Automation

How much time do you spend manually completing IT tasks?  How much extra time do you spend recovering from an error made while performing tasks manually?  Is a majority of your time spent performing basic administrative or maintenance tasks?

Perhaps you’re already automating some tasks and processes.  Could you benefit from a more centralized approach? Are you aware of all the scripts running on different systems across your environment?  Do you know when your automated processes fail to run properly and why?  Do you need to link various tasks together to complete a process?

These things can be an overwhelming burden for small to medium businesses that often have a small IT staff.  If you’re a business owner with systems but no dedicated IT staff, then you’re most likely not running as efficiently as possible and worse, your systems may be neglected to the point of performance and security issues.

Benefits and Considerations

Some of the benefits gained through automation include:
  • Accountability and Reliability
  • Consistent and Predictable Results
  • Improved Delivery and Response Times


Accountability and Reliability
Accountability is increased through auditing and logging of automated processes.  When errors occur, you can quickly determine the cause.  Not only does this allow for problem resolution but can also show ways that tasks can be tweaked for better performance, security, etc.  Additionally, every time a task is performed manually, it’s susceptible to human error.  Automating the task removes that risk.

Consistent and Predictable
Automated tasks can be configured to respond and take action based on a variety of conditions.  For example, a specified date/time, the presence of a file, or a threshold reached on resource utilization.  Once properly configured and tested, you know how the automated task will perform and you don’t have to worry about forgetting a step as opposed to doing the task by hand.  The task or process can then be repeated delivering consistent results.

Improved delivery and response times
Although it may cost time upfront in developing and testing the automated process, the efficiency gained will usually far outweigh the initial time spent.  A great example of this would be software deployment.

It’s imperative for companies with large numbers of systems (workstations, servers, network devices, etc.) to develop automated deployment processes.  It’s just not practical for businesses to waste the time that would be required for manual configuration.  Especially for repeatable tasks like installing operating systems.  Even if there’s only a small amount of systems in your environment, you still benefit greatly from faster times to recover and replace systems when needed.

Quick Takeaway
Every business is different but all can benefit from some degree of automation. The right solution depends on your management and workflow needs and could be as simple as configuring scripts to implementing a centralized task management system.

Doing more with less is not a cliche but a fact for most businesses especially when it comes to technology. Let us help you with your automation needs and increase your efficiency and productivity.