Graham Burchell

Let me be clear up front – automation alone won’t directly reduce your tickets resolution time by 95%, but its wider application across your business functions potentially will. Why do we recommend Automation of business IT tasks? Well because it reduces the number and seriousness of mistakes introduced by employees still carrying out tasks manually. It also reduces the number of tasks sat in someone’s inbox waiting to be completed. Automation can introduce efficiencies where manual tasks were previously reliably encouraging human error and contributing to your IT Services’ mountain of tickets needing resolution. Automation can help streamline processes, improve accuracy and achieve a new level of reliability to those manual tasks inevitably prone to human error. 

It can also be deceptively simple and cost-effective to incorporate into your existing workflows. And by bringing in that Automation, your IT Services team will claw back time better spent on continuous improvement to business operations and the IT systems and processes that support those operations. 

The good news is that it isn’t difficult, and it isn’t that expensive. Many hear the word ‘automation’ and leap to the assumption that its technology heavy and expensive. It isn’t. It will rapidly deliver benefits directly to what its designed to correct, but also deliver a number of other advantages. Efficiency aside, the time freed up for your Business Units’ employees and IT Services team means more time better spent doing the more interesting, value-added work that you’re really paying them to do; not the creating and fixing of IT tickets. That in itself can improve staff morale and reduce staff turnover. Nobody wants to spend time on mindless repetitive tasks or struggling through falling down, IT-dependent, processes requiring regular, but avoidable, need for repair.

So, How Can Automation Most Easily Help Your Business? 

Help your Business work smarter 

  • Efficiency: Automation can streamline repetitive tasks such as data entry, report generation, and invoicing, saving time and reducing errors. This can increase efficiency, allowing employees to focus on more strategic tasks that require skilled human attention. 
  • Cost savings: Automation of routine tasks. Companies can reduce staffing costs and increase productivity. Additionally, automation can reduce errors and the need for rework, thereby reducing costs even further. 
  • Improved accuracy: Automation can reduce the risk of human error in data entry, processing, and analysis. This can help ensure data accuracy and reliability, which is essential for making informed business decisions. 
  • Enhanced customer experience: Automation can help companies respond quickly and accurately to customer inquiries, providing a better customer experience. For example, using chatbots can provide instant support to customers, while automated email responses can keep customers informed about order status and other updates. 
  • Scalability: Automation can help companies scale their operations without adding additional staff. This can allow companies to expand their customer base and increase revenue without increasing overhead costs. 


Improve Support Services 

  • Faster response times: Automation can help support teams respond to internal inquiries more quickly, improving the overall efficiency of internal operations. For example, using chatbots can provide instant support to internal teams and help them find the information they need quickly and easily. 
  • Improved accuracy: Automation can reduce the risk of human error in support processes, such as ticket routing and response. This can help ensure that internal teams receive accurate and timely support, reducing the risk of errors and increasing overall productivity. 
  • Increased efficiency: Automation can help support teams work more efficiently, enabling them to handle more inquiries in less time. This helps increase productivity and reduce costs, while also improving the overall efficiency of internal operations. 
  • Personalised support: Automation can be used to personalise the support experience for internal teams. For example, using customer data and preferences, chatbots can provide tailored support and recommendations. 
  • Knowledge management: Automation can be used to create and manage knowledge bases, providing internal teams with easy access to information they need to perform their jobs more effectively. This can reduce the time spent searching for information, improving overall efficiency. 
  • Self-service: Automation can provide self-service options for internal teams, such as allowing them to update their personal information or request support services online. This can reduce the workload for support teams, while also providing a more convenient and efficient service for internal teams. 
  • Real-time monitoring: Automation can monitor system health and performance in real-time, identifying potential issues before they escalate into major problems. This can enable proactive problem resolution, reducing downtime and minimising the impact on the business. 
  • Predictive analytics: Automation can use machine learning algorithms to identify patterns and predict potential issues based on historical data. This can help support teams identify and resolve issues before they become a problem for the business. 
  • Automated alerting: Automation can provide automated alerts and notifications to support teams when issues arise, enabling rapid response and resolution. This can reduce the time it takes to resolve issues, minimising adverse impacts to the business. 
  • Root cause analysis: Automation can be used to perform root cause analysis on issues, identifying the underlying causes and providing recommendations for resolution. This can help support teams resolve issues more quickly and effectively, reducing downtime and minimising the impact on the business. 
  • Automated remediation: Automation can automatically remediate issues based on predefined rules and policies, reducing the need for manual intervention. This can enable rapid resolution of issues, improving system uptime and minimising the impact on the business. 


Improve Release Management 

  • Streamlined release process: Automation can help streamline the release process, reducing the time and effort required to deploy updates and changes to the D365 environment. This can help support teams deliver updates more quickly and efficiently, reducing downtime and minimising the impact on the business. 
  • Consistent and reliable releases: Automation can ensure that releases are consistent and reliable, reducing the risk of errors and improving overall system stability. By automating release processes, support teams can ensure that updates are applied uniformly across the environment, reducing the risk of configuration drift and other issues. 
  • Integration with testing: Automation can integrate with testing processes to ensure that updates are thoroughly tested before they are released to the production environment. This can help reduce the risk of errors and issues, improving overall system reliability and stability. 


The True Value of Automation

The real value of Automation is the opportunity it creates for Business and IT Services to work better together. If your IT Services team is spending less time focused on ticket solutions and instead focusing on how to improve systems to support various Business Units, that allows true continuous improvement of the business as a whole.  

Automation can help businesses stay competitive in a rapidly changing business environment. By improving efficiency and reducing costs, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and remain agile and responsive to changing customer needs and market conditions. For some companies this can mean a complete change of philosophy in the way Business and IT Services work together, and Automation is a key tool in achieving that. The purpose of technology is to support the business. That’s the whole point of it. Businesses only have technology and technology support teams to make the business functions more efficient; essentially not to be fixing regularly generated tickets. 

Many businesses get caught in a cycle of having to fix IT processes, operations, glitches and bugs that they shouldn’t ever have to get involved with. Left unchecked, that can become time-consuming and unnecessarily costly. The true value of Automation doesn’t come from automating just what the support team does, it comes from looking at a business process from end-to-end, all the way along the process chain, automating where routine manual touch points and potential blockages remain and so closely connect Business and Technology. 

Looking Forward…. Automation is a Tool That Needs to be Fed and Watered

Automation isn’t just a plug and play facility. Automation functions themselves need monitoring but if implemented correctly the benefits always outweigh the costs. Automation tools can still identify faults that it hasn’t been programmed to address. So, this will require a ‘fix’ that will further contribute to the more efficient running of business operations and shouldn’t require extensive input from your IT personnel. 

One of the obstacles to Automation is that people often think of it as a very technology orientated function.  But this really isn’t the case. Each business process that has a manual element along its chain is worth an efficiency improvement and Automation consideration. There are numerous ‘off-the-shelf’ Automation software packages. Those tools, in themselves, will not deliver that Automation solution. Every process has unique element to it and so a bespoke Automation solution is required. It’s rarely difficult and cumulatively, those Automation fixes across your Business Units’ processes will lead to a more seamless relationship with your IT Services and a compounding value add to business operations. Automation is really a catalyst to take some of those frustrations out of your Business and Technology relationship and make them work better together.

Get in touch today, through our contact page for an exploratory conversation. 

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We are pleased to announce the launch of a ninth pillar in our IT Due Diligence process, which identifies and generates value creation opportunities for private equity (PE) investors. This new pillar is designed to uncover additional levers for growth and drive both immediate 100-day plans and long-term digital value creation initiatives.  

The private equity (PE) landscape has seen better days. M&A activity is down, and exits have plummeted to their lowest point in over a decade, dropping 66% from their peak in 2021. High interest rates have made refinancing debt structures from as far back as 2019 increasingly expensive. As a result, exits are becoming more protracted, and many buyout funds are struggling to offload portfolio companies amid an uncertain environment that negatively impacts valuations. Now more than ever, there is a pressing need to maximise the value of existing portfolios.