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Since we have IoT (Internet of Things), RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and Chatbots everywhere, IT teams often get asked what they are doing about automating IT and business processes. Therefore, IT sources (or develops) a tool that may solve one problem but may not help the entire organisation. And in some cases. the solution may create new problems. 

Here are five steps to follow to ensure process automation is done properly: 

  1. Assess IT Operations maturity
    The best way to begin the automation process is to understand where we are now. If our basic IT processes (for example the process of managing incidents in IT Helpdesk/Service Desk) are not defined well, then we are not mature enough to begin the automation. So, the first step is the assessment of our maturity level of IT operations. 
  2. Check the quality of data
    If the data we have is not clean, automation will create bigger challenges. Check how clean the data is or how to improve the data quality. 
  3. Focus on integration and optimise modules
    If there are possibilities to integrate the systems, integrate them. That will help reduce the burden on process automation. 
  4. Conduct gap analysis
    Ensure that the automation will benefit the business goals and initiatives. Don’t acquire new solutions for the sake of their flashy features. Assess how they will help you fulfill your business goals. Then prioritise the gaps and find solutions for that. 
  5. Pilot or PoC
    Conduct a Pilot or proof of concept before rolling out automation for the entire organisation (or the department or a business unit). From this exercise you can determine what didn’t work, and improve when rolling out automation for the larger audiences. 

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Jane Ferrier