Automation for Business Success

Looking to save money, improve customer service, streamline processes and create ability to adapt to business changes? All with the core intention of making your business more profitable; then a core solution lies in automating your business processes.

Automating business processes provide you with more information than you ever wanted. When VP of one of your business unit says he or she needs more people, how do you know that is needed? How do you know the time taken for a new employee request? How to determine the productivity and employee count relation? Most of the similar questions are impossible to answer unless a quantitative analysis is performed. Situation changes when each workflow is inspected supervised and reported.

IT is expected to help any business even during hard economic times. Constant pressure to reduce costs and deliver better quality outputs are the biggest challenges faced by IT decision makers. Automation is the key tool to help any organization by maximizing value provided to the business at the lowest cost. Automating processes reduce its complexity and at the same time make the processes more efficient agile and effective.

Business-driven automation is a vision and a roadmap for achieving increasing levels of automation, which lead to:

  • Increasing resource optimization
  • Controlling costs
  • Reducing risk and human error
  • Increasing IT responsiveness and control
  • Delivering quality services

Methods of Automation

Extending current IT systems: The approach is to make use of the existing IT portfolio by extending the functionality to get the desired automation. This automation can be tailored according to the needs of the organization.

Purchase of specialist tools: Companies bring to market special purpose automated tools. They try to build industry specific tools and the main advantage of such a tool is the faster deployment of automated workflow. But these tools are not customized for any firm and moreover yet another IT supplier is brought to the organization.

Purchase of BPM tools: BPM is entirely different from just automation of processes. To implement BPM first of all processes need to be defined first. BPM provides architecture by itself to the organization. BPM is a structured approach employing methods, policies, metrics, management practices and software tools to manage and continuously optimize an organization’s activities and processes. Though time will be taken to identify potential processes; designing and implementing a BPM solution yield higher returns than any other option. Standards make BPM implementation vendor independent.

A structured approach for automation

Phase 1: Create ability to react appropriately to issues, incidents and faults that might happen in the domain of expertise. IT effectively monitors events and helps in responding to issues. Business value arises from the fact the service degradation is reduced by accelerated fault detection and resolution.

Phase 2: Building on the capabilities of phase 1 an automated response system limited to technological domain can be built. In this phase it is important to build flexible, open and cross domain IT systems. Business value is generated through faster fixing of problems and reduced costs of these fixations.

Phase 3: Automation can be bought to a greater level of maturity by implementing it in the service context. IT enabled infrastructure and participation of end user in the automated processes are the highlights. Business value arises from assured performance and availability. Reduced risk is a direct outcome.

Phase 4: In order to maintain competitive advantage and to leverage full utility of IT infrastructure automate process according to changing business needs. Automate processes that yield direct benefits to business. Leverage use of new technologies. Reduced cost, greater alignment of business and IT, and above all higher profits are the direct business values generated.

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May 11th, 2009 by