People, Process, and Technology Drive Automation

October 7, 2022

Who doesn’t need automation in their lives?

Maybe you do, and don’t even know it...

Time is the real currency in today’s world, while we cannot make more if it (without a time machine), we can optimize how we operate and better utilize this time through automation efficiencies.

In the past, manual intervention has been needed to address processes where there is outdated documentation or a reliance on tribal knowledge. We see organizations with a heavy reliance on individuals who have a long tenure. Companies rely on these employees’ experience to manually intervene at various stages of a process to ensure it is completed successfully. This can be looked at as a broken or outdated process. Considering the job market today and the difficulty in finding talented individuals the need for human intervention, even occasionally, can be costly and doesn’t scale. It is common for an employee to own a set of processes, and it is expected when they leave or switch roles that they will train another individual to take over. Inserting automated processes and documentation as code ensures that as any modifications are introduced, the codebase can always be referred to for an active source of documentation.

The key to getting started with any automation initiative is to ensure employees are bought in and ready and willing to learn and expand their experience. It’s useful to work with employees to identify which processes are good candidates for automation before selecting technology. They live your processes every day and will be able to identify a manual repetitive process that requires manual input. Working with employees will help to accelerate how to start and where to find a quick win. It’s crucial to understand your current state and what you are trying to solve before selecting any technology.

There are many automation tools and approaches available. Infrastructure and configuration management have one set of tools that are typically used. Automation, such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Business Process Automation (BPA) are now hot topics in the market, demand and adoption has exploded. With technology available from market leaders like UiPath, Automation Anywhere, Red Hat Ansible, HashiCorp Terraform, and Tines, there is no shortage of solutions to align with the appropriate use case. MOBIA has expertise in all areas of automation to help our clients start or continue their automation journey.

Some of the most common automation use cases we have seen successfully deployed are:

  • Configuration and maintenance of provisioned infrastructure
  • Backups
  • Monitoring and reporting
  • Patching and security vulnerability management
  • User onboarding/offboarding
  • Credential rotation
  • API orchestration
  • Self-service provisioning
  • Validation of configuration consistency

Automation tooling creates the ability to schedule job execution times. Not only does this add flexibility on when to execute the tasks, but the output success or output failure can be delivered as a notification to a phone, email, even an ITSM ticket! While that brings a level of convenience, the real advantage to automation is consistency. Many enterprises benefit from relieving employees of mundane tasks to focus on other, and often more exciting initiatives.

Any successful automation initiative happens with a combination of people, process, and technology. People must buy into the culture change that automation brings to an organization. With improved processes, you can measure the enhancement of your workflow from a speed, quality, and efficiency perspective. Technology enables automation transformation and typically is not adopted successfully on its own. When you bring all three elements together you give your automation initiative the best chance for success.

MOBIA is a Canadian business and technology system integrator. At MOBIA we focus on ways to increase speed, quality, and efficiency for our clients through automation. If you have any questions or wish to dive in further, please feel free to reach out to us at www.MOBIA.io

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By

Hart Ripley, National Automation Lead and Solutions Architect

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