Done right, automation simplifies everything it touches—especially on a service desk, where repetitive requests are predictable. It can liberate you from mundane tasks and help you move forward to more enjoyable work. But you don’t need sophisticated technical knowledge to start working with automation. In fact, it takes a simple tool and the desire to make a task easier or removed from your plate. We’ll break down how to identify automation opportunities in this blog.
What is Automation?
Merriam-Webster defines automation as “automatically controlled operation of an apparatus, process, or system by mechanical or electronic devices that take the place of human labor.”
In a lot of cases, that’s a good thing. Especially as automation proves that it can reduce costs, make processes more accurate and eliminate human error. There are many forms of automation, but in general you’ll be looking at:
Robotic Process Automation (RPA): best for tasks that are rules-based, routine and well defined. RPA is what you want to automate processes for data entry, accounting or procurement, etc.
Intelligent Automation: can process non-digital, unstructured data and images. Intelligent Automation can handle processes requiring reasoning. An example would be the way a self-driving car learns to brake.
A virtual agent used by a service desk is another example of Intelligent Automation. Tikit Virtual Agent, for example, intercepts and learns how to interpret end user requests, recognize relevant knowledge base resources and serve them to the end user based on predefined criteria set forth by the admin. It addresses repetitive requests so that the human agents have more time to do higher-level work. Human service desk agents certainly appreciate the break!
Here’s the interesting thing: for all the talk of efficiency gained via automation, there are some things humans do best. This is the work to prioritize.
Here’s What Humans Do Best
The work you most likely enjoy might involve doubt, vagueness, originality, spontaneity or decision making in the midst of change. These are mental challenges where humans shine. Not to mention interpersonal and relationship-oriented interactions. On a personal and organizational level, we would be well served by focusing on these kinds of tasks.
When and What Should You Choose to Automate?
A major barrier to entry for automation: it’s generally not on our minds. We’re used to our routines and often don’t recognize an inconvenience. And if there isn’t a big enough pain point getting our attention, we might not see a need to change anything. There could also be the perception that automation is too complicated, or that it will be challenging to learn.
It’s not. And automation is worth it, because it helps you move on to more enjoyable things.
Regardless of your role, there is likely some routine element that can be streamlined. It could make a big difference in your day, giving you more time for the work you want to do. Automation makes sense when you’re faced with tasks that:
- Are simple but take a lot of time to complete.
- Are repetitive and occur regularly.
- Are susceptible to human errors.
- Involve data managed among different systems.
Get Started Using Microsoft Power Automate
You can also identify potential automation opportunities this way: what bores you? What do you want to be easier? You can get a lot of ideas of how to make it so with Microsoft Power Automate.
Power Automate is a low code platform that helps you create workflows in a drag and drop fashion, specifically for cloud, desktop and business processes. In doing so, you can take a hands-off approach when:
- Loading sales data in a CRM.
- A specific team member emails, you can get a notification.
- Performing data entry and reporting tasks.
- Processing forms and invoicing.
These are just a few examples. Automation can be used on a large or small scale, and if you’re stumped for ideas, Power Automate will make recommendations and provide templates to help you get started.
How Power Automate is Used on a Service Desk
You can bring workflows into your service desk experience in Tikit, thanks to a new Power Automate connector and do things like:
- Add comments to a ticket.
- Create new tickets.
- Attach files to a ticket.
- Isolate a specific ticket.
- Select all of the tickets.
- Update a ticket.
These are just a few actions that can be taken via automation, but you can get a better idea of workflow possibilities in our recent Power Automate connector blog.
Regardless of what you choose to automate, you just need to consider the trigger (how a flow will begin), and the action (the desired result). You have nearly endless opportunities and an easy platform to make it happen.
Hopefully this stimulates ideas of workflows you can create and other ways to automate tasks–and service desk processes. You’ll find more detailed how-tos in our Power Automate connector knowledge article.