The Great Promise and Potential Drawbacks of IT Automation

As an IT service provider, Synergy views it as an imperative to consider the opportunities automation presents our company and our clients.

As the COO (Chief Operating Officer) of Synergy IT Solutions, I get a bird’s eye view of the strategic direction many of our clients are heading with their IT departments. With a shortage of highly skilled IT professionals, it has seemed inevitable that IT leaders would begin to look for ways to automate previously manual processes. This recent article from Forbes Magazine entitled, “Why IT Automation Is About People, Not Just Costs” was definitely an eye-opener for me.

What struck me, was the last section recommending only automating where there is value. I thought about the clients I interact with on a regular basis and whether they would have the excess capacity to conduct the necessary analysis to determine whether automation was the right direction. Frankly, with the current day-to-day barrage of cybersecurity threats, increased demands for collaboration from a hybrid workforce, and the accelerated pace of technology evolution, I can imagine how hard it is for IT leaders to find the time to focus on longer term strategies.

However, as an IT service provider, we have no choice but to consider the opportunities automation presents our company and our clients for increased efficiency. Here are a couple of the things I have been focused on.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has great potential for streamlining your day-to-day business operations. Take a few minutes and think about all the tedious processes people in your company have to do on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Now, imagine having the tools and capabilities to automate those processes so the people doing them can focus on more strategic, meaningful and fulfilling activities. As the article states, the RPA solutions market is expected to grow exponentially.

Intelligent Automation includes RPA, but also other tools like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to predict, prevent and prescribe solutions to operational issues. However, according to this study from Deloitte, there are significant barriers to scaling intelligent automation, not the least of which is a lack of IT readiness and process fragmentation. Implementing automation is a journey that requires an organization-wide commitment and a high level of IT support. So before going down that path, you may want to consider a full IT assessment to identify opportunities.

A third area I am excited about may not be considered automation in its truest sense, but I tend to think of it that way. This year, we are introducing Asset Lifecycle Management, our all-in-one device as a service solution. For a monthly per user fee, we take over ensuring your team members have the equipment and support they need from requisition to responsible recycling. It is a great way for you to internally automate equipment deployment to your end-users.

As the move to automate more IT processes continues, I view it as our role to stay on top of current trends, adopt best practices internally, and provide solid guidance to our clients and partners. I look forward to sharing more about our own journey as the year progresses.

What are the challenges businesses face in today's IT environment?

Businesses are facing a shortage of skilled IT professionals, increased cybersecurity threats, demands for collaboration in a hybrid workforce, and a rapidly evolving technology landscape. These factors can make it difficult for IT leaders to focus on long-term strategies, including automation initiatives.

Why is automation important for businesses?

Automation can help businesses:

  • Improve efficiency: By automating repetitive tasks, employees are freed up to focus on more strategic and creative work.
  • Reduce costs: Automation can help to reduce labor costs and improve resource allocation.
  • Enhance security: Automation can help to automate security tasks and improve overall security posture.

What are the different types of automation being used in IT?

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): RPA automates routine tasks, such as data entry, form processing, and report generation.
  • Intelligent Automation: This builds upon RPA and utilizes AI and Machine Learning to predict, prevent, and prescribe solutions to operational issues.

What are the challenges of implementing intelligent automation?

Deloitte's study highlights some key barriers, including:

  • Lack of IT readiness: Organizations may not have the necessary infrastructure or expertise to support advanced automation solutions.
  • Process fragmentation: Inconsistent or poorly defined processes can hinder the effectiveness of automation efforts.

How can businesses determine if automation is the right solution?

Before implementing any automation solution, it's crucial to conduct a thorough IT assessment to:

  • Identify areas where automation can add value.
  • Evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of automation.
  • Assess the organization's readiness for automation.

What is Synergy IT Solutions doing to help clients with automation?

Synergy offers various services to help clients navigate the automation landscape:

  • Staying informed: They stay updated on the latest automation trends and best practices.
  • Internal adoption: They actively utilize automation internally to streamline processes and gain valuable experience.
  • Client guidance: They provide guidance and support to clients, including:
    • IT assessments: Identifying potential automation opportunities and assessing readiness.
    • Solution selection: Helping clients choose the right automation tools and services.
    • Implementation support: Assisting clients with the implementation and ongoing management of automation solutions.

What additional solutions does Synergy offer to enhance IT efficiency?

Synergy offers Asset Lifecycle Management, a comprehensive device-as-a-service solution that streamlines equipment deployment and management for end-users, contributing to internal automation efforts.

How can businesses learn more about Synergy's IT automation solutions?

Synergy encourages businesses to reach out for a consultation to discuss their specific needs and explore how automation can benefit their organization.

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