The Essential Role of Automation in End-User Computing
The world over, two pragmatic ideas are taking root. Businesses want employees to spend less time tinkering with their devices instead of being productive. They also want their IT teams to invest less time fixing PCs and more time providing value.
Kulvinder Dosanjh (Kully), Group Director IT Service Delivery and Business Information Security Officer at BMI Group, explains this from his experience in the new normal. His organization, a leader in the roofing and waterproofing segment, faces a routine Monday morning productivity loss familiar to many businesses: Service Desk tickets balloon, employees wait idle or are handicapped while their systems are fixed; the Service Desk spends time taking remedial action and hundreds of productive hours are lost across the organization.
The Work from Home trend gaining traction has compounded the problem. Employees are struggling with new processes, applications, and security protocols. They expect plenty of hand-holding from IT. Kully‘s organization is solving this by deploying automation and AI in end-user computing environments.
Kully sees the automated world delivering a different perspective to both business users and IT support teams. He strongly believes automation is and will continue to change the way IT support works and business users get support. With the intelligence built around end-user devices, huge amounts of system data get generated —which no human can practically go through— this data gets automatically captured, digested, and parsed. An AI layer is then used to create insights at a device level. These trigger self-heal processes, self-service recommendations, chatbot assistance, and a task list for the IT team.
“What this does is simple,” says Kully, “It proactively prevents incidents that affect productivity. It provides the IT team with tasks to follow up instead of having to take calls or emails from users.” Now, employees don’t wake up on Monday—or any other day—with the question, “What is happening and when can it be fixed?”
While a customer-focused process is better than an SLA-focused process, security has become a major consideration in the new world of accessing data from the outside. The old world of connecting to data and systems from inside to outside has shifted 180 degrees to access data from outside in– especially after the pandemic has affected global business. And with employees doing their own thing, enterprise systems and networks are more vulnerable. However, security systems, processes, and protocols can’t be made so complex that they inconvenience employees and hinder productivity.
Sujoy Chatterjee, Vice President, Infrastructure Services at ITC Infotech believes that a balance must be struck between the levels of security and the flexibility available to employees to use technology. To decide the right level of security, the business must be involved. At BMI, a central team uses a risk-based approach and ensures that decisions don’t impact business. As a matter of abundant caution, processes are in place to mitigate the impact of any breach in security.
“The goal,” says Kully, “Is to bring data back to business—without which, we may have no business!” The takeaway from the BMI experience can be boiled down to two essentials: One, leverage AI to make data more effective and improve productivity/ efficiency by empowering users and making their lives easy and two, do not overdo security to the point where it has the potential to paralyze business.
Capability Head, Digital workplace,