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Enterprise IT Automation Still Lacking

Regardless of your generation — Millennial, Gen X or Baby Boomer — a common view of enterprise IT automation has emerged. In short, the “State of Work” still involves far too many manual tasks for all types of employees, according to a ServiceNow survey. The result? Less time for strategic initiatives, while limited productivity can trigger employee productivity or staff turnover.

“While automation has revolutionized consumer technology (like Uber and OpenTable), the enterprise remains reliant on old and tired systems that undercut strategic initiatives, are inefficient and frustrate managers,” ServiceNow claims the survey found.

Among the survey highlights:

  • Millennial managers (age 18 to 34) spend 43 percent of their day on administration work.
  • Sixty-eight percent of director-level managers say their administrative responsibilities drains time from strategic initiatives.
  • Four in 10 managers say it takes too much time to find the data to produce status reports.
  • Sixty percent say their companies’ technical support process is time-consuming.
  • Only 16% use an online app to initiate a PO request and manage the process.
  • Bottom line: Fewer than 1 in 10 survey participants use automation to improve the efficiency of manual, repetitive tasks that currently involve spreadsheets, email, phone calls and more.

Admittedly, the survey findings are a bit self-serving. ServiceNow wants to drive IT and business automation across the enterprise.

Still, the data points could be cause for concern. Based on my own experience co-founding and building small businesses, I openly state If You Can’t Automate It, Don’t Do It.

That mantra becomes extra difficult in the enterprise, where established business practices and cultural challenges often block the path to automation — As Office Space taught us:

Not by coincidence, ServiceNow insists enterprises can overcome their manual legacies. Among the company’s recommendations:

  • If your company can whiteboard a process (from request to approvals to fulfillment), they can build — and automate — practically any business process in HR, finance, IT, legal, marketing and more.
  • By adopting service management software and practices, organizations can replace emails, phone calls and spreadsheets with automated workflows that are as simple as the consumer services they use at home.

Still, you’ve got to find and empower a process champion to drive your company toward automation…

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