May 19, 2020

Five ways unified monitoring makes life easier

Cyber Security
Network security
Jeff Loeb
3 min
Five ways unified monitoring makes life easier

You’ve heard of 'alarm storms' going off in your network. It’s when a failed component on the network chain triggers a storm of alerts for devices linked to it. Well, without unified monitoring, you better get used to the term 'blamestorm', as you’ll be pointing the guilty finger in every direction.

As IT complexity and diversity rapidly evolves, it’s important for businesses to utilise unified monitoring across all wired and wireless networks, and physical and virtual servers and applications. With more visibility, it is easier for IT teams to pinpoint, assess and fix a problem within an organisation.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top five ways unified monitoring can help make your job easier:

1. Reduce the mmount of time to resolve an issue

If your organisation is using multiple monitoring products, then these products typically 'talk' to one another. Monitoring multiple products will involve hours, days or even weeks in order to chase down the source of the initial problem. When you monitor everything as a unified unit, the average time to repair is slashed by 25 percent or more.

Additionally, unified monitoring enables the development of a 'common language' across network and system specialties. This makes it easier for IT teams because then everyone has a real-time understanding of the IT infrastructure and they are more able to support proactive identification of root causes, and deploy the resources needed.

2. Reduce the cost spent on monitoring solutions

If you’re not a Fortune 100 company (and even if you are), you’re probably not looking to spend thousands or even millions monitoring your company’s network. However, you do have to buy a license based upon the number of devices you need to monitor, regardless of the number of interfaces, volumes or applications per device. By centralising your monitoring system, your company will drastically cut costs.

This money is then able to go towards other needs within the IT department so that you can focus on building a better team, and less on hardware.

3. Reduce the risk of a data breach

If you’re able to monitor all devices at once, then you’re more apt to see when trouble is coming your way. If all IT operations are under one interface, then it will be easier for you to be proactive and solve the problem before it breaches your system. This will put both your staff and clients at ease.

4. Reduce your network’s downtime

A unified system can identify a 'traffic jam' within a system by gathering information from every point of the network – including virtual, physical and private cloud environments. System outages are cut by 20% when embracing unified monitoring.

5. Reduce the impact of negative revenue

Since you have reduced downtime, the availability of your services has been improved, thus positively impacting your company’s revenue.

To summarise, unified monitoring helps your company function more smoothly.

Jeff Loeb is CMO at Ipswitch

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May 28, 2021

Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work

Automation
UiPath
technology
repetitivetasks
Kate Birch
4 min
As a new report reveals most office workers are crushed by repetitive tasks, we talk the value of automation with UiPath’s MD of Northern Europe, Gavin Mee

Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.

Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.

Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.

When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”

And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.

Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work

By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.

“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”

These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.

Repetitive tasks that can be automated

Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”

These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.

“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”

Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.

Five business areas that can be automated

Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.

  1. Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
  2. Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
  3. Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
  4. IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
  5. Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.

“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”

 

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