As organizations race towards digitization, it is imperative that the underlying infrastructure keeps pace. The need for ‘anywhere, everywhere and always-on’ IT infrastructure calls for a paradigm shift in this space.
Today’s CIOs are faced with a hybrid ecosystem of fragmented technology landscape that comprises legacy as well as emerging technologies with multiple providers and toolsets, siloed functional units with SLAs clearly depicting a watermelon effect, high cost of operations owing to tribal knowledge, inability to map business SLAs to IT SLAs and redundancy. Moreover, social media, which intricately links the world, has elevated ‘customer experience’ as a top-most driver for digitization. Covid-19 has only increased the need for automation.
The recent years promoted ‘automation’ in various forms as the ultimate solution to digitize IT infrastructure. However, time has shown that organizations are still struggling to extract value from their investments. Now, the big question is, how to sail through these challenges and achieve value from the investments in technology and automation.
The right approach to IT automation
At Wipro, we believe that automation is not just about tools and technologies and hence we advocate a four-pronged approach to capture maximum value from our investments.
- Futuristic Roadmap: The foremost necessity is to create an infrastructure roadmap. This blueprint must be developed keeping in mind futuristic business needs as well as architectural standards. It must provision for phasing out of old components. Timely review of the blueprint to ensure its relevance with changing business is necessary to ensure that infrastructure is not a constraint, but a promoter of business growth. Lastly, the roadmap must provide a clear line of sight from business strategy to business objectives to business processes to applications & systems to data structures & infrastructure.
- Process Simplification: In a scenario where technology drives IT operations, the processes need to be simplified for effective automation. Skills need to be streamlined based on patterns or technologies, depending on what fits the organization. Tribal knowledge should give way to knowledge banks, deep learning technologies and analytics-based inferences and resolutions.
- Integration & Collaboration: Fragmented infrastructure and siloed work culture is a bane to digitization. Disparate technologies, however powerful, will fail to deliver value unless integrated. There must be a seamless flow between various components. Every decision, be it investment in a technology or KPIs, must trace back to the business imperative.
- Technology Adoption: Any investment in technology or automation is bound to fail if the workforce refuses to embrace these changes. Organizations must plan upfront for rapid adoption programs, trainings, incentives, etc. in order to bag the maximum out of their technology investments. This will help in boosting the confidence of stakeholders and users and help in faster adoption and hence faster value realization.
Toward a harmonized future
We envisage future organizations to employ a hybrid workforce of human and digital colleagues working in harmony in order to promote a cohesive organization where the robots perform repetitive tasks based on learning and humans’ ability is amplified to strategic, decision-making roles based on contextualized recommendations provided by automation, as depicted in Figure 1. This will also help in eradicating human errors and judgement-based reasoning.