In traditional IT organizations, when something breaks, the most likely way to resolve the issue is to find the one expert on the team who understands the problem and have him or her fix it. The solution is never written down, the knowledge is rarely passed from one engineer to another, and the organization trusts that the expert who solved the problem will be there to solve the issue the next time it occurs.
This tribal knowledge—information that may be known by one but not known by others or documented within a company—is rampant within IT operations teams. But 1Desk, IPsoft’s autonomic IT operations and shared services tool, eliminates tribal knowledge by recording and creating a record of every action taken within the solution and any tool with which it operates.
Because 1Desk is designed to simplify how humans interact with IT, the system is built to monitor the work humans do in order to recommend new automations for common issues. If an engineer solves a common IT task, 1Desk studies the fix, and the platform can be trained to automate the steps to solve similar issues in the future. Similarly, if a back-office worker goes into a third-party system to resolve an HR, Finance, or CRM issue, 1Desk also monitors these steps to ensure that anyone within the company can repeat the process if and when similar actions are required.
The hardest part of any automation project is figuring out how—and not what—to automate. Creating roadmaps is easy; teams study data to figure out where IT professionals are spending most of their time. However, once it’s time to begin automating those common issues, finding, recording and automating fixes can be challenging. This is true for many reasons, including engineers being protective of their knowledge and expertise, an inability to properly communicate knowledge to other workers, or turnover.
If something happens that can’t be automated, humans shouldn’t have to rely on tribal knowledge to solve the problem.
With 1Desk, every action that an engineer or a human worker takes can be recorded so that employees are able to monitor the steps taken to resolve similar issues in the future. Additionally, because 1Desk learns from human actions, if an automation engineer believes the steps taken by the original employee can be automated, 1Desk can be programmed to do so. This also applies to robotic process automation (RPA) in back-office tools. 1Desk can monitor actions taken on third-party applications and repeat those steps in other solutions.
- For Further Reading: How Autonomics in IT Operations Impacts Corporate Culture
Happy Paths to Unique Issues
What happens if the same set of procedures doesn’t work exactly the same way for the same issue in the future? There will inevitably be issues which will require new procedures as an IT environment evolves over time. For example, an automation may have been created for one issue, but what if conditions surrounding a similar issue are different? The automation will not work as previously programmed.
In such a case, if something happens that can’t be automated, humans shouldn’t have to rely on tribal knowledge to solve the problem. With 1Desk recording an engineer’s actions, workers can go in and find the missing steps needed to bridge the gap between automated processes, or create a brand new process using existing knowledge derived from previous fixes. 1Desk eliminates tribal knowledge by recording, sharing and executing on information as it performs its vital functions within an enterprise.