How Automation is Disrupting Business for the Best

Automation technology today promises productivity, speed and definitive business growth.

Automation is more than just robots on a manufacturing line.

Companies on the leading edge of digital transformation know this. Ten years ago, automation began to make its way into mainframe enterprise systems management. Today, it has reached an inflection point as a must-have component for enterprise agility, driving business growth and accelerating time to market.

The problem is that, in today’s digital world, the scope and volume of information to manage, along with the pace it has to be managed at, is higher than ever. This has become overwhelming for IT departments that just can’t keep up with business demands and with building quality software at the pace of market and customer expectations. Organizations are forced to either keep up as best they can—or drown trying. It’s a key obstacle to achieving digital transformation.

Is Automation the Answer?

So, how does automation solve this problem? From operations to application development and beyond, automation links different systems to talk with each other, to support key business processes and keep things humming along. These processes are performed quickly, repeatedly and consistently without error—enabling the business to achieve agility by automating the IT systems it runs on.

Consider how, even in a modern software factory, inputs are varied. Take the release of a new application as an example. Say this application was developed with all the best agile technologies and controls possible. As perfect as this application may be, it will fail if it’s deployed into an operational environment where the servers or virtual machines aren’t quite configured as they should be—a common occurrence in enterprise IT.

Automation would resolve this scenario by essentially providing a self-healing system. This system would understand how it was performing and when it was not performing properly. It could also initiate remediation to add capacity, to move a workload or reconfigure the environment—resolving the issue in our failed application scenario—and do so in a fully-automated way, requiring no human tooling or administration.

Better Business with Automation

Using automation, a business is better able to support its applications and the processes spanning them. It becomes quicker and more agile—important points when you consider how it is agility and speed that are truly at the heart of digital transformation.

Naturally, these improvements all support business growth, quick time to market and greater productivity. In the best cases, automation can help disrupt markets. In a recent Last Adopter podcast, 1-800-Flowers CEO Chris McCann discusses the company’s voice-activated, artificially-intelligent assistant named Gwen. Powered by automation, Gwen interacts with customers to learn about their needs and help find the right product. That's how 1-800-Flowers is bringing a new realm of conversational commerce to its customers, recreating the experience of interacting with a florist, in the convenience of their own homes.

Truly, automation has become much more than robots on manufacturing lines. Today, it is in every business’ best interest to explore and see what automation can enable in terms of growth and opportunity. 

Todd DeLaughter
By Todd DeLaughter | December 20, 2017

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