ALI also deployed automation technologies to enable self-service IT. Previously, when an employee faced an IT problem, one of the IT team members had to physically diagnose the problem and rectify it. This process was time-consuming, especially when the person needing help is located several floors or even a building away from the IT department.
With automation, the problem can be diagnosed remotely. If it's a simple issue, the IT team will send instructions to the employee so they can fix the problem on their own, said Alipao.
Furthermore, automation helped ALI reduce the number of in-house IT employees who are doing repetitive tasks. "The biggest challenge we had [in the past] was being able to do [more] with less. [We were mandated not] to grow [the internal team] but [use more] outsourced talents. [We thus needed] to put in a lot of automation to reduce the number of [in-house] people doing repetitive tasks,'" said Alipao.
In 2008, the outsourced talents in ALI's IT department represented only 12.5 percent of their employees. This grew to 70 percent in 2017, enabling in-house IT employees to focus on strategic work, account management, process and application, finance and performance, and project management.
Reducing the cost of IT operations
As for CARD MRI Information Technology Inc. (CMIT), it automated its processes and workflows to streamline the organisation, standardise the approach, and reduce the cost of their IT operations.
CMIT is a member and primary technology provider for the social development foundation, CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (MRI), which are located across the Philippines.
As a technology provider, CMIT's IT employees are sometimes deployed to far-flung areas just to install and configure a single piece of software, said Melvin Guanzon, an IT professional and Independent Member of the board of CMIT. This not only takes up a lot of the employees' time, but also increases the cost of operations. To counter this, CMIT leveraged automation technologies to enable its employees to remotely install and configure the software within an hour.
Optimising manpower resources
Government-owned Selayang Hospital in Malaysia embarked on its automation journey over three years ago.
"Some of the biggest benefits of IT automation is being able to optimise our manpower resources and saving time in delivering IT services" said Razlan bin Abdul Aziz, Head of Technical Services of Selayang Hospital.
"In addition, the ability to manage IT from a centralised system provides us with almost full control of our environment," he added.
Drawing from their experience, Razlan advised other organisations to start automating and centralising their IT management to help improve their efficiencies.
Preparing for automation
Getting the buy-in from management and preparing stakeholders are key for automation adoption.
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