While we all remain a little uncertain of what life will look like on the other side of COVID-19, there are signs that we might soon be able to return to some semblance of normal. In some parts of the world, families are starting to gather again and many students have returned to the classroom. These things are happening with smaller groups of people…but they are happening. Business is ongoing too of course, but it continues to look a little different than before. And IT continues to push the envelope when it comes to helping the business get more value from technology.
In the face of a global health crisis, businesses learned the importance of agility. Timely, efficient, flexible, responsive: these attributes are all needed more than ever, particularly when it comes to IT. To improve agility, many IT leaders are looking to implement self-service IT to streamline service delivery and get technology to the business more quickly. At the center of the self-service delivery model is automation.
Why automate IT?
Automation is a powerful tool for IT departments, and businesses in general, who are looking to deliver higher quality service to the business more efficiently. Automation eliminates repetitive tasks, reduces approval cycles and supports strong governance practices by building predictability and best practices into IT service delivery. Regardless of your cloud maturity, your application mix, or the type of infrastructure in your environment, automation can drive increased efficiency and productivity improvements across your IT organization.
By leveraging automation to provide end users with self-service access to technology, IT is able to more quickly deliver the technologies their stakeholders rely on, all while maintaining visibility and control. This creates a flexible but stable technology environment that can quickly respond and adapt to changing business needs, or as we saw in 2020, a rapidly changing global economy.
Efficiency for your hybrid workforce
Automation provides significant value when the tasks being automated are discrete, well-understood, tedious to perform manually and where a high level of standardization or governance is required. But the tasks that can most benefit from automation are those that are repetitive. One area where there are numerous opportunities to automate can be found in granting access to infrastructure and application resources. For automated self-service IT to be most effective, it can and should span the entire lifecycle of the resources your employees request, including the initial service request, approvals, provisioning, resource changes, all the way through to decommissioning.
Each of these tasks is repetitive, prone to error and time consuming for IT administrators. Automating them gets the work done faster and more efficiently, and also allows IT staff who were once consumed by the day-to-day activity of keeping technology running, to instead focus on more strategic business requirements such as innovation.
Efficiency equates to cost savings
Automation allows technology to be served up effectively and efficiently, saving you money. These may not always be the same clear-cut savings you would see with the reduction of a cloud bill, but automation can save you money…and help you prevent overspend. According to Gartner, organizations that don’t have an Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) automation strategy will achieve 70% less savings due to efficiency and productivity than their counterparts who do have clearly defined automation strategies.
For example, policy-based automation that is part of a self-service delivery model can enable users to request services that have been standardized, at a fixed pre-approved cost, with an expiration date, to avoid expensive cost overages. When aligned with resource usage policies, it can also prevent over-allocation. In public cloud environments, overprovisioned instance types mean higher daily costs. And for private cloud workloads, rightsizing your workloads can result in deferred hardware purchase savings over several quarters, years, or even in perpetuity.
Gartner also predicts that by 2024, organizations will lower operational costs by 30% by combining automation technologies with redesigned operational processes. With more remote workers than ever before, this trend will likely only accelerate.
Leveraging automation as part of a self-service IT delivery model will deliver increased business agility and efficiency.
To learn more about how to reap the benefits of self-service IT, download our new eBook, Embracing Self-Service IT with Automation.