There is still much debate around the origin of automation. Some say the term was first coined by Ford Motors in the 1940s, others believe its roots go as far back as the Ancient Greeks. Either way, one thing is clear — wherever you find automation, you find efficiency.
Automation steps into the limelight
According to Gartner, the greater need for efficiency — as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic — is bringing automation to the forefront “…organizations will require more IT and business process automation as they are forced to accelerate digital transformation plans in a post-COVID-19, digital-first world.” says Fabrizio Biscotti, Research Vice President at Gartner [source]
But, while automation offers organisations a golden opportunity to drive down costs and dial-up efficiency, many are still not taking advantage. Why? In our experience, knowing where to start often tops the list.
Create automation squads — dedicated, collaborative teams of experts with a 360c view of automation across their areas of scope.
Before we dive into why we believe a squad is an effective approach, it’s important to note that automation is a huge and wide-ranging topic. So, for the purposes of this post, we will be honing in on automation within the context of Technology Operations — specifically self-healing and request fulfilment automation. Examples of this type of automation include resolving infrastructure or application related incidents to enable accelerated service restoration or deploying requests for additional infrastructure to an environment automatically..
Automation squads: why focus brings results
IT Observability gives you the power to observe and crucially understand exactly what is going on across your IT landscape. But, what happens when your observability practices spot an error or issue in one of your systems or apps? In many organisations, this next phase is highly manual, involving many different processes, people, and teams. And, while some element of manual resolution is ok, it is less than ideal as your organisation scales and the complexity grows across your environment.
So, what are some of the key challenges organisations face when it comes to adopting automation to resolve issues fast:
- Teams not sharing or collaborating effectively to get the most out of automation.
- A lack of skills and specialist knowledge is limiting automation potential.
- A multitude of tools are at play but the right culture for automation is missing.
- Teams are taking a siloed approach to automation, making it impossible to measure performance.
Establishing a dedicated squad with a single focus on automation will go a long way to addressing some of these key challenges. How? Dedicated squads help organisations move away from a ‘hope for the best’ scattergun approach to automation to embrace a more strategic and consistent approach.
Putting automation top of your agenda
An automation squad brings focus to your automation agenda. And, with this focus, you can identify, define and implement a prioritised list of opportunities – maximising value and impact. Squads also bring a greater degree of agility to the whole process, helping organisations develop the right skills and capabilities to tackle any challenge. The specialised knowledge and capabilities that builds within an automation squad mean your organisation will be ready to embrace the right technologies, techniques and tools for success.
Scalability is of course one of the biggest advantages of building an automation squad. But, there are other benefits too, including:
The right skills, at the right time
Having your automation capabilities in one place means your organisation can swarm around efficiency opportunities as they arise — driving continuous improvements across your environment. By eliminating automation silos, knowledge and expertise can flow much more easily enabling you to respond at speed.
Higher quality and consistency
Many organisations have pockets of automation going on across different areas of the business, with some performing better than others. Having dedicated squads enables organisations to focus on automation, taking it to the next level and build consistency across every process and task. It also helps organisations track and measure performance better so they can drive improvements and take a value-first approach.
Lower costs, greater impact
In our experience, automation squads help to remove friction, uncover efficiencies, and drive best practice approaches — leading to less downtime, reduced costs, and faster resolution. But, whether you go for a more distributed approach to automation or set up dedicated squads, automation always needs the right culture to thrive, one that encourages openness and experimentation. But, most importantly one that welcomes change.
If you want to learn more about creating an automation squad, contact our team today via the ‘Contact us’ button below.