How to implement IT Service automation?

The Path to Automation, part 3: We’re ready. Now what?

Once you’re in a position to make smart decisions about what to automate, based on your data, you’ll need to run a report to retrieve and analyse it.

At this point, many organisations should be prepared for a shock. Certain requests are likely to appear more often than you thought they did.

Until now, without accurate data, you’re likely to have based everything on ‘noise’ from the service desk and a general feel. This isn’t necessarily all bad, but if you’re going to invest time and energy into a piece of work it’s a good idea to have the data to back it up – especially if you need to have additional budget approved. Budget holders rarely care about feelings or hunches when it comes to signing cheques.

So, you’ve run your report, and you can see your most popular type of request is password resets. But hold on a moment. Before you choose password resets as your priority for automation, you need to ensure that this will provide you with your biggest return on your invested time and money.

Just because it has the highest number of tickets doesn’t mean that’s the best one to focus on. Let’s take two examples:

Example 1:
Request: Password resets
Requests per week: 300
Time per request: 3 minutes
Total weekly effort: 900 minutes (15 hours or 1.8 working days)
Actions required: Answer call, confirm customer details, reset password, confirm access now available, log and close the request.

Example 2:
Request: Distribution list updates
Requests per week: 60
Time per request: 20 minutes
Total weekly effort: 1200 minutes (20 hours or about 2.5 working days)
Actions required: Pick up ticket, obtain approval for distribution list owner, add user if approved, advise user of rejection if rejected, confirm user is receiving emails, close the request.

As we can see from these two examples, password resets are logged five times more frequently than distribution list updates. However, based on the effort required, it’s clear that you’d get a better return by investing your time into automating the management of distribution lists. By focusing first on the higher effort item, you can save your organisation nearly an additional day per week.

But, while time saved is a major consideration, it isn’t necessarily the only consideration… Click here to read the next article in our series.

This is part 3 in our series of articles about automation. To start at the beginning, click here.

We hope you’ve found this useful. If you do, please get in touch for a no-strings chat about how we can help your organisation reap the benefits of automation.

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