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IT and the Rise of Automation

Monday, September 30, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Declan Peltier
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Since the financial crisis of 2008 businesses large and small have been forced to cut back and lay off many of their employees, including in IT. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean that the workload has gotten any smaller. IT employees are now required to do more work, more quickly, on more complex issues than ever before. In order to help employees take on their increased workloads IT tools have had to evolve. Besides organizing and presenting information for IT professionals, IT software had to be automated to allow it to take over many of the responsibilities that used to be relegated to IT staff.

CMDBs

Before much of anything could be automated the system needed to be "taught” about the itself and how the various parts of the ERP system interact and rely on each other.  A Configuration Management Database can supply all the necessary information for your IT systems to identify issues, define the scope and impact of those problems, and to notify the appropriate people to deal with incidents.

Self-Checking and Auditing

Every time a change is pushed through the system it’s essential to check to ensure that everything is in compliance, and that the implemented changes don’t cause unintended side-effects in other parts of the system that may be associated with the change. Modern IT systems are able to automatically and preemptively analyze the effects of proposed changes and check for compliance issues. This not only speeds up the process of change management, it also makes it much less error-prone and costs significantly less than hiring and training someone who can fully understand the entire system and properly estimate impacts. More importantly a solid automated system will audit itself regularly and remediate discrepancies automatically.

Automated Workload Distribution

An interesting development in help-desk software is automated workload distribution. This automatically relegates new incidents to the "least busy” person to help prevent unequal workloads, and allows for the consolidation of tasks from related issues. This takes the pressure off of employees because it allows them work as a team instead of supplying a certain number of incidents to resolve per hour or day, which can result in unequal distribution of labor, and inefficiency.

Automated Release

Instead of keeping the entire IT team occupied software, web, and other updates can be built and then scheduled to be automatically implemented at another time. This minimizes work disruption and allows the system to deal with errors or roll back an update that is causing trouble without breaking the ERP system in the process. Additionally this type of tool allows for more streamlined and regular updates or web app releases by allowing users to schedule releases ahead of time (so that release times will be days or weeks after projected completion so that delays don’t manifest visibly).

 

About The Author:

It’s safe to say Declan Peltier has been around the business block. While spending most of his career working in the field of quality management and document control systems, Declan has focused his attention on writing and enjoys spreading his knowledge on the IT industry. 


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