As seen on eCampus News

3 reasons to automate your workflow

By Kathleen Kramer
technology product manager, Dude Solutions
March 12th, 2018

Reclaim lost hours with customizable alerts, enhanced communication, and seamless workflows

Technology has changed the education landscape. Whether you’re creating the infrastructure of your internal email server, supporting online coursework, or managing the hardware used by your faculty, staff and students, IT’s role in higher education is invaluable. IT has never been more of an asset to their institutions, but at the same time, it can feel like there aren’t enough resources to support them.

In the CoSN K-12 IT Leadership Report, sponsored by Dude Solutions, only 13 percent of IT leaders felt that their staffing matched their needs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 52 percent also said that they spend most of their time on reactive work, e.g., those last-minute fires that need to be put out. Despite the need for more resources, only 25 percent of respondents reported that they had an increase in their yearly budget.

The result: IT is understaffed and overwhelmed.

However, there is a way to keep track of all the moving parts and take back time in your day: automation. By automating tasks that would otherwise require manual input, you can reclaim those lost hours with customizable alerts, enhanced communication, and seamless workflows.

How to automate workflow

1. Customizable alerts
When a problem occurs, your team needs to know about it immediately. Whereas some solutions may require technicians to log into their dashboard to view their new tasks, customizable alerts ensure real-time notification. You’ll prevent tickets from falling through the cracks with a reliable, consistent request-delivery workflow. With these alerts, you can guarantee first-class support to your end users in a fraction of the time to support your SLAs.

And you can customize the type of alert that’s sent. A request that’s a low priority (e.g., updating a student’s operating system) won’t be the same type of alert as a high-priority request (e.g., a faculty member who accidentally downloaded malware onto the network).

2. Enhanced communication
No more repetitive emails. Automated features like email-to-request functionality, user visibility into statuses, and two-way communication for end users and technicians greatly improves the experience for both yourself and your requestors. Plus, communication is confined to the ticket, so you can communicate wherever you are and never miss an important detail.

If, say, an administrator needs help with one of his desktop computers, he can send an email to the help desk, which will then be delivered as a ticket to your team. This ensures a timely resolution, and the requestor can see the status of the ticket as you update.

3. Seamless workflows
Just as with alerts, you can also set conditions for routing requests so they’re assigned to the right technician as soon as they’re created. Many solutions require administrator approval before routing a request, or they rely on managers to dole out each individual task. With automation, you can automatically route tickets based on customizable rules so they immediately get to the right user the first time. This cuts down on your manual entry, improves time to resolution, and ensures that no tickets fall through the cracks.

You can even use this based on specific projects. For example: If you have a team set up that specifically handles new student laptop registration, any requests that are created relating to this project can be automatically sent to those technicians.

Start small
Time and resources are limited for IT teams. Automation is an excellent step toward reclaiming time back in your day. The best solutions address all your needs, but a good step forward is to start small. What would be most beneficial to your team? What can you realistically implement now? Setting out realistic goals based on what you need most is the first steps toward new and improved processes.

About the Author:

Kathleen Kramer is a technology product manager for Dude Solutions, a leading software-as-a-service provider of operations management solutions to education, government, healthcare, manufacturing, and membership-based organizations.

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