IT organizations are under pressure to increase automation to reduce costs and increase fulfillment and compliance. There are two main types of automation that IT organizations use to increase efficiency: both process automation and runbook automation provide the ability to create, orchestrate, manage and report on workflows that can operate across the systems that support IT services and assets. The differences between these types of automation are both their focus and complexity:
- Runbook automation focuses on automating the standard procedures for operating the IT infrastructure and applications (the service supply). These workflows are typically standard routines with limited variations and notifications/reporting.
- Process automation focuses on automating the processes that deliver all kinds of services to users (the service demand). These workflows can be complex and sometimes are designed to include many notifications throughout the process, drawing in both other applications and people from IT and business to act on issues or exceptions. These workflows may require frequent review and adaptation.
Process automation is not limited to IT activities; it can also cover business activities such as hiring and provisioning new employees or fulfilling requests for training. Process automation can be developed using a variety of programs (not all with optimal outcomes, but more on that later…), from ERP systems to BPM platforms. The key for success with process automation – especially when it crosses organizational boundaries – is that the platform you use has these attributes that ensure simplicity, adaptability and visibility:
- A model that is designed specifically for managing processes, with a simple interface that enables authorized users to proactively orchestrate change – without having to wait
- A graphical process modeler that makes processes easy to create, review and modify so you can quickly adapt as needed – without having to write code
- Audit information presented in reports that are easy to create and modify so you can easily explore information ad hoc – without having to fly blind
Want to learn more about the most effective and flexible approach to process automation for IT and business services? Download Top 5 Reasons for Orchestrated Service Management.