ITSM Best Practices: Overcoming Integration and Automation Challenges

IT professionals face several challenges when it comes to integrating and automating their organization’s systems and applications. These challenges can arise due to various reasons such as resource constraints, resistance to automation, lack of documentation around homegrown integrations and automations, etc. Fortunately, Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) can help overcome these challenges and streamline both integrations as well as IT Service Management (ITSM) processes.

In this blog post, we will explore some of the common integration and automation challenges faced by ITSM professionals and how iPaaS can help overcome them.

Resource Constraints

One of the most common challenges that IT leaders are facing is resource constraints. IT teams are often expected to do more with less, and this can be particularly challenging when it comes to integrating and automating systems and applications. Limited resources can result in delays and errors, making it difficult to keep up with the demands of the business.

Using iPaaS can help overcome resource constraints by providing a low-code/no-code platform that enables anyone with technical experience to quickly and easily create integrations and automations without the need for extensive programming expertise. This allows IT leaders to leverage existing resources more effectively and frees up valuable time that can be spent on other business-critical tasks.

Resistance to Automation

Another common challenge faced by IT leaders is resistance to automation. Some team members may be resistant to change or feel that automation will result in job losses. This can make it challenging to implement automated processes and can slow down the adoption of new technologies.

iPaaS can help overcome resistance to automation by providing a platform that enables you to create and test automated processes quickly and easily. This allows team members to see the benefits of automation firsthand and can help to build trust in the technology.

recent study from InformationWeek found:

  • 58% of organizations say their IT team spends more than five hours per week (six-and-a-half work weeks annually) fulfilling repetitive requests from the business.
  • 90% of respondents say that manual and repetitive IT tasks contribute to low morale and attrition in their organizations.
  • 45% of IT teams spend more than five hours per week writing scripts for workflow and automation.

All of that time adds up. In addition to the amount of time employees spend on building integrations, the survey found that 90 percent of respondents felt repetitive manual IT tasks (like password reset and software provisioning) directly contributed to low morale and attrition. When you can implement automations and free up your employees to work on more challenging projects, you can boost the morale of your team.

Lack of Documentation Around Bespoke Integrations

Homegrown integrations and automations can be particularly challenging to manage due to the lack of documentation – especially if the employees working on building these leave the organization. IT teams may not have a complete understanding of how these integrations and automations work, which can result in delays and errors.

iPaaS can help overcome this lack of documentation by providing a single platform to build and house all integrations and automations – creating standardization around your integrations and automations. TeamDynamix iPaaS, for example, centralizes all integrations into one hub with a library of connectors to common systems such as Workday, Oracle, your IT service management (ITSM) platform, Salesforce, the Active Directory, Azure and hundreds more, as well as any APIs.

With all systems connected and data points now secured in one spot, end-users can leverage the platform to move data, transform data, and build out automations and workflows using a visual flow builder that can be triggered from a field change, a form fill, or any number of actions.

In addition, when you integrate and automate your organization with iPaaS you can see which APIs are in use and by whom, and you can see where data is flowing back and forth. By using an integration layer, you can shore up access and secure your systems. You can also get visibility into the workflows being built across departments and be able to better manage resources and processes.

The Power of Automation

Gainesville Regional Utilities has used TeamDynamix’s integration and automation (iPaaS) capabilities to solve a key IT support challenge that affected thousands of retirees.

The software that handles payroll for GRU employees is Workday, which is supported by Gainesville’s IT department along with the other applications used by the city. Retired GRU employees receive their pensions through Workday as well.

However, prior to TeamDynamix, if retirees weren’t getting their pension checks or had trouble with their Workday account, they couldn’t submit a service request using GRU’s online service portal. Because retirees are no longer city employees, they don’t have an Active Directory account, and they need an Active Directory account to submit tickets to IT support staff online.

GRU Business Systems Analyst Tristina Grywalski worked with the TeamDynamix implementation and process consulting teams to develop a simple solution to this problem using the platform’s flexible configuration options.

As a result of their efforts, GRU retirees no longer have to call IT support staff during normal business hours, wasting valuable time for retirees and support staff alike. Instead, they can use the online service portal just like current employees with an Active Directory account can, resulting in faster and better service.

In just the first two months of this capability alone, more than 150 retired GRU employees from all across the country had submitted service requests online. “The service team is very grateful for this solution,” Grywalski said, noting that it has allowed them to be more efficient in resolving people’s problems.

At Pima County, one of the goals of bringing on TeamDynamix for ITSM and iPaaS (integration platform as a service) is to reduce toil.  

“People feel so much more empowered and have so much more worth when they are doing things that are intellectually rigorous and challenging versus when they are just repeating the same mechanical actions over and over and over with very little thought,” Mark Hayes, information technology leader at Pima County, said.

“Our ITSM is our entry point to our entire IT organization, and we want our employees to graduate out of this area into other roles within our organization – network technicians, client services, desktop technicians, developers and project managers,” he continued. “If all they’re doing is handling tickets and doing the same mundane, manual tasks over and over that’s not particularly great training. So investing in tools that allow our employees to engage in meaningful work is something that’s important to us as an overall IT organization.”

With TeamDynamix now in place, Pima County is looking to automate and integrate as much of the manual ITSM processes into workflows as they can.

“The drudgery of working through mundane, repetitive tasks doesn’t exist just in IT,” Hayes said. “I think the more we can reduce toil within the departments that we support, the more people are going to buy in and understand the value of what we’re trying to achieve. There’s nothing like success to breed more success, and once other departments see the benefits they’re going to want these tools too.”

One of the key advantages of TeamDynamix iPaaS is its no-code nature, which empowers technical employees across the organization to set up their own integrations and automations. This democratization of technology reduces the dependency on IT teams, who often face a backlog of requests from various departments.

In conclusion, iPaaS can help IT departments overcome some of the most common integration and automation challenges they face. By providing a low-code/no-code platform that enables quick and easy integration and automation development, iPaaS can help IT teams overcome resource constraints and resistance to automation. Additionally, iPaaS can help teams overcome the challenges associated with homegrown integrations and automations. With iPaaS, IT professionals can streamline their processes, improve efficiency and better meet the demands of the business.

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