3 Questions CIOs Should Ask About Automation Strategy

3 Questions CIOs Should Ask About Automation Strategy

Today’s chief information officers (CIOs) are responsible for a lot more than just managing the company’s technology. They must not only identify the most relevant digital tools for their business but also ensure that these technologies have the potential to propel their businesses into an innovative future.

One of the attractions of automation is that it can be done in small steps. In many cases, this is automation as seen through the eyes of traditional system administrators and even site reliability engineers. IT leaders can create a strategic framework that allows and encourages incremental automation while also ensuring that the team’s time and resources are spent on areas that support the organization’s overall goals.

Smart solutions frequently begin with asking the proper questions, especially when they are applied over existing work, as is the case with automation in many firms.

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Here are three questions that IT leaders should address to verify that their automation strategy is making the proper long-term bets.

How does this correlate with the overall objectives?

If automation has been a succession of one-offs to this point in the organization, the first question is the most logical but often missed. While a CIO will have numerous questions when they develop their automation plan, the most crucial question they should address is: “How will automation assist the organization to accomplish the business goals it needs to get to where it wants to be in 4-5 years?”

Businesses could consider a broad goal of promoting innovation (which they can replace with their own specific goals). All incremental automation activity, from new technology adoption to process modifications to recruiting and more, should essentially ask: “Does this help firms increase innovation?”

The teams responsible for implementing automation should understand that facilitating innovation is the key business goal. Automation is the technology they will use to accomplish this, and they will need a strategy for people and processes to ensure that the goal of shifting people from lower-value to higher-value work is met.

What will the team’s reaction be?

Businesses should not assume that everyone will warmly welcome automation. Job security concerns are one major factor, but there are also cultural issues to consider.

Businesses should evaluate how the outcomes will be perceived by the team when reviewing automation decisions. They don’t have to be a management genius to figure out that they want people to embrace automation; if they have to force changes through, it’s a warning flag.

Automation is doomed to fail if it just replaces one manual operation with another. If a company needs the mandate to ensure adoption, something is amiss, especially at this early stage and if this is one of the organization’s first automation projects.

Existing staff will feel as if they have been given a superpower when using the best automation methods. Businesses can then rely on word-of-mouth marketing to disseminate their products. It’s a very positive indicator if it spreads naturally.

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How will organizations assess the success of automation?

It’s an excellent question for any strategy, but it’s especially important if a company expects initial resistance from IT or other departments, including from other C-suite executives.

It is critical, especially in the beginning, to select automation projects that have measurable benefits. Businesses should establish a portfolio of success as a CIO makes the case for automation across the organization to both senior management and employees.

It doesn’t have to be much more complicated than that to assess the benefits of automation. There will be automation that is more difficult to demonstrate ROI for in the future, but the company will continue to use it because of the confidence established by previous accomplishments.

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Umme Sutarwala is a Global News Correspondent with OnDot Media. She is a media graduate with 2+ years of experience in content creation and management. Previously, she has worked with MNCs in the E-commerce and Finance domain