Imagine if the phones stopped ringing. Imagine if you had time to deal with the repeat issues that have been bugging your service desk team forever. Imagine you could finally tackle those improvement projects which have been piling up for months.
Detect-and-correct automation automatically senses and solves technical issues before they impact service users. Things get fixed before the phone rings.
A Different Service Desk
Detect-and-correct automation can transform your service desk from a hectic call center to a calm, focused team that has the time and focus to solve issues decisively and provide great service to IT customers. A service desk where your analysts are released from tedious repetition to do the kind of interesting and varied work that makes a real difference to your organization—the kind of work they joined your organization to do.
How Does it Work?
There are four main components you need to make detect-and-correct automation work:
You need infrastructure monitoring in place so that you know when something has gone wrong.
You need a set of Runbook Automation (RBA) processes which define the technical steps that must be taken to correct each specific type of error condition.
You'll need a service management solution which detects and identifies the error condition and triggers the correct RBA process. It must also integrate with your IT systems to apply the technical steps in the runbook automation process (to automatically fix the problem).
It's also very desirable to have visibility of all your automations in one central location—so that you can see and manage your "automation portfolio" and avoid automation sprawl.
Essentially, detect-and-correct automation is about adding a layer of resilience to your service architectures—making it easier to achieve the "high availability" (never down) services that consumers have come to expect.
(Of course, the best time to think about resilience is when you are first designing a service architecture. However, once a service is in production it can be very difficult/expensive to re-architect the underlying infrastructure. Detect-and-correct automation will help you improve resilience without spending a load of time and money on extensive service redesign.)
Where to Start
Most organizations start by applying detect-and-correct automation to error conditions which affect the most important IT services (for example, revenue-generating eCommerce services).
These may not be the cause of the highest volume of calls to the service desk, but this strategy does ensure business priorities are addressed first. There is usually a clear Return on Investment (ROI) from detect-and-correct automation in terms of reduced service downtime and increased revenue.
Then, once your business-critical IT services have been hardened, the service desk can take a look at its most frequent and troublesome issues and how detect-and-correct automation can be applied to solve them—permanently.
The best way to do this is to pull a report on the most frequent Incident Categories. By analysing this list, there will be some obvious repeat call types which can be quickly solved by defining the infrastructure error condition and linking it to an automated resolution process.
On our assyst ITSM platform, drag-and-drop process design makes it quick and easy to create a runbook automation process and connect it to a corresponding infrastructure error condition to create a hands-free detect-and-correct automation.
Of course, runbook automations can be risky and they should be created with care. But if you have the right people in the room you can set up a safe and effective detect-and-correct automation in just a few minutes. Regular Incidents can be permanently solved in about the same time it takes to handle just one phone call.
Create A Virtuous Cycle
Once you have one detect-and-correct automation in place, you create time to automate more of your most common infrastructure Incident responses. Over time, the number of Incidents and calls to the service desk will drop, transforming the "profile" of work that your service desk analyst are working on.
The average day is no longer a grinding process of handling the same repeat incidents over and over again. This can have a profound impact on a service desk. Staff are happier, less stress and more engaged. They are less likely to burn out or move to another organization. As a result, the organizational knowledge pool grows and quality of service goes up—with a knock-on effect on business productivity and profitability.