How to automate your service desk for the cloud

Greg Charman
By Greg Charman on 02 November 2020
How to automate your service desk for the cloud

A focus on remote working has changed attitudes to automation practices. With so many employees working from home, fulfilling service requests can no longer be resolved with a trip to someone’s desk. Many companies are beginning to realise that they need to become more agile and efficient. This is where service request automation can help. 

The increase in demand to fulfil end user requests has also been matched with a change in adoption of cloud services. Covid-19 has changed views on cloud usage. Companies have suddenly had to adopt cloud products to keep their businesses running and now, having discovered the benefits, there has been an increase in the desire to keep using it. Although the use of the cloud is more complex and the functionality is different, automation can take away the complexity of implementing cloud services from those who need to fulfil the requests, whilst maintaining control over what is built.

So, how do organisations start to automate these requests for service and alleviate current resource issues?

Begin by running reports from the IT service management within your organisation and identify the requests which are most often actioned manually. These are likely to be basic actions, such as creating Active Directory accounts, managing email distribution lists, granting SharePoint file permissions and resetting passwords. 

Even with the most skilled IT team, any activity fulfilled by a person allows for human error and takes time. Automation fulfils the task the same way every time. There is no need to have someone sitting in the office processing these tasks manually.

Automation of manual tasks is an essential step on the digital transformation journey, however, the holy grail of service request automation should enable the end-user to carry out tasks themselves via a self-service portal. 

This portal should contain a range of offerings, where the end-user can complete and submit their request. In turn, this is automatically translated into a list of IT actions and the necessary approval process steps, which the automation will fulfil. These requests are completed in minutes instead of days and even weeks.

When deciding on a new solution, there are a few elements that you should consider:

  • The traditional approach to digital transformation projects is to buy a new piece of enterprise management software to complete the project. In reality, a tool that can enhance and orchestrate existing software is more effective.
  • Look for an automation tool with an image-based approach without the need to type code. This makes the creation of automation runbooks easier and doesn’t require advanced coding knowledge.
  • Be sure to enquire about the support available. What (if anything) comes as standard, and how long this would run for?

Greg Charman is the vice president of solutions and services at Kelverion

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