Editor’s note: The following is a guest post from Marcelo Tamassia, global chief technology officer at Syntax.
Automation tools and technology have constantly evolved to take on increasingly sophisticated processes and tasks.
Today, enterprise automation is entering a new era. Autonomous capabilities, once limited to simple tasks like chatbots, are now driving efficiencies fueled by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
By incorporating next-generation automation and following a few best practices, business leaders can enhance an array of hyper-complex processes, such as resource efficiency, IT reliance and performance, and even decision-making.
Taking automation to the next level
Whether it’s helpdesk chatbots or automated invoice forms, most organizations are embracing automation to optimize business processes, drive efficiencies and realize ROI. In fact, 91% of enterprise leaders say automation technology has affected their business positively.
Now, boosted by AI and ML, automation’s capabilities and use cases have significantly expanded.
Many of these new capabilities build off of existing applications. For example, organizations are using automation to keep their cloud infrastructure costs under control, such as optimization software that analyzes computing usage and automatically scales throughput up and down to match demand.
It’s still process efficiency, only in a more complex form.
Next-generation autonomous solutions are even used to improve decision-making around traditional IT processes.
Take network security incident response handling: Historically, automation was used to collect and centralize alerts and initiate playbooks that helped security engineers interpret an alert, better understand the threat and determine a course of action.
Machine learning has enhanced this process by automatically taking actions such as blocking traffic or processes, reducing the work of security engineering teams while increasing reaction and resolution time.
ML-powered capabilities not only improve efficiency but also drive innovation. By freeing up teams from dull, repetitive work, employees can focus on strategic efforts and creative projects.
Automation — where business value and innovation meet
Automation has become a necessity in the remote work environment, particularly as organizations face the ongoing talent shortage.
Autonomous databases, for example, enable employees to access and use data without having to go through the IT team, freeing up people power on both ends. By automating aspects of the data security process such as encrypting data, monitoring workloads and keeping track of access, IT employees can instead focus on day-to-day enterprise needs.
As enterprises look to adopt and scale autonomous solutions, here are critical considerations they should keep top of mind to ensure the best outcomes:
Democratize automation to drive innovation
Low-code/no-code automation empowers employees outside of the IT department to develop and personalize their own technology solutions.
Investing in more low-code/no-code solutions can democratize automation, capitalize on the ingenuity of employees and empower citizen developers.
Create opportunities for cross-department collaboration
Technology access allows organizations to not only reduce costs but, more importantly, to add value through creative solutions.
Executives can encourage creativity by fostering collaboration between the IT department and other teams, whether they be in sales, finance or marketing.
Build employee knowledge and capacity
Automation makes work easier for employees, but there’s still a human element required to implement and manage solutions.
Unfortunately, many organizations face a talent shortage that stifles innovation. Investing in ongoing training for employees can ensure teams have the capabilities to adopt new automation solutions.
Keep business value front and center
IT leaders too often get distracted by new, shiny technology rather than practical solutions that benefit the organization.
Don’t innovate for the sake of innovation alone — that’s a sure recipe for pushback from line-of-business teams, lack of buy-in from senior leaders and, ultimately, digital transformation efforts that fall flat.
Instead, work in conjunction with business leaders and managers to provide automation solutions that add business value. A sensible approach is to only start an automation project when the desired outcome and success criteria of the project are fully defined.