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.