Supporting Our Digital Future – An Automation Journey
Written by Andre Scicluna
In today’s digital world, Government organisations leverage IT to offer public services with increased efficiency and reduced queue time. Government IT systems and services need a secure, reliable, and flexible environment to cater to diverse needs.
MITA has a team of professionals dedicated to create and support a stable and secure hosting infrastructure – both cloud and on-premise – which Government organisations can use to build their applications. The support and continuous improvement of such an extensive infrastructure built with a plethora of diverse technologies can be quite arduous and time-consuming, especially if repeatable tasks are done manually.
To keep abreast of the improvements, the team soon realised the need to transition from traditional system administrators that react to daily situations and are more accustomed to being task-driven, to a team that harnesses automation and proactive engineering.
One can compare our work with that of a chef who spends most of his time preparing food to achieve consistent food quality. The chef realised that he is dawdling too much time on cooking and would prefer to dedicate more time to creating new recipes, so he needed to find a solution that would speed up his cooking processes while maintaining high standards. He invests time in implementing an automated solution for his meals creation to have a standardised quality of food, speed up preparation time, cut down waiting time, be proactive, and provide self-service without requiring his input. Furthermore, the chef designed a process to manage his kitchen inventory whereby when meals are prepared automatically, the ingredients used are deducted from the stock. Once the inventory of those ingredients is low, an order is done automatically to the supplier.
Our team started to automate several mundane tasks, some of which required days to be serviced manually as other teams’ input was needed by which are now being completed within five minutes. These initiatives provide a lot of advantages apart from considerable time saving, such as standardisation and efficiency. Having a standardised automated process would prevent human errors that would result in unplanned work, similarly when the chef would have to urgently re-prepare another meal because he added too much salt. In our case, a meal could be anything from a trivial shared folder to a critical and complex solution where a modest error could potentially result in service downtime or degradation, possibly causing hours (or days) of unplanned work.
The time saved by virtue of these initiatives is utilised to further achieve greater automation goals, with the intent to increase efficiency that all stakeholders can benefit from. We aim to continue building on our achievements and evaluating solutions for providing self-service to our clients, while also identifying the best way to engineer and implement better self-healing processes. In such a dynamic industry where tasks and technologies are constantly shifting, these initiatives are not a destination, but an enthralling ongoing journey that empowers us to support the country’s digital future efficiently and effectively.
In such a dynamic industry where tasks and technologies are constantly shifting, these initiatives are not a destination, but an enthralling ongoing journey that empowers us to support the country’s digital future efficiently and effectively.