Gartner studies have found that 30-40% of information technology spending in large enterprises goes to “shadow IT,” or unsanctioned apps and software. In these instances, employees convey one of two things: they either don’t trust your IT team to implement it for them or they don’t have time to wait.
But what if more of your IT tasks were automated so you could spend time on things like rebuilding that trust across teams or collaborating on more visionary projects?
So many of the day-to-day tasks you complete for employees can be automated. It’s just a matter of finding a solution that won't add more complexity to your workload.
The Benefits of IT Task Automation
Automation in IT is about more than letting computers do the work or saving time. Every little task adds up, and eliminating those hurdles can make your business more secure, more productive, and even more profitable in the long run.
Shadow IT puts companies at a much higher risk of a breach because it brings unapproved software into the company ecosystem without leaderships’ knowledge and approval. And with more remote workers than ever, IT often has little to no insight into what workarounds employees are using.
When teams have access to a company-approved form, document, and workflow builder, they don’t have to go in search of their own. The most secure tools offer SSL, encryption, and firewall technology to give you confidence in your software and employees’ regular use of it.
No Need for Code
Employees often seek out unsanctioned software when they need to build a workflow, but don’t have the development background to do it themselves.
No-code tools allow them to create professional documents, set up approval chains, or easily build custom solutions when necessary—on their own. This also takes stress off your IT employees to engage in code-heavy projects that take up team time.
Today, 51% of workers report spending at least two hours per day on repetitive tasks. When you automate repetitive tasks, you give your team time back to focus on larger, more crucial projects that advance the business instead of putting out small fires. From capturing employee requests to gathering approval from business leaders, automation makes everything flow more smoothly.
See It In Action: Hear how the Texas Legends replaced hundreds of spreadsheets across the company with automation.
Paper processes, constant emailing, and backlogged task lists hold your team and business back from innovation and growth. IT automation lets digital workflows handle the busywork so you can work with leaders across the company to help them scale the business.
Plus, when you enable employees to create their own workflows and solutions with approved, secure software, you empower each team to do their best work.
4 Ideas to Automate IT Tasks
Not sure how to put task automation into practice at your company? IT teams use these workflows and solutions to simplify their everyday operations.
1. Support Tickets
From laptop malfunctions to VPN access, the IT support you provide helps employees get back to work. As repetitive and annoying as they can be, these needs will never go away—but you can make them easier to manage.
Create a tech support form that lives in your company portal or internal messaging system instead of tracking down old email strings or trying to communicate over chat. Employees can describe the problem, provide their credentials and device type, and alert your team at any time.
With automated data routing, the form is then sent to the appropriate team member based on the issue. If your business is global, you can assign tickets out to other professionals to handle the request depending on available work hours. You can even integrate your preferred help desk software for easy ticket management.
2. Software Requests
Help employees help you. When it’s easy for them to request new software, they’re less likely to implement shadow IT. Streamline technology purchasing and stay in the know about apps across the business with a software request form.
When software requests are all in one place, you not only save your inbox from inundation, but improve organizational security. You can even route requests to the employee’s manager for easy approval or digital signature, saving time and keeping leaders informed.
3. Hardware and Asset Procurement
Has the increase in remote work made it more difficult for employees to procure the devices they need? Whether you regularly onboard new employees or your workforce is so big you constantly have to allocate updated hardware, managing assets is a big job. Automating as much of the process as possible not only saves time and money, but ensures you don’t make mistakes along the way.
Set up a form for employees to request a new device. Then, integrate with your HR system to verify their start date, hardware procurement date, and eligibility. You may even digitize your usage policy so they can sign it from anywhere. Automated workflows ensure you don’t miss a step, and team members can resume their productivity as soon as possible.
4. Internal/External Docs
The job of IT is about ensuring efficiency and security across the company’s teams as much as your own. Digital documents make it easy for employees to create professional memos, but some solutions don’t offer the highest level of security, creating more organizational vulnerability.
Give your IT team and employees a secure way to share company data through automated proposals, agreements, and contracts that don’t put the company at risk. Turn new employee onboarding data or device request forms into a usage contract. Or, forge new partnerships and integrations with outside providers with professional proposals. Encryption ensures documents are shared safely, whether inside the company or out. Add an extra layer of protection with industry-specific compliance and passwords.
Did You Know? 90% of customers say Formstack's document creator helps them get their job done.
Automate Workflows Across Teams
When you’re in IT, you serve more than your own purposes. You support every team across the company. Task automation tools can help restore your agility and awareness of shadow IT around the organization.
Whether your employees are sales-focused, medical professionals, or educators, you can give them the task automation tools to streamline data capture, document generation, and eSignature collection across departments in one workflow builder.
Formstack helps you do it without a single line of code. Our powerful features like user permissions, 256-bit encryption, and audit trails ensure company information stays safe no matter who’s using it across the company. Ready to lighten up the shadows within your organization?