Having been pioneered by IT departments, automation is a powerful trend across the entire business process landscape. The benefits of automation include enhanced efficiencies, as well as more scope for deploying valuable human resources to add more value, says Peter Clarke, CEO of LanDynamix.
“Overall, it’s not exaggerating to say that a strategic programme of automation can make an organisation not only much more efficient but, by relieving employees of the burden of repetitive, time-consuming tasks, can spark innovation and ultimately make the organisation more resilient,” he says. “Based on LanDynamix’s own experience, and our years of helping a multitude of clients develop and implement automation strategies, the following tips can help maximise the chances of success.”
Get the right toolsets. A successful and ongoing programme of automation is dependent on easy access to the right tools. Many IT services applications have automation tools built into them, but it might be necessary to invest in a good automation toolset. Evaluate the various packages through the lens of what your automation goals are.
Train your staff. Having acquired the right toolset, it is essential also to train your staff not only to use it, but also in the principles of automation. The expense of the application and the training are upfront expenses that will taper off over time — but the benefits will continue to mount up. In the long run, these costs will be more than justified by a reduced salary bill thanks to the more productive use of existing resources.
Focus on change management. Humans’ innate conservatism combined with fears about job security can work against the success of an automation project. Innovations will not deliver the expected benefits if they are not used. Project teams should, therefore, not omit the essential business of demonstrating the benefits of automation and training users. Business owners will have more time to focus on improving the business and refining strategy, while employees will be liberated from mundane tasks and given the space to take on more valuable work and acquire more skills.
Initiate a culture of continuous improvement. By freeing up staff time, automation provides an excellent starting point for a new culture of continuous improvement. Make it clear that the idea is not to reduce head count, but rather to provide more opportunity for existing staff to take on more demanding jobs, gain skills and better their career prospects.
Look at the business as a whole. Automating business processes can deliver huge benefits, but organisations should also take an integrated approach. For example, automating the sales process can make it much more efficient in all sorts of ways, but the automation should bridge systems and business processes so that once a sale is made, the same information is pulled into the billing and CRM systems without the need to capture this information again. This approach eliminates silos and improves the customer experience, thus helping create a better company all round.
“Automation is all about efficiency, but it should not stop there,” Clarke concludes.
LanDynamix provides cybersecurity solutions and managed services in the South African ICT arena. Our areas of specialisation include remote support and monitoring, as well as management. Our Security Operations Centre delivers globally competitive levels of protection to our customers’ businesses. We use these services and solutions to operate our clients’ technologies for them, protect them from security breaches, and consequently free them to focus on core business and growth. LanDynamix can maximise clients’ competitive advantage, while minimising downtime, risk and costs. For further information, please visit www.landynamix.co.za.
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