Repetitive manual tasks are bogging down under-resourced IT teams everywhere, yet projects to implement Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are often focused on improvements in other business areas. Most IT departments have hundreds of tasks that are handled manually or executed using complex scripting and development work that’s nearly impossible to maintain over time. From report generation to file transfers to database extractions and more, it’s time to take a fresh look at IT RPA use cases to see how to improve existing processes with automation.
Why Is IT Overlooked for RPA Initiatives?
Your company may already be evaluating or even using RPA to handle routine tasks in areas such as finance, support, and HR. Unfortunately, IT is often not considered a key stakeholder in these projects for two primary reasons:
- RPA projects start and evolve based on requirements from other business areas. IT needs aren’t part of the assessment or consideration.
- The licensing structure and cost of most RPA solutions doesn’t allow IT to benefit when they’re used in other areas, especially if the business area with the project is footing the bill.
Supporting Business Continuity in the Face of Staffing Shortages
No doubt there is an ever-increasing number of requests in your project queue. And there aren’t enough resources to tackle the strategic projects that drive business advancement, much less to devote to time-intensive routine tasks.
Offloading the burden of this work is more important than ever in light of the pandemic-driven Great Resignation and the struggle to fill vacancies. IT departments need to shift quickly, eliminating tedious work so they can focus on higher-value projects that support business continuity. Additionally, with the need to ramp up cybersecurity efforts to handle the global increase in cyberattacks, leveraging automation wherever possible can be a monumental assist to free administrators’ time.
Putting Automation to Work in Your IT Department: 12 IT RPA Use Cases
RPA has many uses in your IT department for streamlining manual processes. With RPA from Automate by Fortra, you can cost-effectively boost productivity in amazing ways. Fortra Automate has long been a leader in the RPA market and offers preconfigured automation in Fortra's Connector Hub to help you hit the ground running and achieve fast ROI. You’ll notice some of the use cases below reference an associated connecter bot.
Here's just a sampling of IT RPA use cases to get you thinking of the possibilities:
- GUI automation: Mimic user interactions within common desktop applications and vendor websites such as logging in, scraping data, downloading reports, or performing site quality assurance testing.
- Reporting: Create management reports nightly, daily, or to support any cadence your business requires. RPA can pull data from separate databases, websites, or other repositories, combine and format it, and send the resulting summary to stakeholders. It can even confirm messages were sent properly via audit reporting.
- Database processing: Leverage a built-in database action that inserts, updates, and deletes information in Oracle, SQL Server, and other databases. RPA can also execute stored procedures and incorporate data migration such as moving data between production servers.
- User management/provisioning: Ensure employees don’t access things they shouldn’t by automatically setting up their Active Directory and email accounts and assigning permissions. Simplify user onboarding, termination, and permission-related changes—and offer password resets that don’t involve IT. Connectors to explore: The Active Directory collection , Password Generator and Active Directory to IBM i to Extend SSO
- Software validation checks: Maintain compliance with industry mandates by running the latest software versions and security patches. Use RPA to monitor designated servers and user machines and download updates to kick off installation.
- File movement: Run the commands that get information where it needs to go internally between servers, shared network folders, and email. This includes syncing/deleting/emptying folders, FTP/SFTP uploads and downloads, PDF file splits, data extraction, and moves. Connectors to explore: The File System collection and bots for FTP
- Running scripts: Don’t reinvent the wheel for legacy Python/PowerShell/VBScript or other executable modules or batch files you’ve already created! There’s no need for a programming background with pre-built RPA functionality geared toward citizen developers. If you have exiting apps, you can incorporate them without knowing scripting languages. Connector to explore: How to Execute a BAT
- Server application monitoring and remediation: Maintain uptime around the clock with lights-out monitoring and remediation that can eliminate the need for a third shift. Monitor daily server performance and restart services as needed, sending email notifications and reports to administrators for review. Connectors to explore: Heartbeat (Server Alive) Check, PowerShell Windows System Information, Microsoft SQL Server - SQL Server sp_who2 Blocking Check
- Event management: Monitor OS event logs to ensure key jobs and activities start, run, and stop as expected. Capture and communicate errors, warnings, and other issues to keep projects on track. Connectors to explore: Report Workflow Execution and Report Task Execution
- Help/Service Desk management: Streamline key parts of the support function by auto creating, listing, routing, and closing tickets and generating reports on active cases. RPA can also enable after-hours alerts for high-priority tickets. Connectors to explore: Freshdesk, HubSpot, Jira Cloud, ServiceNow, and Zendesk
- Batch processing: Leverage RPA that mimics users’ greenscreen interactions to initiate nightly batch processing jobs with terminal actions. RPA can report on job starts and stops to alert administrators of failures and completions.
- Integrate with APIs and user interfaces: Reduce the complexity of API integration with a no-code approach great for citizen developers. Built-in HTTP and web service actions integrate with RESTful APIs or SOAP-based web services to bypass the need for mouse movement and keyboard entry. Connectors to explore: There are many free, application-specific pre-built examples available in Fortra's Connector Hub.
Embrace Flexible, Scalable IT RPA with Automate
Automate is an easy-to-deploy RPA solution built with IT in mind. Organizations in many industries look to this powerhouse to take charge of their task lists and simplify manual activities. In fact, one of our long-term users recently said they consider Automate one of their full-time IT employees.
Automate offers IT departments a scalable RPA solution to render discussions about extra licensing costs moot. You’ll find it to be the easiest-to-use enterprise automation solution available, enabling you to run as many bots and processes as your hardware can handle.