Sep 12

How to harness automation to drive your digital transformation

source: freepik.com

According to a recent survey from BMC software, 73% of IT decision makers believe businesses that do not embrace IT automation to achieve the larger digital business strategy within the next five years will cease to exist in 10 years.

The survey, which quizzed 650 IT decision makers from 12 countries, including the US, Australia, Brazil, China and France, also found that 89% of tech pros said that IT automation must be used in new ways to achieve digital business objectives.

Looked at as a whole, IT automation will increase the speed of delivery of everything you do, by cutting out waste, particularly wasted time and energy, and reducing repetition. At the very least, it will replace repeated human interactions and actions with a digital equivalent. If it’s truly effective, IT automation will set you apart from the competition by radically improving the customer experience.

However, harnessing the kind of IT automation that is driving digital transformation is a balancing act of a number of factors.

Ownership

source: freepik.com

It’s vital that the members of your team feel complete ownership of the automated processes being introduced. It’s not about automation replacing people (although this has happened in some industries), or not even about automation on its own being more efficient. It’s about automation being used to increase the efficiency of the people by taking on the change. By putting members of your team in charge of testing and gradually introducing automation within your existing IT structure, you’ll ensure that the process runs smoothly and your people feel completely comfortable with it.

Examination

When automation goes wrong it’s often because the people introducing it have been looking at things the wrong way. Rather than finding what seems to be a fantastic piece of automation and then finding the process which might benefit from it, you should examine your processes in depth and figure out exactly where they could be made more efficient. By breaking down the steps as minutely as possible you’ll see what could be wasteful actions or processes and then be able to seek out the automation that will streamline things.

Flexibility

Make sure that the solutions you opt for have the in-built flexibility to adapt and change as your business does. If it’s done properly, automation should create a virtuous circle in which greater automation leads to greater efficiency, which in turn leads to a growing business and the need for more automation.

Security

source: freepik.com

Bear in mind that the efficiency which automation introduces for your people could also play into the hands of those seeking to hack your systems. The more you can do with a single click, the more a hacker will be able to do, so ensure that the security of your systems always stays one step ahead of the automation and efficiency.

Engagement

Bringing all of this together is the fact that the introduction of automation, in order to allow for digital transformation, shouldn’t be placed solely in the hands of your IT department. If automation is going to work it has to be introduced, understood and followed through by every part of your team, from forward planning and interrogating the processes which could benefit from automation, through to analysing the impact in order to gauge the return on investment.

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