Why Automation is an IT Admin’s MVP

For today’s businesses, digital transformation has become a core driver of success. And for IT administrators, there’s significant pressure to ensure that their organization is leveraging the right digital tools to deliver its own applications and services. As an Okta Solutions Engineer, I've worked with many customers on technology solutions, and some of the biggest questions that come up during those projects are around the role of automation in IT.

The demand for technical talent has led to an explosion in the market of low- and no-code technology, allowing teams to carry out complex automation tasks more efficiently. Think drag-and-drop builders that allow users to set up workflows or automate business processes without having to write code or scripts. 

IT teams leveraging these technologies to the fullest are using these low- to no-code solutions to automate their workflows. By increasing efficiency, lowering costs, and making current employees more strategic, automation is rapidly becoming a key business strategy for many organizations. This is particularly relevant for IT admins at both large and small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), who often need solutions to help streamline their day-to-day tasks and scale processes.

Remaining mindful of this context, here are three reasons why IT administrators should embrace automation and the user-friendly, low-code technology that facilitates it.

1. An end to manual provisioning

The average day for a typical IT admin includes time spent doing manual lifecycle management tasks—time away from the core role they’ve been hired for. 

These manual tasks can include: 

  • Provisioning and deprovisioning user accounts in downstream apps
  • Designating users to groups for role-based access
  • Granting and revoking licenses 
  • Coordinating with multiple teams to gain approvals and accomplish this work 

While these jobs may appear simple and routine on their own, they quickly add up. For organizations on a growth trajectory, these tasks are repeated with every new employee added or business app adopted. At a high volume, this causes unscalable overhead for IT admins, sacrificing innovation for tedious, repetitive tasks.

A robust automation solution—one that integrates seamlessly with your existing apps—can take those manual tasks off the to-do list. Consider these scenarios:

  • An IT admin configures low-code workflows in which an HR process initiates both onboarding and offboarding, automatically provisions new users to specific applications, or removes an existing user’s license and role—without deleting their account altogether. 
  • For external contractors with specific timelines in their contracts, an IT admin sets time-based access controls and licenses, which are revoked at the end of the contract.
  • An IT admin constructs automated authentication processes enabling users to self-serve, granting access approvals to those meeting a certain set of criteria. 

This is how removing the burden of rote work allows your best admins to dedicate their time to the deeper work that requires their expertise. 

2. Cement IT infrastructure as a business cornerstone

While the data shows that automation is becoming a strategic approach for businesses, there’s an understandable concern among IT admins. Will automating these processes make their roles obsolete? The reality is this: when IT administrators leverage automation to lower their current workload, they become more valuable to organizations, not less. 

By taking repetitive manual tasks off their plates and expanding their automation expertise, IT admins can evolve to be more strategic in their roles. For one thing, admins with an automation skill set are valued for their ability to manage and streamline workflows, driving efficiencies that improve ROI and increase employee productivity. From this lens, IT admins can be understood as profit centers that directly contribute to revenue—not just operational contributors. 

Leaders who understand the value of automation and its prioritization will, by extension, hire admins with an automation skill set. In this context, the role of IT admins as essential modernization advisors is not only clear, but can be viewed as directly contributing to broader business goals. 

3. A successful organization is a secure one

IT automation is also appealing because it reduces risk. Manual IT tasks invite human error and limit visibility into access controls and whether they’ve been granted properly. Plus, for SMBs trying to grow rapidly, manual processes stifle scalability and make them as far from being nimble as they can get.

All of these risks are mitigated by eliminating exposure to human error through automation. IT admins can avoid instances where users are provisioned to systems they shouldn’t be on or where terminated employees retain access to work accounts. 

Paired with a centralized identity platform, automated processes make it possible to have a consolidated view of all users, as well as an audit trail of the IT tasks performed for them. 

And when it comes to secure scaling, automation is a key element in future-proofing an IT zero-trust posture—regardless of a company’s size or age. For large organizations stuck with legacy infrastructure but needing cloud-based technologies, automation allows IT admins to lead in these critical transformations. And for younger businesses born in the cloud and already implementing best practices, automation can make it easier to streamline their growth strategies. 

A clear path to an automated future

As a business strategy, automation empowers IT admins to set themselves—and their organization—up for success. It reduces the overhead and security risks baked into repetitive, manual tasks, linking IT admin work to realized business outcomes.

IT admins that make the most of automation are the ones shaping the next generation of technology teams. Fortunately, robust low- and no-code solutions like Okta Workflows make automation as accessible as it is essential. Workflows allow any sized IT team to automate identity processes at scale, making it easier to keep their organization secure, efficient, and successful. 

Get empowered! Learn how Okta Workflows streamlines lifecycle management for IT admins and their teams.