An Architectural Approach to IT Automation Paves the Road to Digital Transformation

In our line of work we build innovative technology solutions. We work closely with IT and business leaders who champion digital transformation in their organizations. They seek less to be convinced of the value of digital transformation. Instead they want:

  • Strategic advice on getting started
  • Help on clearly defining what business transformation looks like for them
  • Guidance in creating an IT Automation roadmap that is viable for the entire organization

In recent surveys over 70% of leaders indicate that they have plans and budget for digital transformation initiatives. However, many of these leaders take an elemental approach and automate processes on individual systems.  Gartner indicates that this approach results in lower process optimization outcomes and does not produce lasting agility to drive meaningful transformation. In other words, elemental automation can eventually lead to the same process stagnation that stifles transformation.

Gartner survey reveals 40% of business leaders aren’t clear about how to execute a transformation plan in their organizations.

In contrast to elemental automation, an architectural approach to IT Automation accounts for the entire lifecycle of business process and workflow and supports cross-domain automation which is foundational to digital transformation.

Architectural Approach to automate IT services

An architectural approach to IT automation

In contrast to elemental automation, an architectural approach to IT Automation accounts for the entire lifecycle of business process and workflow and supports cross-domain automation which is foundational to digital transformation. It supports network automation which accounts for all the systems involved in executing a single business process. By comparison, elemental automation involves automating the processes of a single system, not the entire lifecycle of a business process. Supporting network automation is central to be able to create cross-domain automation at scale and achieve automation at every stage of the lifecycle of a business process.

45% of work activities could be automated using technology that already exists. The potential for businesses to become more efficient and productive is clear.

McKinsey

What is cross-domain automation?

Cross-domain automation supports the functionality of network automation which connects with other functions and domains in a data center.  It can position the organization to move into advanced methods of automation that include AI-driven automation and machine learning. With an architectural approach to automation, automating the entire lifecycle of a business process happens across systems and domains.

The lifecycle of a business process

The automation strategy and tools need to include the entire lifecycle of the business process: provision, monitor/troubleshoot, manage/remediate. Business processes should be mapped out and all aspects fully assessed in order to identify what aspects to automate, and at which stages of the lifecycle. Most often, a single automation technology will not address all stages of a process lifecycle.

Automations in IT are not novel. But they are traditionally human-coded scripts that are prone to errors, and exist in individual disparate systems not connected across domains. This elemental automation approach can be costly in the long run, and is less conducive to digital transformation and becoming agile.

Compared to elemental automation, an architectural approach addresses all aspects of the process lifecycle. It can help identify which processes would benefit from robotic process automation (RPA), and can set the stage for AI-driven cross-domain automation that can break down data and process silos between business and IT units.

John Burdette Gage, one of the first employees of Sun Microsystems, once said “the network is the computer.” And indeed that old adage holds true today. In order to automate any business process, an automated network is the kernel of the organization’s operating system.

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