Why automation is about culture as much as technology
January 7, 2021
This is an excerpt from our white paper: How to create an automate-first culture without losing control. We will be releasing the entire paper in installments on the blog - but if you want to read the full piece - you can download it here.
Part 1: The problem with automation
Automation is not new, but despite having been around in organizations for decades in various forms, right now, automation is a huge topic. More than that, it is a key focus point for many organizations hoping to drive efficiencies and liberate their workforce from repetitive, manual processes, and on to bigger and better things.
Implementing effective automation, like most things, is easier said than done. This is especially true when it comes to bringing this practice further into your business processes and operations and out of the dark, shadowy corners of development where your highly technical teams live, build, and operate.
So how do you do it? And how do you do it in a way that is manageable, visible, and without the major risk of disruption and chaos? Bringing together Ky Nichol, CEO at Cutover as moderator; Marcus Wildsmith, Chief Product Officer at Cutover; and Jim Korchak, who is a Consultant with Resilient Technology Specialists, we hosted a session to explore the critical importance of culture and control when it comes to automation. If you want to hear exactly what was said you can watch the on-demand recording here, or you can continue reading for more ‘bitesize’ chunks of automation guidance and expert advice.
The Orchestrator of Orchestrators
The discussion kicked off with Jim explaining that many of the challenges organizations face today are because no one has really designed a unified automation strategy. There is a lot of investment in different ways of automating, for example, you see plenty of automation in the development life cycle, and operations, with high levels of automation in the back-office. The problem is that this is siloed in different teams and disparate tools - with attempts to automate across toolsets often being complex or fragile, and reliant on heavy internal knowledge to maintain. When some or all automation flows are heavily reliant on people and their knowledge, it really defeats the purpose, as the efficiency and innovation gains (through people being freed up to do other things) are simply not realized.
If organizations have not grown up purely in the digital age, they will undoubtedly have a collection of existing tools and skill sets that need to be reviewed, evaluated, and addressed prior to the introduction of automation. Questions like ‘What do we do with X’, ‘How do we unite these tools A, B, and C?’, ‘Do we throw it out?’ and ‘Can we leverage it?’ need to be asked.
It is inevitable that multiple automation tools will be utilized across a business. The important question, when looking to create an ‘automate-first’ culture, is: how do you join these tools where necessary, and build processes and flows of work across them? You need the orchestrator of orchestrators. This ‘orchestrator’ might not automate everything, but it can reach out and trigger the specialist systems across your organization that automate particular activities. It’s a great way to build value quickly, without having to throw away your existing toolkit and rebuild.
So we know automation is valuable, and the ideal state for many organizations. But, we also know that it’s complicated, risky and has the potential to disrupt. So how do you move forward successfully? If you want to find out more about why the ‘orchestrator of orchestrators’ concept is so critical to efficient and effective automation, and the steps you can take to de-risk your automation strategy, you don’t want to miss part two of this four-part series.
Would you rather get all the answers now? Get access to all four parts, and read the white paper in full here.