Inefficiencies around process issues are preventing companies from attaining peak performance, says an IBM Senior IT Architect and cloud automation expert.

Geoff Beamer told an ITWC webinar recently that even successful players are feeling overwhelmed as their employees are forced to spend a sizeable chunk of their time dealing with non-revenue-driving issues.

At a time when the pace of change is accelerating and data-driven decisions are replacing “gut-feeling” opportunities, Beamer said companies that ignore the integrated service delivery opportunity run the risk of burning out their employees –  or losing them to the competition altogether.

“Companies cannot keep doing the things they have always been doing and expect to be successful,” he said. “The key to freeing up staff time – which  translate into money, space and resources to devote to more profit-centered activities – lies in the automation of issue management — specifically, in cloud automation.”

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Winning with cloud automation

Cloud automation involves a “virtual engineer” that, by taking a consistent and efficient approach to issue resolution and providing insightful analytics, can greatly improve business uptime, IT responsiveness, and overall service quality. Better response and remediation, with a dramatic reduction in errors and high-severity incidents, makes cloud automation a made-to-order solution for companies with challenges around issue management, said Beamer.

But automation does not come at the flip of a switch, said Beamer. The journey is one of degrees, from from opportunistic automation to fully cognitive automation.

 

Among the benefits of cloud automation:

  • Reduction of error rates: Virtual engineers are consistent and not prone to “human” errors, which means reduced outages and shorter delays in restoring critical services
  • Enhanced response & remediation times: Less time to respond to and remediate issues makes for dramatically more efficient IT services
  • On-demand scalability: Ability to deal with asymmetric workloads — to dispatch three virtual engineers or 300, as the situation demands

Beamer demonstrated the power of cloud automation by offering statistics from a case study of a health insurance client. During a four-month period he said the client:

  • achieved 99 per cent server penetration
  • had 24 per cent of overall account alerts auto-resolved
  • saw 34 per cent of incidents auto-assisted
  • had 58 per cent of its total issues handled by a virtual engineer.

Beamer said IBM’s cloud automation service  works seamlessly, with no challenges on implementation. One of the key features,  its virtual engineer,  behaves a lot like a human system administrator, without the errors and need for vacation. The virtual engineer approaches all issues in a uniform manner, and will only escalate problems to human agents if no remediation can otherwise be achieved.

“It should be a great comfort for companies to know that if hundreds of issues should happen to appear overnight, there is a fully scalable virtual engineer on the job, and human staff on hand to take up whatever tasks cannot be handled automatically.”



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