As our customer base has increased over the years the cost and workload to continue providing our services has also increased significantly. As our endpoint and user count increase, the amount of issues along with the proactive maintenance required and provided for each of these systems also increases. How can IT providers such as Compuquip continue providing the same services or better while at the same time not burdening their staff or having to increase operating costs?
One powerful solution is automation. Through the use of automation, IT providers such as ourselves can provide more services, have a faster support turn around, dedicate resources to more critical tasks and in essence provide better customer service just by implementing a few automated controls.
Sounds easy, but unfortunately that’s usually not the case. Anyone that has tried automating their IT before will back up that statement! But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort, as Donald Kendall once said “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Which is why we here at Compuquip have been hard at work trying to find the formula of success for automation, but before we go any further we should probably discuss – What exactly is automation? What exactly can be automated? When should you consider automating and how can you implement it?
What is automation?
“Automation is the use of control systems and information technologies to reduce the need for human work in the production of goods and services” – (Wikipedia). So by implementing control systems you have the ability to automatically react, or proactively automate certain functions or tasks that would otherwise have required human interaction.
What can be automated?
It all depends on the tools you have, or are willing to get. What you’re trying to automate? Is it always the same trigger and resolution/steps and how involved is it?
Some of the things that we wanted to automate were support issues that were repetitive and the resolution was always the same. For example, one of our clients has a web based application that every so often it would display an error and the resolution was to replace a windows system file directly related to that application and then it would magically start working. Rather than having a support engineer contact the customer, schedule time to remotely connect to the computer, locate the file that needs to be replaced and the one that needs to be copied over, we created a script that can be executed against that machine without requiring any action on the users side or additional access to that machine. What would have normally taken 15 to 25 minutes and a dedicated resource, took 2 minutes with a script.
To be continued, stay tuned for part 2 …..