IT Automation: What It Is and 3 Examples that Highlight Why It’s Critical

IT’s ability to build and maintain powerful workflow automations can significantly impact your organization’s success.

As more and more employees work remotely and adopt a growing number of applications in their day-to-day work, this ability will only become increasingly important. 

Why, exactly, are IT automations critical? And what are some real-world examples of leveraging them? We’ll tackle both of these questions, but first, let’s align on what it is.

What is IT automation?

In the past, IT automation has been defined as the use of software to automate manual, repetitive tasks. 

This definition is now incomplete. Today, it’s when IT automates their end-to-end workflows by connecting applications and then using business events (otherwise known as triggers) to deliver instant outcomes (otherwise known as actions).

Why is IT Automation Important?

By automating entire workflows (e.g. incident management) versus specific tasks (e.g. creating a support ticket), IT can deliver process transformations across lines of business. 

At a high level, these process transformations can deliver the following benefits:

benefits of IT automation

They’re also helpful in a variety of more specific ways. For instance, they empower your team to respond to customers faster and more thoughtfully; they help your colleagues get their questions answered instantly; and they allow you to onboard and offboard employees securely, quickly, and comprehensively.

Examples of IT Automation

Let’s further explore why IT automation is critical to your organization by breaking down a few real-world examples. 

1. Provision applications quickly across your employee base.

As your organization grows and embraces new applications, it becomes increasingly difficult to manually provision each employee with the ones they need, along with the right permission levels. 

To help scale this process successfully, you can use IT automation. 

The workflow for provisioning access to applications

Here’s how it works:

  1. An employee goes into a communications platform (in this case, Slack) and requests access to a specific application.
  2. Workbot (our enterprise platform bot) instantly creates a ticket in ServiceNow that reflects this request.
  3. IT then receives the request in a Slack channel. They can choose to accept or reject the request within Slack.
  4. The requester is then notified within Slack on their status.

How effective is this IT automation? 

One of our clients, a financial services company with more than 9,000 employees, uses this exact automation. It’s allowed them to provision over 60,000 requests per year with no manual effort. This has reduced the time it takes them to provision employees by 20%, and it’s allowed them to save over 30,000 hours of manual work per year!  

2. Off-board remote employees securely.

Now that many of us work from home, your team is tasked with securely offboarding any colleague who leaves. This process invites several potential threats.

A list of remote offboarding risks

To help address them, you can leverage the following IT automation.

The workflow for device de-provisioning

Let’s break it down:

  1. You monitor Workday for termination events.
  2. Once a termination event is detected, ServiceNow automatically creates deprovisioning tickets.
  3. The employee is removed from various groups in Active Directory.
  4. SentinelOne deactivates the employee’s access to their laptop.

This process allows your team to control the employee’s devices at the end of their last day, effectively minimizing any of the negative consequences highlighted.

Learn more about these IT automations and discover others by watching our on-demand webinar, “Top 5 IT Automations for the Future of Work.”

3. Respond to colleagues with minimal human involvement.

Your IT team can’t afford to spend time on simple, unimportant tasks, like resetting colleagues’ passwords. The same goes for answering repetitive questions over time.

IT automation can solve both of these problems. 

The workflow for answering employee's questions

Here’s how you can leverage existing information from places like Guru and Confluence to instantly answer anyone’s question in a communications platform, like Slack:

1. An employee asks a question to Knowledge Bot (powered by Workbot) in Slack.
2. Knowledge Bot uses natural language processing to understand the question, and then searches through information from your existing knowledge base to identify the answer (this is all done in real time).
3. If Knowledge Bot finds the answer, it automatically serves it to the requestor. If it doesn’t, or if the employee says the answer doesn’t help, Knowledge Bot files a ticket in Servicenow, prompting your team to respond to the requestor.

What type of impact can this automation have at your organization?

The same financial services company referenced earlier also uses this automation to answer the 120,000 help desk requests that come in every year via Slack. This saves their IT team an immeasurable amount of time, and it allows them to focus on more high-value work.

Ready to start building your own IT automations? You can use Workato, a no-code, enterprise automation platform, to connect your applications and build automated workflows 10x faster than a traditional iPaaS

Learn how Workato can orchestrate your IT workflows by seeing a demo from one of our automation experts!

Leave a Reply