In today’s fast-paced business world, automation is becoming increasingly important for organizations of all sizes. For a CIO, it is critical to develop an automation strategy that meets the needs of their organization and helps drive business success. But where do you start? In this blog, we’ll explore 5 key questions that CIOs should ask themselves when creating an effective automation strategy. By considering these questions, you can make informed decisions that will help your organization realize the full potential of automation.
With the increasing complexities of building, managing, and scaling digital infrastructures, the job of a CIO is an unenviable one. For CIOs, it’s a full-time job to ensure that your organization’s technology is working efficiently and effectively. And that’s not a 9-to-6 job either, but rather a 24x7x365 job. As a business and service provider to other companies, your IT and digital infrastructure not only support your own business operations, but that of your clients as well. One small error, and it could cost customers precious dollars, not to mention the loss of trust and reputation your own business faces.
Automating your business processes and IT operations as much as possible helps mitigate a lot of problems by reducing dependency on manual oversight and course-correction. Most commonly, automation can help you save time and money, reduce errors, improve consistency, and free up your team to focus on more strategic tasks.
Is your automation strategy all-encompassing? 5 questions to ask for sustained digital transformation
Automation projects are not a one-time activity, but a sustained, long-term campaign. It usually starts with automating some processes, a SaaS solution here, and a cloud platform there – eventually leading to a connected, hybrid IT ecosystem. But before you begin your digital transformation and automation journey, it’s important to ask yourself some key questions as CIO to ensure that your strategy is effective.
So here are five questions that every CIO should ask as they develop their automation strategy:
1. What are the business objectives that automation can help you achieve?
Before you start automating anything, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the business objectives that you’re trying to achieve. This will help you identify which processes and tasks are the best candidates for automation, and ensure that your automation efforts are aligned with your overall business strategy.
In addition to reduced costs, faster turnaround, and better customer experiences, automation can also help businesses improve their agility and responsiveness to changing market conditions. Sustained digitization and automation initiatives improve also help improve compliance with regulations and reduce the risk of errors and mistakes. Overall, the use of automation can help businesses to increase their productivity and to achieve their strategic goals more effectively.
2. What processes and tasks are the best candidates for automation?
Not all processes and tasks are equally well-suited to automation. In general, the best candidates for automation are those that are repetitive, time-consuming, and error-prone. By automating these tasks, you can save time, reduce errors, and improve consistency. However, it’s important to carefully consider each process and task before deciding whether or not to automate it. Some tasks may be too complex or variable to be effectively automated, or may require human judgement or creativity. In these cases, it may be better to keep the task manual.
There are many different business use cases for automation in enterprises. Some examples of these include:
- Automating invoice processing
- Automating data analysis and creation of reports
- Automating inventory management
- Automating customer query handling
- Automating the scheduling of meetings and appointments
Other common use cases for automation in enterprises include automating software testing, deployment of applications, and tracking of performance metrics. These are just a few examples of the many ways that enterprises can use automation to improve their operations and achieve their business objectives.
3. How will automation impact your current workforce?
One of the biggest concerns about automation is its potential impact on jobs. While automation can certainly help to streamline and improve many tasks, it can also result in the elimination of certain roles or the need for workers to be retrained.
Automation has the potential to greatly impact the current workforce, both in terms of the types of jobs that are available and the way that work is performed. It is likely that automation will lead to some job losses in industries that rely heavily on repetitive tasks, as machines and algorithms are able to perform these tasks more efficiently. However, automation may also create new jobs in areas such as data analysis and machine learning, as well as in the maintenance and operation of the technology itself.
Additionally, automation could lead to increased productivity and efficiency in many industries, which could in turn create new job opportunities. It’s important for CIOs to carefully consider the potential impacts of automation on their workforce and to develop strategies for supporting and training their employees to thrive in this new environment.
As a CIO, it’s important to carefully consider how automation will impact your current workforce, and develop a plan to support employees as they adapt to the changes. This may include providing training and development opportunities, reassigning employees to new roles, or offering support and resources to help them adjust to the new way of working.
4. How to measure the success of your automation efforts?
There are a few key metrics that CIOs can use to measure the success of their automation efforts. One metric is the amount of time and resources that are saved as a result of automation. For example, if you are able to automate a process that used to take a team of employees several days to complete, they can measure the time savings by comparing the time it takes to complete the process with and without automation.
Another metric is the accuracy and consistency of the results produced by the automated process. For example, if digitization or automation produces results that are more accurate and consistent than those produced by human workers, this can be an indication of its success.
CIOs can also measure the success of their automation efforts by looking at the overall efficiency of their organization. For example, if automation allows the organization to operate more efficiently, with fewer errors and more streamlined processes, this can be an indication of its success.
In general, the success of automation efforts should be measured by their ability to improve the overall performance of the organization. By using a combination of metrics, CIOs can get a comprehensive view of the impact of their automation efforts and determine whether they are meeting their desired goals.
5. What resources, including technology, budget, and staff will be required to implement your automation strategy and how to secure these resources?
Once you have examined the above questions and found the answers to them, the next step is determining the resources needed to get started with the automation project. Implementing an enterprise automation strategy will typically require a combination of financial, technological, and human resources.
In terms of technology, CIOs will need to assess the automation technologies that are available and determine which ones are the most appropriate for their organization’s needs. With respect to budget, CIOs will need to consider the costs associated with purchasing or developing automation technologies, as well as the costs of training staff to use these technologies along with ongoing maintenance and support. Finally, CIOs need to consider the types of technical personnel they need to implement their automation strategy and run and manage new systems. They must also consider any additional training or support that these employees may need.
Every business is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to digital transformation and automation. CIOs need to consider their own requirements, the resources they have available to them, and the goals they wish to achieve. These five questions, while not exhaustive, are a good place to start for any business. As one begins to answer them, they can lead to them discovering new areas of opportunity with digital transformation. With a strong business case, they can build a comprehensive automation strategy that helps meet business objectives through scalable technology deployments.
Driving long-term automation projects is a resource-intensive undertaking, which is why an external partner can add great value through focused expertise and real-world implementation experience. VBeyond Digital offers end-to-end enterprise automation solutions from strategy to project planning, implementation, and support.