could make all the difference in your IT environment.
Ticketing responses: Automate specific replies, whether that’s out-of-office information during a vacation, alerting to business hours, or sending specific replies set up for frequently asked questions.
Internal management of tickets: You can also handle your workload and ticket queue intelligently with ITPA. Think about scanning tickets to find those that are duplicating a request and consolidating them, or intelligently routing the right tickets to the right technicians using AI-based ticket tagging.
Onboarding new employees or end users: Set up an onboarding workflow for a new end user, including software bundle install, patch management, security, and more. One-click and they are part of the family.
Patch management: Handle patches and software updates with ease, including varying processes for different devices, assets, and users, and checking for missed patches to ensure there are zero gaps.
ITPA vs. RPA
In conclusion, while ITPA and RPA share common goals of automation and efficiency, they are distinct in their scope and application. ITPA targets IT-specific tasks and processes, while RPA is a more versatile automation solution that extends beyond IT into various business functions. Understanding these differences is crucial for organizations looking to implement the right automation strategy for their specific needs.
Key Aspects of RPA
Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is a broader automation concept that extends beyond IT operations. While RPA can be applied in IT, its primary focus is on automating repetitive and rule-based tasks across various business functions. RPA employs software “bots” or “robots” to mimic human interactions with computer systems, such as data entry, data extraction, and data manipulation.
Data Entry and Manipulation: RPA is particularly effective in automating data-related tasks, including data entry into various systems, data validation, and data transformation.
User Interface Interaction: RPA bots can interact with applications and systems through the user interface, just as a human user would. They can click buttons, fill forms, and navigate software interfaces.
Rule-Based Tasks: RPA is ideal for tasks that follow predefined rules and decision trees. It excels in automating tasks that involve conditional logic.
Cross-Functional Automation: RPA can be applied in finance, HR, customer service, and many other non-IT areas, making it a versatile solution for organizations.
What are some ITPA trends to be aware of?
Here are some of Gartner’s automation trends to watch, which can help you understand where and how to leverage ITPA in your own environment or your customer networks.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a pivotal trend in the realm of IT Process Automation (ITPA). As AI continues to gain prominence in various industries, its impact on IT services is undeniable. According to Gartner’s predictions, the adoption of AI in IT is set to soar, with the expectation that “By 2025, 50% of enterprises will have devised AI orchestration platforms to operationalize AI, up from fewer than 10% in 2020.” This forecast underscores the significance of AI in IT operations, as it aims to bring about practical and tangible benefits. The concept of operationalizing AI means integrating AI capabilities into your IT processes, such as AI helpdesk and AI ticketing systems, to simplify and enhance various tasks, ultimately contributing to improved efficiency and productivity. AI also extends its reach into AI ITSM, streamlining service management and enhancing user experiences. At Atera, we are actively harnessing the potential of AI to empower IT professionals and make their work more manageable, showcasing how AI is becoming a game-changer in the world of ITPA.
Another prediction by Gartner is that “By 2024, organizations will lower operational costs by 30% by combining hyper-automation technologies with redesigned operational processes.” By redesigning the way that you work, you can not only improve the way you work but also add a serious slice to your bottom line.
“By 2023, 40% of all enterprise workloads will be deployed in cloud infrastructure and platform services, up from 20% in 2020.” Cloud is the trend that won’t stop, so it’s more important than ever that your ITPA works seamlessly in a heterogeneous environment that covers on-premises, cloud, and hybrid reality.
Work smarter, not harder
For future-focused IT professionals, automation and AI are certainly the future of work. Instead of filling your hours doing the same tasks over and over again, set the power of computing to work, and automate the workflows which don’t need that human touch.
At Atera, we want to help you transform the way that you work to see immense business growth with the power of an all-in-one software tool. Speak to us about the tasks that you wish you could automate, and with in-built tech, our powerful shared script library, and a bit of that Atera magic, we’ll do what we can to help you make it happen!
Looking to learn more about how to automate IT processes with Atera? Your IT automation and scripting journey start here.