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Automation is the Key to Agility

By: Bill Dellara

One thing the last 18 months has taught the business community is the importance of being able to respond to change, fast. Any organization that was not on top of their business processes—or that had a manual approach to business administration—felt the pain when the pandemic hit, and their workforce’s landscape changed in an instant.

Suddenly, 90 percent of the workforce was operating remotely. Communications and collaboration tools were tested to the limit to ensure business continuity while also offering a positive employee experience.

Roll the clock forward to 2021, and what have we learned from this experience? 

Business process automation

For many, the key is business process automation. 

According to Wikipedia, business process automation (BPA)—also known as business automation or business transformation—is the technology-enabled automation of complex business processes. The aim of a BPA strategy is to streamline your business for simplicity, and increase your service quality while improving service delivery, helping you to manage your costs. BPA integrates applications, restructures staff resources, and uses software applications to achieve these goals. 

Essentially, if your business is underpinned by a successful BPA strategy, you will have found adapting to the new working practices of the pandemic a whole lot easier than other organizations. If it is not, then here are some pointers to get your started: 

  • Where are you on your business transformation journey? 
  • What is your end goal and how can automation help?
  • Does your business see the IT department and collaboration solutions as an area of innovation or a roadblock to agility?
  • How can automation improve the agility of your collaboration strategy to drive business success?

The role of automation

As organizations seek to leverage technology and automation tools to realize a range of benefits, the theme of automation carries increasing importance. Introducing automation unlocks a range of benefits for businesses. Replacing manual processes with automation drives greater efficiency for staff and improves service by reducing the time it takes to complete a task. Reducing the load of manual administration on your IT team allows them to focus on things that drive business success and innovation rather than simply keeping the lights on. This typically drives far greater employee satisfaction within the IT team as well. Finally, automation streamlines processes across functional areas, avoiding delays from handoffs between groups. While we see a lot of automation being deployed in organizations, it often does not include UC and collaboration (UCC) workloads and processes, despite these applications being critical to the organization’s business success.   

UCC automation unlocks value 

Given the benefit and strategic importance of BPA, let us look at how integrating UCC is critical to its success.

First, by incorporating collaboration automation, you can achieve a true single pane of glass for cross-functional business processes across your organization. With automation in place, end users can access services and changes faster while administrators can be more efficient by completing an activity once for multiple users or services. 

Your business is also able to better respond to change. The ability to quickly implement changes provides your business the agility needed to respond to rapidly evolving business needs and opportunities. And, integrating UCC can create significant cost savings as well as enable your business to focus on capturing revenue opportunities and driving business success.

UCC and the sin of omission

If BPA is a strategic corporate initiative, why is UCC often left out of the strategy? Remote working shines a light on the complex nature of the emerging digital workplace, and the fundamental importance of a robust UCC strategy, because each employee and each functional area has diverse and complex UCC requirements that span multiple vendors and best of breed solutions.

Let us consider the maturity and adoption of UCC applications. If we compare UCC applications to desktop or email applications, which are far more mature and more widely adopted, we can see that UCC applications hail from a much more niche



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