The Future of Automation Strategy – Smart, Fast, and Small
December 13, 2018 10:50 am
There is no escaping the fact that business is tough. To survive in a constantly evolving, technology-driven marketplace, companies must consistently pursue strategies that reduce costs, save time and resources, and increase operational efficiency. Automation is one of those strategies. The potential value of automation for an enterprise is clear: delegate tedious, menial tasks to technology, free up your employees for more important work, and better serve your customers with more efficient business processes.
As the number of automation projects increases, it becomes important to coordinate automation efforts and make a plan, especially in larger companies. Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) recently conducted research on automation by surveying over 400 IT and business professionals. When respondents were asked how strongly they agree with the statement “Automation is a strategy in my organization,” they answered with an average of 4.11, where 5 is strongly agree. Eighty-seven percent said their organization has a centralized automation strategy.
Automation tools exist for every business function, from IT operations and resource planning, to marketing and customer relationship management. EMA found Workload Automation to be the most common type of automation used across all functions. Enterprise-level job schedulers are traditional components of “big” automation because they require big budgets and timelines to implement and they are applied to big sets of processes. The benefits of big automation projects include increased commonality and standardization across a company, as well as more centralized control.
However, there are downsides to big automation projects as well. Large-scale enterprise software can be inflexible and may not meet every department’s needs. Additionally, many of these systems still require manual processing, which decreases the value of the investment over time. And boy, have companies made heavy investments in big automation the last few decades! This trend is expected to continue. At the start of 2018, Gartner estimated that global IT spending on enterprise software would grow by 18.6 percent, from $355 billion in 2017 to $421 billion in 2019.
So what does the future of automation look like? PwC’s magazine, strategy+business, believes that “The New Automation is Smart, Fast, and Small.” “Small” automation refers to flexible, adaptable technologies that can cover the needs left unserved by incumbent, big automation systems. Small automation allows for more focused problem-solving and targeted optimization at the team or task level. It is not bound by the constraints of enterprise-level software and is significantly cheaper to implement. Small automation is not meant to replace big automation but to supplement it, so companies can achieve even higher levels of efficiency.
Small automation solutions are fueled by the treasure troves of historical data and standardized processes created by big automation systems. These solutions, such as TermaANALYTICS, then leverage new technologies like Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics to provide valuable insights into automation and dynamically address issues. For Workload Automation specifically, Terma Software’s small automation solution has the flexibility to help companies optimize their workload environments across multiple platforms and big automation vendors. Contact us to learn more.