Automation technology plays an increasingly large role as companies form new shared services operations and grow in maturity. As the organization develops and needs to serve a larger number of users, the benefits of implementing centralized automated services increases substantially. However, implementing automation is critical at every stage and companies that begin planning for the future early will be better poised to ensure long term success.
To optimize growth and efficiency, technology and business leaders need to choose the correct solutions at each stage of the maturity cycle. This can be challenging for smaller organizations, as it is often difficult to strike the right balance between short and long-term goals. Larger organizations may also struggle with getting the most out of what they currently have, as major investments may be too costly due to the size and inertia of the organization.
Choosing early stage solutions
It is important for growing companies to examine their long-term goals in order to effectively balance initial costs with future needs. This can relate to multiple choices companies must make when implementing automation technologies. Cloud based solutions often make the most sense for a rapidly expanding company that wants to minimize its initial investment while staying flexible. These solutions are generally easy to get up and running quickly, with minimal IT staff and infrastructure required. They also often provide greater security for those that have minimal resources to invest in extensive protection measures.
However, investing in an on-premise deployment might ease transition headaches at a later maturity stage. As the user count increases, the costs of investing in IT infrastructure often become lower compared to recurring costs. Choosing the right long-term solution early on can reduce costs and increase efficiency over the long term.
The challenge is that predicting this is difficult. For this reason, many companies choose to implement a hybrid approach, building out some on-premise infrastructure while still utilizing cloud based services. Fortunately, some providers offer both on-premise and cloud options. By implementing a single-vendor, hybrid approach, companies can start with on-premise automation and move later to cloud-based automation without a change in vendors. This allows the organization to adjust its execution to meet its business and technology strategies while preserving features and functionality that end users have become accustomed to.
Optimizing mature organizations
As the IT organization grows into a mature stage with highly centralized service that meets the demands of a large range of business groups, it can become difficult to effectively implement new automation technologies. Legacy systems and processes, technical debt and a diverse set of end-user needs can make it a challenge to choose and deploy solutions cost effectively. IT leaders must consider integration with existing systems, the costs of upgrading or replacing infrastructure and software, and whether end users will actually use the new solution. This requires significant preparation to optimize the deployment to meet business and IT needs while leveraging pre-existing resources. It also requires extensive change management to smooth the transition and ensure high adoption rates among end-users.
One way to prepare for the future and mitigate change is to seek an automation platform with multiple capabilities beyond automating a single process. Deploying automation that can serve the entire enterprise rather than assembling many single-purpose, niche products helps minimize total cost of ownership and limits training and change management issues while also reducing IT’s maintenance and upgrade burden.
Ultimately, implementing automation technology at any maturity stage requires due diligence, expertise and organizational will. There is no universal solution. Every company’s requirements and final deployment will look different. Partnering with a trusted automation expert can help your organization get on the right track and choose solutions that meet business needs while minimizing long term costs.