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Software automation policy guidelines

Originally Published:
Apr 2018

Software automation is used for many business and IT processes, depending on industry vertical and individual company business and IT needs. Because this automation is far-reaching, policy considerations touch on many areas. This set of guidelines will help you cover all the bases as you build a comprehensive software automation policy.

From the guidelines:

Software automation policies are system-defined, or administrator-defined, sets of rules that govern the execution of automated actions. Examples of automated actions include running a report using the parameters that were obtained from the policy, sending an alert to the administrator, and executing a command or running a task on managed computers. The tasks that IT automates in IT infrastructure might involve internal IT resource management tasks such as automating the determination of where data is stored in a data storage hierarchy, or it might involve automating certain businesses processes, such as using automated software to score a loan for credit-worthiness during the loan underwriting process.

In all processes that involve automation software, a complex set of both business decision rules and technical settings and rules must be orchestrated in the software to meet a specific business or IT objective. Most commercial computer vendors understand this. That’s why most vendors now sell software that comes with recommended presets for automation, but that also allow you to override those presets with your own settings to tailor the software to your specific business and IT needs.

During the course of software automation for business and IT processes, the specific automation process should be thoroughly tested to ensure that it works correctly and consistently whenever it is called into action; that it meets the business or IT needs it was designed for; that it conforms to corporate governance, compliance, and security standards; and that it has the requisite logging and reporting mechanisms that track all its activities.

Examples of processes that software automation policies are designed for include:

  • Automated credit checks and approvals for loans
  • Quality of service (QoS) checks for network-critical operations like telesurgery
  • Automated data management and storage
  • Security monitoring and alert systems

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