So here you are sitting down at your desk with a fresh cup of coffee to begin another workday from home. You open Outlook to check your e-mail and review your calendar for the day. You hop on your morning Teams meeting and then the voice of a colleague intones, “The marketing team wants to put their website in Azure, and we want to do it quickly.” Suddenly, that dark brew coffee tastes a little bitter, the leather chair feels a little stiff.
The inefficient, manual, repetitive task is ingrained into the day-to-day operations of most businesses. It manifests itself in a variety of ways.
The cutting and pasting of data from one report into a spreadsheet in order to produce "the real" report
The upkeep and use of an obsolete system or software “because it contains valuable information”
The laborious reconciliation of timesheets, billings, expenses or “non-accounting” data
Unsecured paper/document-based messaging or communication workflows
Lately, Microsoft has been making a lot of hay about the Power Platform, which consists of Power Apps, Power Automate, and PowerBI. Understanding the purpose of Power Apps and the possibilities of code-free development will help you determine if your project is a candidate for Power Apps.
Answering Automation - Project Planning Questions
In this series, we set out to answer some common strategic and project questions about Automation. In the previous blog posts, we’ve talked about what automation is, and how to decide what functions and processes should be automated. Now we are going to tackle project planning questions, or issues that come up once you the target of automation is chosen, such as:Where do you start?
How far do you go?
How do you know when you are done (at least for the moment)?
Previously, we’ve talked about some broad concepts, but these questions are a little more narrow and practical.
Let’s dig in!
Answering Automation - What should we Automate?
In our last blog article (What is Automation?), we talked about some of the broad, common questions about tackling an automation initiative in IT. We said that automation is the use of applications, integrations, and runbooks to configure solutions that remove manual work from IT, and that is important because it reduces costs, improves accuracy, and overall improves the customer experience.
We also broke out automation into three buckets:
- Apps, which are tools that automate some work in a standard way.
- Integrations, which let systems talk to each other and perform automation that way.
- Runbooks, which take a complex process and work through it in multiple technologies from end to end.
What is automation?
Automation is a broad set of practices, and never is that truer than when an organization sets out to automate a function, process, or solution. There are several questions that get asked when an initiative to automate begins, such as:
- Where do you start?
- How far do you go?
- How do you know when you are done (at least for the moment)?
In this blog series, we are going to help you answer these questions and give you tools to help educate your organization and promote automation throughout your enterprise.