People, Process and Technology: Three Pillars of Enterprise-wide IT Automation Adoption

By Richard Henshall, Director, Ansible product management at Red Hat.

  • 2 months ago Posted in

It’s no secret that in today’s uncertain environment, enterprise-wide IT automation is helping many businesses to thrive. From easier collaboration to better security, enterprise-wide automation has a host of benefits and is helping businesses across the board to manage present and future challenges.

Before exploring these benefits, as well as the barriers surrounding enterprise-wide IT automation, it’s fundamental to understand the concept: what is enterprise-wide automation? Simply put, enterprise-wide IT automation is defined as the automation of relevant IT processes across teams within an organisation.

Enterprise-wide IT automation is already making waves across the IT community - our recent research unveiled that 100% of IT leaders surveyed across the UK, France, Germany and Spain recognise the benefits of enterprise-wide IT automation. It can bring major benefits to business operations, including improved efficiency, speed, agility and competitiveness. Let’s dive into these in more depth.

What are the current benefits and barriers?

There are a range of benefits that enterprise-wide IT automation can bring to businesses today - from an improved ability to keep pace with tech development, to being better equipped to manage the impact of climate change and cybercrime.

In the UK, enterprise-wide IT automation is inspiring more creative business practices. For example, 36% of UK IT leaders recently cited the top benefit of enterprise-wide IT automation as freeing up the business for more creative and strategic thinking.

However, while enterprise-wide IT automation helps to drive business innovation, organisations are also competing with a number of challenges on a wider scale. For example, lack of talent is one of the biggest challenges for businesses today, according to 27% of UK IT leaders.

Further challenges highlighted by IT leaders include budget cuts, business silos and the need to comply with government regulations. If organisations are to reap the rewards of enterprise-wide IT automation today, they first need to overcome these barriers.

Top three areas for businesses to consider for widespread adoption of enterprise-wide IT automation

1. Get your people on board with change

People will be critical to the success of an enterprise-wide IT automation strategy. No matter how strong a strategy or technology platform is, if the workforce isn’t open to change or employees aren’t armed with the right skills, the overall process won’t succeed.

To help achieve successful change management when implementing enterprise-wide IT automation, IT leaders should be clear with their employees from the beginning. Clearly communicating the benefits at the start will help ensure smoother automation implementation, as will sharing updates on an ongoing basis in a format that employees understand, which is the top strategy for enabling successful change for 36% of UK IT leaders.

Involving employees in all stages of the automation journey will also help them to better understand the benefits of automation in their daily work - such as the speeding up of manual tasks to allow individual time to be spent on value-add tasks, and the improving of team collaboration. This will in turn help to build a team of automation advocates within the business and inspire the rest of the workforce to welcome the new processes.

2. Overcome process silos

Automation adoption can be very siloed within an enterprise, with multiple teams implementing it at different maturity levels. Isolated team structures within large enterprises can be hard to avoid, however they also cause clashes between teams and reduce collaboration. As a result, silos will make it harder to build a holistic enterprise-wide IT automation strategy.

Holding regular cross-team meetings can reduce silos and encourage knowledge sharing, to in turn lead to smarter automation roll-out. Transparency around the security and compliance of any process changes, as well as working with teams to agree on specific KPIs that will benefit them, will help unify the workforce and reassure them about any changes to their work practices.

It’s important to remember that by introducing new automated processes, existing processes aren’t being replaced; they’re being enhanced with new capabilities to improve the work of teams across the business.

3. Choose the right technology platform

By adopting enterprise-wide automation, businesses can unlock increased innovation and the exciting capabilities of advanced technologies, such as AI, big data and the cloud.

However, for this to be the case, they must ensure that they have implemented the right automation platform.

For example, to unify processes, businesses can select one scalable platform that enables implementation, sharing and management of automation across different segments of the organisation. This single view will ensure that new technology can easily be put into action and managed across the departments that need it, while simultaneously maximising security and compliance.

Staying ahead with automation

Enterprise-wide IT automation is quickly becoming a business differentiator. Today, 27% of large UK businesses surveyed have already achieved enterprise-wide IT automation, while many more have embarked on their automation journey.

The best way to embrace automation is by taking small steps, with the goal of working towards a larger holistic strategy. Considering the people, process and technology barriers to automation today is a good place to start. In doing so, businesses will be better placed to navigate today’s challenging landscape, while continuing to drive growth.

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