One domain that can definitely benefit from automation is Active Directory (AD) management, which forms the epicenter for all IT operations. For decades, AD management has been taxing, requiring countless man-hours each month. Now, the future of effective IT management will rely upon a focal shift from “process oriented” work to “productivity oriented” work.
Why wouldn’t you automate your AD?
Whether it’s the dread of creating brand-new documentation or just sheer resistance to change, there are a few reasons why someone might not want to automate their AD processes. For instance, your help desk might’ve become accustomed over the years to their routine—manually transcribing email data, service tickets, and support requests. It can be quite daunting to face a sudden shakeup, especially when that change makes business processes and workflows less dependent on human intervention. That said, it might be difficult to find a legitimate reason not to incorporate automation into your business.
Signs your AD needs automation
Do your new users have to wait a long time before they can start working because their AD account isn’t ready? Is there a huge list of “inactive users” in your AD? Are your ex-employees still listed in your AD? Do you consistently encounter mistakes in your AD records? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you know you need to automate.
How to work smarter, not harder
Decentralizing your IT department’s workload is a good place to start. Much of their time is spent providing information to users and responding to requests for AD services. Empower your non-IT employees (namely HR) with a self-service portal that is flexible and intuitive, one that provides them with the freedom to find information and request AD services whenever and wherever they need. This self-service approach gives your HR employees access to services around the clock, while at the same time significantly reducing the load on your IT department. Preconfiguring task controllers or automation policies can come in handy for catering to these requests.
ADManager Plus, our AD management and reporting solution, empowers employees at all levels, from HR to IT, to focus more on people than on processes. ADManager Plus’ automation module can help you configure simple yet efficient multi-level automation rules that can dynamically fetch inputs from HR, then run them at preset frequencies in the background. This way, you can onboard users on various platforms—such as Office 365, Skype for Business, G Suite, and more—alongside Active Directory.
But how does it actually work?
User creation templates form the core of automation in ADManager Plus by understanding the finer details of HR’s CSV file inputs. ADManager Plus can use information from a simple CSV file to fill out a new user account and automatically assign that user Active Directory attributes specific to roles, designations, and departments.
Alternatively, your IT technicians can embrace popular enterprise database systems used by HR applications, such as Oracle DB, MySQL, MS SQL, and DB2. Someone from HR enters employee details into their HR application and that information gets stored in a database. By integrating ADManager Plus with your organization’s databases, AD user accounts will be automatically created by fetching user data from these databases.
If you still aren’t convinced about the power of automation, then we have one last tidbit to talk about. ADManager Plus’ business workflow functionality enables you to make sure that automatic changes only take effect if an administrator or help desk technician approves them.
Follow our three-part blog series on the future of Active Directory management to see how you can future-proof your AD. And in the meantime, try ADManager Plus for yourself here.