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EN 3 GC Blog2 2020 header

Low-hanging fruit — automate common business processes to reduce costs

Read Time
2 mins
Filed Under
Last updated
Mar 27th, 2020

Author: Ben Demaree, Director of Product Management, SMA Technologies

What are the top questions you should ask to decide on automation priorities?

Manual processes are limiting your productivity and ability to scale. They’re also costing you a lot of workhours. Some processes require complicated workflows to fully automate, but quite a few can be automated very quickly to deliver immediate ROI.

A robust automation platform can solve a lot of challenges both inside and outside of your IT space. Whether you’re looking for Python automation ideas or prefer other scripting languages, we’ve made a list of questions to ask when automating business processes.

What’s one of the easiest ways to reduce VM costs?

  • Optimize Virtual Machine administration
  • Shut down unused VMs
  • Shut down low resource usage VMs and restart as a lower-tier machine
  • Shut down high resource usage VMs and restart as a higher-tier machine

What IT automation can I add to help my team process requests faster?

  • Automate common IT requests to save workhours
  • Reset passwords
  • Create email accounts and app credentials for new hires
  • Revoke access for separating employees
  • Add permission profiles to user accounts
  • Join new servers to domains

How can automation make server maintenance and upgrades less painful?

  • Roll out server patches
  • Notify server owners of planned off-hours downtime
  • Bring down server at scheduled time and install patch
  • Bring server back up and email owner of upgrade completion
  • Scalable to hundreds or even thousands of servers

When a process requires approval at different steps, how do I automate it?

  • Implement multi-approval workflows
  • Process a file
  • Send file to business unit for approval
  • Relevant authority approves or declines
  • If approve, run next step in the workflow
  • If declined, notify originator and rerun step 1

Can automation give my Ops personnel more granular ways to monitor system health?

  • Monitor critical processes 24/7
  • Create recurring workflows to check high-priority services
  • Notify stakeholder when outage is detected
  • Run workflow to restart services

What can automation do to help me administrate backups and failover?

  • Coordinate multi-platform backups
  • Create workflows to call the databases running on different systems
  • Define staggered backups to happen during low network usage
  • Configure your listener
  • Set up automatic failover conditions
  • Reduce RTO from hours to minutes

If you or your operators are beginners with automation, we’ve got you covered. Not only can OpCon, our robust automation platform, accommodate almost any kind of script, new installations include one week of training at no additional cost.

If you’re looking to move faster, or would prefer to rely on SMA’s 40 years of expertise to implement your initiatives, our Automation Consultancy and Managed Automation Services teams are ready to assist.

Have another question? Send it our way!

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About the author: Ben Demaree is Director of Product Management for SMA Technologies, where he bridges the gap between the clients and the development team to make sure our clients have the best tools possible to meet their automation demands. When he's not at work, Ben spends his free time with his wife and four children and an interesting variety of pets.

In this article

This article talks about how organizations can use business process automation to solve easy automation challenges that deliver high value.

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