Do you remember when did you last heard about digitalization? Probably almost every day. Because digitalization has brought a new dimension to every business including our day to day life. This has grown as a huge driving factor among organizations. They have realized the fact that to be ahead of their competitors and to provide a seamless experience to their target market, they have to revolve their business function and technology around it.
Virtually every organization on the planet has worked systematically to reinvent its business processes for the sake of speed and efficiency. To understand this better, let’s first understand how top technology companies around the world are operating? How they are having an excellent turnaround time? How they are gearing up with new tech innovations? Let’s start with this how.
How businesses are optimizing their journey?
There is no hidden fact that multiple technologies are needed to handle different parts of the business process. And to make this business process work smoother, many organizations are now built on a concept called “platform” which integrates the full spectrum of next-generation automation capabilities. That means now organizations don’t have to adopt different tools and technologies to handle different parts of the process. However, now they can quickly design a platform-centric solution that integrates next-generation automation capabilities.
That’s not all. It also downsizes human interference which in turn saves turnaround time that is involved in handling multiple tools and processes.
For instance, Reliance Jio, a telecom service company, is pushing its branding as Jio Platform , and the entire business model is around the same platform. Similarly, global brands like Amazon has two platforms: business integrator/sales platform (amazon.com/amazon.in) and Cloud platform (AWS), whereas Microsoft had moved most of its products and service to Cloud platform (Azure), Uber / Ola – Taxi aggregation platforms, Flipkart (Walmart) – business integrator/sales platform.
So, questions arise why we can’t use a similar platform approach and enable end-users (Developers, testers, business users, etc) to have easy access to the resources they need for automation and the platform can take care of servicing their automation needs.
According to a Forbes Global Insight survey “When asked about the untapped opportunity within their organizations, more than three-fourths of senior executives said 60 percent or more of process work could be automated while nearly one in five said 80 percent or more”.
So, what stops them in automating their businesses. Well, everything that seems simple comes with lots of challenges. I have often heard from CIOs talking about the adoption of DevOps, and chaos occurs due to different teams implementing their tools, own process, and conveniently try to create their model which in turn makes it a huge task to convince and move them to an integrated way of working.
Choosing the best solution for your business
Before choosing a platform-centric approach you have to understand your end-to-end process and automation implementation from the start. However, if you are looking at implementing a single strategic platform to facilitate the automation for everyone in the enterprise, including App development, testing, IT operations, Business operations, etc., then make sure that this adoption is done across departments so that business can work seamlessly.
According to my view, the following are the list of attributes appropriate while building an enterprise automation platform:
- Facilitate Low Code/No Code automation (Model-based rather than code-based)
- Workflow Orchestration (Drag & Drop process elements applicable to the function)
- Template-driven process rather than relying heavily on customization
- Flexible Configuration Management with robust security mechanism for access control
- Intelligent & automated execution and rollback mechanism
- Easy to access and use (similar to how you access amazon or Flipkart to buy a product)
- Easy to identify problems (Transparent and easy to access progress logs, dashboards, telemetry)
- Support for hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, or on-prem integration
- Integrate to tools of your choice (both open source and commercial) and users can include them as part of process orchestration (for example, in Azure DevOps – each task you build in the pipeline can be associated with a tool of your choice to execute that task efficiently)
- Transparent & Consumption-based cost model (similar to cloud platforms).
The speed at which digitalization is becoming an integral part of every business, the need for a platform-centric approach is growing. Though it downsizes human involvement but the cost involved in all these integrations is huge. Therefore, organizations that don’t have a sufficient budget or those who already have some kind of automation should not adopt this approach.
However, it also depends on many factors like organization structure, offerings, management, process, etc. So, what do you think? What is your strategy to build such a platform? Share your thoughts.