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The Benefits of an Enterprise-Wide Automation Architecture

Sydney 27 April 2015. A recent blind survey conducted by PMG showed that close to all businesses think that process automation is vital when it comes to efficiency benefits. Furthermore, for more than 6 out of every 10 companies, it helps enhance the customer experience. More than half of the respondents also said that through automation, they experienced increased productivity, enhanced knowledge sharing, and improved assistance in terms of new product researches and launches. More importantly, more than 7 out of 10 think that self-service automation will benefit the entire enterprise.


How can an enterprise-wide automation architecture help the organization?


Test automation


The need for test automation is very clear in companies that have IT systems that are in need of regular enhancements and updates, in particular solutions like enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. In most cases, there is no room for downtime, and it is necessary to implement upgrades while operations are ongoing, with minimal interruptions.


The problem is that a business may have smaller projects and programs that may not have the necessary funding in the budget for testing? An enterprise-wide testing and automation architecture will help ensure that there are enough resources, and that there is adequate infrastructure in place to test even the smallest of programs. Enterprise-level automation entails that a business maintains different tools and frameworks as a whole, rather than keep these as information silos.


For the most part, ERPs require frequent patches and updates to ensure the solution remains robust enough to meet the expectations of the enterprise. Testing automation platforms like Panaya’s cloud-based platform provides agility to IT departments and ERP consultants with its collaborative testing for Oracle testing and ERP updates. Using big data analytics to predict potential errors and pain points in upgrades and patches, enterprise can cut their build and test cycles by at least 50%, while also cutting down the risks that are associated with any updates.


Faster time-to-market


Tasks that are done manually take time. Imagine the production line in a manufacturing plant, wherein factory workers have to perform each task linearly. Not only are manual tasks quite time-consuming, but these are also prone to errors, which necessitate doing fixes along the way. When you automate, you are minimizing potential error points, thereby saving you the time spent on redoing these tasks and also freeing your resources for other things that add value to your product. What’s more, automation forces you to focus on just the necessary tasks, thereby eliminating all other tasks that are not important to a certain process. This reduces turnaround times.


Improved quality assurance


Enterprise-wide automation enables a more central management of resources and processes. Human errors are minimized and you only involve the people who are necessary for the processes to be completed. You can also ensure that workflows are aligned with policy, making it easier for users to comply with standards and regulations.


The end result: you are consistently delivering high-quality output and products by ensuring that processes and actions are performed uniformly.


Better opportunity / ROI analysis


With enterprise-wide automation, you can be sure that you have all the key metrics and data you need to come up with an accurate ROI analysis. This can help in forming better strategies for your business, as well as adjusting or re-aligning along the way, should a better strategy come up in the future. ROI analysis can also include Big Data analytics tools, which enable enterprises to plug in data from various internal and external sources, in order to find correlations, causalities and trends.


Streamline business activities, reduce costs


In the PMG study, close to 70% of respondents said that automation will reduce expenditures with their IT operations. Automation helps minimize manual actions by using rules to make the decisions for you. This means that work goes on smoothly, even without anybody interrupting. If you need to take some form of action, the system will alert you. This will also help in minimizing bottlenecks in your workflows. You are able to consolidate processes on your IT systems, which in turn helps you retire legacy systems and cut down on license and maintenance costs. Similar savings are achieved across the entire organization because you generally use fewer resources.


An enterprise-wide automation architecture helps strengthen the culture of automation in the entire business organization. You stand to save time and money, while also ensuring that employees are more productive, products are better and more reliable, and management gets all the data needed to move the business further. However, it can never work if it is done piecemeal. The entire organization has to sit down and plot out their respective workflows, align it with the rest of the organization’s workflow, and then make it part of the organization’s culture.