What is automation and how can it improve customer service?

Automation is the linking of disparate systems and software in such a way that they become self-acting or self-regulating.

IT automation processes can improve a business’s ability to meet service level agreements (SLAs), as automated workflows can be implemented to expedite the team’s activities to restore service.

Today, more businesses than ever are interfacing with customers through the cloud. But what happens when a bug crashes a customer services platform or POS system?

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By developing an automation strategy, organisations can help customers increase capacity, virtually eliminate downtime and improve operational efficiencies without the need for teams of IT people working to create a fix.

In order to successfully implement automation, businesses should take a holistic, end-to-end view – from automating standard operating procedures such as performance monitoring to more sophisticated machine-based learning automation such as a call centre operation.

Organisations should never automate something that cannot be simplified and never simplify something that cannot be eliminated in the first place. The objective is to attract the maximum investments and improvements.

In infrastructure and application, while analysing the historical information about the performance of the IT landscape, the rule of thumb is to look at any process, alarm or incident and whether this can be completely eliminated.

If so, how can it be eliminated? If not, how can it be simplified? Once the way of simplification has been found, businesses should consider whether it could be automated.

In a support environment, the ideal conditions are that 80% of the support activities need to be addressed by level 1 support, 16% to be addressed by level 2 support, and 4% by level 3 support.

This implies that the operational costs are predictable and under control. Most companies invest to achieve this result. Most of the investment returns are measured by the cost per incident, how many incidents were resolved in any tier, and the notional cost avoidance.

>See also: Workplace automation: why businesses must keep a personal touch

Automation focuses on the development and use of operating systems to reduce human needs and to address these (repeat) incidents and problems with minimal or zero fault tolerance.

The recommendation is to analyse (from all sources), and to make exploratory or predictive analytics across all raw data that can help in identifying the candidates for elimination.

This will help in delivering healthy operations with efficiently-managed performance, availability and capacity within the industry. It can also help in reducing intervention and errors, improving time to act and availability, keeping the environment current, and meeting the required control framework.


Sourced from Venkatesh KBS, solution architect, IMTS, Mindtree

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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