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Managing Chaos Through Process Automation in an “IT Everywhere” World (Part 1)

CIOs today who rely on traditional process flows and ticket systems are putting their business, and their careers at risk – without even understanding why.

These days, workers expect to be productive from everywhere with everything. Day-1 access to company resources anywhere, whenever they need them is the new norm. Whether you call it the COVID effect or an agile workforce, the result for IT managers is that the distribution of employees/contractors, endpoints, applications and cloud infrastructure, goes far beyond the ways traditional IT was delivered to the business.

A recent survey of IT Leaders found that 62% of business and technology pros expect their organization will have a permanently higher level of remote workers1

This opens up a serious dilemma for CIOs. This agile workforce and the IT assets they use are in a constant state of flux. People move between departments, change roles and organizations and have varying entitlements. The wide array of devices, software, resources and access that workers use are in various states from procurement, activation, and security to replacement, retirement and reuse. This is very evident when examining the impact of workforce turnover on ITOps. Most enterprises utilize an onboarding/offboarding process that relies on dozens of individual, siloed processes, organizations, technologies and tickets – that are supposed to work in a seemless, integrated, consistent manner. Every time.

CIOs and their teams are focused on increased efficiency and responsiveness, yet remain dependent on a service-based infrastructure database and ticketing system for all IT processes. Their mistaken belief is that this approach will effectively kick off multiple sub processes and everything (and everyone) will work when it should, and how it should, just as we designed it.

The problem with ticket systems is that they have manual steps, which rely on people, and while we may have the best staff imaginable, day in and day out – things happen. IT management tools change, and processes break down (or become outdated or even lost), which leads to process failures that introduce significant risk. While some organizations have invested in process automation, usually, it’s for a single or small subset of processes focused on a single domain. How can IT leaders materially address a broader set of IT service delivery needs that accounts for modern operation and hybrid workforce dynamic? Continue to Part 2.

My Questions to you as an IT Leader are:

  • How many people, tickets and technology change verification steps does it take to completely fill various onboard and offboard request across HR, IT and security teams?
  • Are the end-to-end onboarding and offboarding processes documented, where does it exist, who owns it and when was it last updated?
  • How much time does it take to complete onboarding and offboarding of workers and how has it improved?
  • Which of your above answers were merely guestimates?

1 Source: Forrester Anywhere-Work Guide for Tech Pros

David J. Cappuccio was formerly a VP, Distinguished Analyst and Chief of Research for the Infrastructure teams at Gartner where he spearheaded research in enterprise data center, cloud and hybrid strategies. His experience extends decades in the technology arena, including financial services, IT operations, and management consulting. He currently serves as an independent consultant and advisory board member.

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