10 Highly Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments and the Benefits of IT Automation Solutions
Just how beneficial is IT automation, you might be asking yourself? Well, Kaseya has identified a number of "habits" that best-in-class IT departments consistently practice using IT automation. By adopting these habits you can improve the status of your department within your organization and simultaneously upgrade department activities from tactical to strategic.
Effective Habit #1: Understanding the Business Goals
The IT department is often seen as overhead. Business administrators may not understand the potential strategic value of IT, so it's up to the IT department to educate them – not by telling them, but by showing them. The best way to do that is to truly understand the strategic goals of your company or organization and align your efforts to support them.
Effective Habit #2: Focus on Projects that Drive Down Costs or Increase Revenues
You can't do everything, so evaluate all the projects in your queue and rank them according to how much business benefit each can deliver. Identify the subset of highly visible business systems that contribute the most to the bottom line. Then focus on making those systems run as quickly and efficiently as possible through IT automation. Empower users – make it easy for them to do their jobs.
Effective Habit #3: Make Cloud Computing Work for You
Don't worry that cloud computing will make your IT department obsolete. View the cloud as a tool that you can leverage to rid yourself of the day to day drudgery. Let the cloud do the daily necessary, but mundane tasks. That frees you up to successfully tackle the projects that improve the bottom line, making your IT department more visible as contributors to business success.
Effective Habit #4: Embrace New Industry Trends
Keep on top of new techniques and technologies. Evaluate them to determine which ones are a best fit for your organization and which ones can give you the best bang for your buck. Pay attention not only to buzz within the tech community, but with what is happening within your user/business community. Don't wait for users to come to you with requests for support of new IT automation technologies. Take ownership for being the technology experts and introduce trending topics such as mobile computing, social media, virtualization, etc. to the business side before they become aware of them.
Effective Habit #5: Leverage and Benefit from User Self-Service
Find your power users and enable them. Allow them to handle some of your lower level tasks. This can improve your relationship with your user community – you are acknowledging that some of them have a certain level of IT skills; while it also frees your people up to focus on more strategic activities that contribute to the bottom line.
Effective Habit #6: Replace Point Solutions with a Single, Integrated One
Multiple solutions for different facets of the environment create issues with productivity and training. Different solutions have different interfaces – each must be learned and IT staff must change gears when moving from one to another. There are also integration issues when one vendor's solution can't seamlessly pass information to another vendor's solution. A single, integrated IT automation solution to manage all facets of the environment saves time and money.
Effective Habit #7: Keep Your Organization's Data Safe – Automatically
Visibility into ALL devices connecting to the network is key. You must be able to see who is connecting to the network and what they're doing at all times. If you can't see it, you can't manage it. Automated audit reports and backups create a stable, secure environment.
Effective Habit #8: Proactively Identify Issues Before They Become Problems
Automated monitors and custom alerts can notify IT before users notice that there's a problem. It's much easier to maintain SLAs when issues are addressed before they become problems. Instead of putting out fires, you can resolve issues by identifying the root of a problem at a glance.
Effective Habit #9: IT Automation Solutions Work on Users' Devices without Interrupting Them
Remote monitoring and access of user devices allows you to perform maintenance activities without asking users to step away from their machines. Perform the necessary tasks while users remain productive and unaware of your activity.
Effective Habit #10: Robust Reporting Proves the Value of the IT Department
Provide performance/productivity/SLA information to business management to justify the cost of IT in a way they can understand. When no system problems disrupt their day, C-level execs often assume that IT investments are unnecessary. Sophisticated reporting from IT automation solutions makes the value of investments that enable uptime readily apparent.