Always wondered exactly what the industry means by IT process automation? This article will cover the meaning of the term, and give you a crash course in everything you need to know about ITPA in more detail.
What is IT process automation?
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 professionals 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.
Common 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.
Is ITPA the same as RPA?
Robotic Process Automation is commonly used interchangeably with ITPA, but in reality, they are not exactly the same. RPA is usually used to describe a single simple task that was traditionally performed manually and can now be done by machine. Think about small tasks like copying and pasting information from one spreadsheet to another. RPA can be part of IT process automation, but thinking of them as the same thing is limiting the scope of what ITPA can achieve.
BPA stands for Business Process Automation, and that is a lot more similar to ITPA. BPA automates a more complex series of tasks and workflows but is usually focused on the business side of things, such as billing and payments. BPA could be called a subset of ITPA.
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 is growing in use across many industries, and IT services are no different. Gartner predicts that “By 2025, 50% of enterprises will have devised artificial intelligence (AI) orchestration platforms to operationalize AI, up from fewer than 10% in 2020.” Operationalizing AI sounds fancy, but what it really means is getting AI to work for you to make your life easier. That’s definitely what we’re starting to do at Atera with the help of AI ticket tagging and dispatch.
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.