The Rush for Automation

Automation is a word that gets thrown around like a baseball. Most business leaders I talk to say they have automation as part of their daily responsibilities, but so does my 4-year-old son. Automation makes it overall more convenient for the end user. It gives you the freedom to engage in more meaningful activities. But have you really set your business up for the next level of automation that is already here? 95% of businesses haven’t and in today’s economy this is something all business leaders need to spend more time understanding.

According to Gartner research, more than 50% of the corporate world will have a dedicated automation group by 2025. That’s up from less than 10% in 2020, which culminates in agility and cost efficiencies.

Automation promises significant cost, quality and speed improvements, but realizing those benefits requires action plans. Business leaders need to execute an automation strategy by identifying required processes, skills and tooling based on the organization’s automation maturity level. This is key to efficient productivity. Why?

  • Many organizations do not align their approach to automation with their automation maturity level, slowing business leaders’ efforts to deliver automated solutions.
  • With automation’s potential to optimize multiple areas and benefit multiple user personas, leaders struggle to determine where to focus initial automation efforts.
  • Many automation initiatives prioritize tools over skills and processes, limiting business leaders’ ability to deliver on automation goals.

Transform infrastructure, operations and cloud management activity are key recommendations business leaders need to be aware of. They should… 

  1. Accelerate automation efforts by identifying areas of the organization that have the fundamentals of automation in place and, therefore, the greatest probability of success with automation.
  2. Focus automation efforts by targeting five key processes, tailoring efforts based on customer impact and the organization’s automation readiness.
  3. Simplify their tooling portfolio by combining previously identified automation knowledge requirements and best practices to develop their tooling strategy.

Business, Technology, Internet and network concept. Young business man, working on the tablet of the future, select on the virtual display: Automation

Automation delivers improvements to all areas of the modern IT environment. But some organizations have been satisfied with minimum levels of task automation within isolated infrastructure areas (such as storage and compute), meeting only basic requirements. Strategic, transformational results can be attained only through systematic automation. These benefits are missed when automation efforts stop at the tactical work stream level.

How can businesses use automation to deliver infrastructure-led disruption (ILD) and the flexibility, reliability and transparency that drives business value?

Gartner has seen growing adoption of automation and satisfaction with automation efforts. But many organizations do not properly gauge their level of automation maturity, and they attempt automation initiatives that either exceed their ability to deliver or, worse, add limited value for their customers. For example, organizations with low maturity plan aggressive IT initiatives (such as container orchestration for critical production applications), which, without the fundamentals of automation in place, have a low probability for success. 

In addition, organizations with a high level of automation maturity underachieve with their automation initiatives, targeting tactical initiatives when they should be targeting strategic projects. Leaders must ensure that initial automation efforts are consistent with the organization’s skill level and vision for automation.

Gartner has observed organizations at both ends of the maturity spectrum. Characteristics of each type of organization are shown on the Figure below.

To gauge their automation maturity, leaders should identify and analyze the key services that they currently offer and determine which of the characteristics listed in the Figure below could be associated with their portfolio of services. Use this analysis as a guide in determining what initiatives to tackle.

So why do you need automation?

Automation leads to faster processing of voluminous tasks and reduced turnaround timelines. A reduction in enterprise costs and the time involved in executing operational activities leads to improved workflow efficiencies. … Automating business processes allows enterprises to achieve more results with fewer efforts. Google it for yourself. 

There has never been a time where automation can turn a business around overnight. Understanding how to us automation within your business is the key to productivity and scalability. Knowledge is power, and automation is the game-changer.

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