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Stop fearing Automation, start driving IT

A couple of weeks ago, I caught up with Marc Littlefair, IT Services Manager at BTG Plc, to follow up on the excellent session he delivered at Hornbill INSIGHTS19.

Marc's presentation on IT Automation was one of the most popular sessions of the entire event. His team is saving thousands of hours each year, by automating low-value interactions that IT no longer needs to touch. The key take-away from Marc's session was, "If you keep being swamped by work you shouldn't be doing, you'll never have capacity for more valuable work." 

His session left our customers chomping at the bit for more information, and Marc agreed to chat with me on the podcast. As we got into our discussion, he explained that IT Automation should not only be focused on removing repetitive tasks that IT staff shouldn't be doing, it also needs to add business value that is visible to employees.

He explained how he tackled this, and how, "Adding value to the business, suddenly makes IT look a whole lot better. It means that we're not just delivering a service, we're a partner that's working with them, enabling them to work as effectively as they can. When the business is doing something, they want IT to be involved."

Alongside automation, we discuss how modern SaaS tools are now truly delivering the 'as a Service' concept, with CI/CD eliminating the need for testing, upgrades and all the pains typically associated with keeping software up to date. Marc also shares his thoughts on the value of a CMDB in a modern IT environment. We chat about his plans to move more IT services into the Cloud and use Hornbill's iBridge to deliver tighter integration and increased automation across the entire IT estate.

Towards the end of the podcast, we discuss the main challenges that prevent IT Automation from happening. I'd like to thank Marc for sharing his experiences, and I hope that it inspires people to explore the many benefits that automation can bring to any IT function.

Automation will raise the profile of IT within your organization, boost staff morale, improve career development and enable your teams to spend more time working on initiatives that deliver real business value.

I hope you enjoy the podcast, and that it encourages you to - Stop fearing Automation, start driving it!     

Patrick Bolger

Written by Patrick Bolger

Patrick is dedicated to the communication of industry best practices, working with customers, industry associations and IT luminaries to identify trends and educate organizations on the opportunity associated with service excellence. Patrick is an active contributor to a number of strategic groups and partnerships that influence the service management industry, including the Service Desk Institute (SDI), Help Desk Institute (HDI), and the IT Service Management Forum (itSMF). He is a compelling and popular speaker at events worldwide and contributes to many industry publications.