Automation is the path forward in the work space. People are expensive, and often unreliable. But, there are a number of activities, which involves wisdom, circumspection and thought-flow that calls out for human brains rather than machine trained deliveries.
You can create significant value in IT service management through automation. A number of organizations have automated activities, and there are a lot more in the pipeline.
In IT service management implementation based on ITIL principles, a number of operational activities are repetitive in nature, and it doesn’t necessarily require using human brains for every single transaction. This is the opportunity to automate, standardize work outputs and to save big on unnecessary expenditure.
The Event Management process under ITIL Service Operations offers maximum openings to automate. Event management monitors various events across the infrastructure and applications, keeping a finger on the pulse if any of the states change. This is best achieved by putting monitoring agents to work, and programming them to carry out certain activities as needed.
Capacity and Availability management processes as well can be automated to a good extent. Availability and capacity targets can be tracked and managed through toolsets, and capacity forecasts can be automated as well by keying in future demand and trends.
Processes that are viewed as human driven, such as Incident Management can be handed off to automation for supporting the incident managers. One of the objectives of incident management is to track open incidents to closure. Almost all the tools available in the market today are capable of auto-monitoring incidents, and sending out reminders and escalation to relevant parties, to ensure humans pick up the slack.
Self-help options provide ample opportunities by automating requests. For example, Request Fulfilment process can leverage on auto password recovery options. No human needs to get involved, which is the case today on most web applications.
Problem Management too can get some much needed help in trending incidents and identifying repetitive incidents.
The six processes I have mentioned in this blogpost is just the tip of the iceberg. In effect, all processes provides opportunities and leeway to automate, and it is up to (smart) ITIL consultants to exploit it, and use it to the service provider’s and customer’s advantage.
Before I end, think about this. Reporting is a fairly mundane activity, unless you are adding commentary against line items. All processes and functions have reporting requirements. Have you automated it already? If the answer is no, this is a low hanging fruit that you grab onto and start creating value with least amount of effort.