Many will be familiar with the “do more with less” mantra — one especially relevant in a world recovering from the effects of Covid-19. Governments and businesses have been forced to adapt and think of innovative ways to do more with the less they have.
This is where automation can help. Though the image of robots may come to mind, automation is not just that. The technology is present in a variety of industries, such as e-commerce and human resources, and may take the form of subtle software applications.
Digital transformation specialists Micro Focus share how automation can aid countries in ushering in a more effective and efficient digital future.
Taking the mundane out of work
IT process automation typically comes in handy for tasks that are repeatable, done manually, and have a high cost or error rate. IT systems often involve a complex combination of tools, manual commands, and scripts. They require extensive knowledge on a series of manual instructions to complete tasks.
Unfortunately, this expertise is often possessed only by a select few in organisations. Bottlenecks are created, and staff can get overwhelmed with multiple requests. That person’s departure from the organisation can result in a lot of confusion for the succeeding staff, and result in costly human errors.
Automation can help to coordinate these processes. The automation software sends out commands and coordinates different processes, reducing the workload of IT operations staff and decreasing the chances of bottlenecks.
A tax office which used the automation software in their systems managed to streamline the onboarding process for new machines, and shortened the time taken from nine hours to one and a half hours.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) uses software robots to mimic human actions, allowing for repetitive tasks to be completed without the need for human intervention. Physical income tax claims are one example. Tax offices may traditionally type data into their systems manually. But RPA can read the information from the forms using optical character recognition, and then pump the data into the system, saving manpower hours while reducing the chances of error.
In an era where systems are producing enormous amounts of data that need to be collected, stored and monitored, automation is key.
An arm of automation known as AIOps, or artificial intelligence for IT operations, can help agencies become more proactive and predictive. It leverages big data to identify and react to issues in real time before customers are impacted to drive customer satisfaction and cost reductions.
AIOps also allows the system to independently react to problems based on insights from analytics or machine learning. This form of intelligent response offloads repetitive tasks from IT staff, freeing them up to focus on high-value work.
But the whole cycle of IT operations has to be automated for agencies to reap the full benefits. The cycle includes monitoring, analytics, ticketing, service management and remediation. Each step requires different forms of automation, and without it, IT operations can remain expensive.
Challenges remain before these technologies can achieve their potential for the good of the society. Here are some typical barriers and how agencies can combat them.
First, resistance to change. Organisations may be reluctant to step into uncertainty created by new technologies. Thus, a conscious recurring effort is required to shift from outdated and deeply entrenched manual processes. Executives need to identify and prioritise the processes that can be automated, and power through regardless of the obstacles along the way.
Conflict between departments can also be a roadblock for automation. Different stakeholders involved may choose to focus on their own agenda and not work together. Executives must encourage cross-department collaboration and open communication to iron out differing agendas and find a common goal.
The first step to change is always about addressing the human factor. Change will always be accompanied by discomfort — and the decision lies in the hands of agencies to break through these barriers and usher in the inevitable digital future.
Micro Focus has a range of automation technologies that span across IT process automation, RPA and AIOps to help agencies have a smooth and efficient digital transformation.