Last month we covered “The best requests to automate” in part 1 of our automation series. We outlined the approach organisations need to take to begin implementing automation opportunities and how the usual advice provided in blog posts is too cookie-cutter to provide real-world value. We’re now going to dig into what automation is, why it’s essential, and where do we need to start on our journey.
What is automation?
Before we dive further, let’s clarify what automation is and why it’s crucial to improve your business. The whole point of automation is to take the strain off your organisation by either: providing your customers with a method of doing something themselves. I.e. password resets, distribution list updates etc. Or by removing the need for human interaction as part of a process. I.e. Using an email monitor to log tickets into your ticketing tool instead of having someone “be on the mailbox”. I’ve used those specific above examples because, in recent years, automation has become a complex idea involving new fancy software and significant process changes. But that’s not always the case. In my opinion, you would be better focusing on making small but frequent changes that you can actually achieve, this gets you and your teams into the habit of continual service improvement and your customers are not left disappointed after waiting for 12 months for a revolutionary idea that makes less of an impact than you promised.
Where do we start?
The starting point for automation should always be with the data. Before speaking to an organisation about automating requests, I always check two things:
1. Do you have a ticket logging tool?
2. Do you log every request?
If the answer is no to one of those questions, we must first focus on getting into a position where we understand how much demand we’re dealing with and what is taking up most of our time. I emphasise this so much because every decision your organisation makes has to be made by reviewing real-world data. And more specifically, your real-world data. It doesn’t matter what other companies do or the latest trends; everything has to be specific to your company in its current state. Once an organisation realises the importance of data-driven decisions, it becomes part of its culture, and the room for future growth increases hugely!