Using RPA to Speed and Modernize IT Service Management

BrandPost By Dwight Davis
Oct 26, 2021
Managed IT Services

Here’s how to implement ITSM automations at enterprise scale.

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Credit: anyaberkut

IT service management (ITSM) is one of the most critical and labor-intensive functions within any IT department. Among the myriad assortment of ITSM tasks: the onboarding and offboarding of employees, password management and resets, application service-level monitoring, and help desk ticket resolution.

Many ITSM tasks are essential elements of organizations’ risk management policies and procedures. If  tasks are executed too slowly or improperly, unauthorized employees – or even ex-employees – may be able to access sensitive corporate networks and resources. Beyond security processes, many other user management tasks involve keeping employees happy and productive, and ensuring the delivery of required IT service levels.

Some ITSM processes occur continually throughout each day, while others arise only rarely. For example, consider some of these common user management tasks (including the frequency/volume of each task at a midsized to large organization):

  • Creating a new user account and attaching it to a specific organizational role (monthly/medium)
  • Temporary change of role for a user, e.g. for vacations, medical emergencies, etc. (daily/high)
  • Bulk reset of passwords to all systems to prevent unauthorized access (monthly/high)
  • Block/unblock user and reset password upon request (daily/high)
  • Detaching user from roles as part of the offboarding process (monthly/medium)

Let’s look at one ITSM scenario, onboarding several new employees, a bit more closely. For each employee, the organization is likely to have a spreadsheet file containing information about each new person. Among the key attributes: first and last names, phone numbers, organizational unit, department, job title, direct manager, and the groups each new employee will join.

The IT department uses this information to create a new user account in Active Directory as well as a mailbox associated with the user’s account in Microsoft Exchange Server. As part of creating the new user account in Active Directory, the IT team will create an initial unique password, and then force a password change to make the user create a new password when he or she first logs in. In addition, the unique user name for each new employee must be added to the appropriate group or groups to give the employee access to the proper IT systems and applications associated with their groups and roles.

If the onboarding process is performed manually, it can eat up significant amounts of IT staff time and budgets. Fortunately, organizations can avoid many of the negative impacts associated with this and other user management tasks by leveraging robotic process automation (RPA).

By using RPA, for example, the full onboarding process – from extracting the new employee spreadsheet data to connecting and communicating with Active Directory and Exchange Server and creating new user accounts and mailboxes – can be fully automated. (Of course, the same is true for most other ITSM tasks, regardless of their frequencies, volumes, or complexities.)

In complex IT landscapes, however, where the IT department must set up accounts for each new employee with multiple applications and user groups, it often isn’t possible to connect all of the systems via APIs. In those cases, the onboarding process requires the type of hybrid capability – blending automated API-based process steps with various human interface tasks – that a good RPA solution can provide.

The UiPath Platform and its elements, including UiPath Studio and UiPath Orchestrator , make it simple and straightforward for organizations to implement ITSM automations at enterprise scale.

For example, the IT department of one UiPath customer, a large European bank, was fielding 1,600 requests each month, on average, to unlock user accounts. In fewer than four weeks, the bank’s IT department was able to completely automate the password reset process. The automation resulted in an 80% reduction in the average hold time and a zero percent error rate and produced a positive return on investment in less than six months.

To learn how UiPath can help your organization automate many of its most common – and time-intensive – ITSM and user management processes, Check out the website.