By Nancy Nafziger
Change is constant in today’s enterprise. Enterprises are constantly challenged to keep up with the complex demands of IT change. Enterprises need more automation, more customization and more demands have been placed on efficiency than ever before. Enterprise agility has become crucial.
So what is agility? In Gartner’s book, “Achieving Agility: Defining Agility in an IT Context,” Daryl Plummer and David McCoy define agility as “the ability of an organization to sense environmental change and respond efficiently and effectively to that change.”
One of the core enabling elements of enterprise agility includes the facilitated ability to change business processes and to customize operational responses in real-time, which Rick Dove refers to as response ability. More than ever we are seeing enterprise network managers turning to IT automation technology to help the enterprise increase responsiveness automate complex processes and create efficiency. In some cases, the automation technology is already present, but a look at process improvements could drive up efficiencies, says Evelyn Hubbert, senior analyst at Forrester Research. “The economy is forcing IT departments to go back to basics, in a sense, to squeeze more out of existing infrastructure. Because the management of existing systems can be up to 70% of IT costs, IT is starting to understand the importance of better management in their efforts to get leaner,” she said.
Here are five factors to weigh when looking for IT process automation:
- Visibility—need ongoing visibility into the total environment.
- Self-service—top performing enterprise operations make use of automated processes by implementing self-service systems.
- Flexibility—adaptive business intelligence requires flexibility.
- Security—manages risk through automation and flexible configuration.
- Workflow management—streamline core activities to route tasks and manage workflow more efficiently.
Succeeding at IT process automation requires taking a long hard look at how a request management system enables operational efficiency:
- Automation of service delivery tasks—achieves business agility, operational efficiency, and high performance levels by automating your workflow. Based on a configurable workflow that ensures that the appropriate information is collected, the request is routed to the appropriate approver(s) and that automatic notifications are triggered.
- Customization via configuration: flexible, intelligent handling of requests leverage the power of customizable forms, tasks, complex workflows, notifications, and approvals to match the way you deliver service.
- Reduces costs—efficiently configures repetitive tasks and eliminates manual processes.
- Self-service—empowers both IT and non-IT staff to configure their own tasks, processes, and approvals.
- Secure configuration—creates a unique and secure experience via flexible configuration.
One final thought. If request management drives IT automation, then IT automation drives enterprise agility—and enterprise agility drives profits.