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April 2, 2019

Given the highly competitive current business environment and the criticality of information technology to today’s enterprises, customer expectations regarding IT and business service delivery and program management have increased multifold.

IT – or other business services – downtime can cause billions-dollar losses for enterprises, along with the associated loss of reputation. With each such service outage, companies experience an accompanying business risk, which can affect their bottom line. Accordingly, there has been a huge shift in the mindset of most C-suite executives on how critical it is to look at transformative change in operations rather than focus on incremental improvements within their organizations. 

Most organizations find it challenging to take a call on transformative changes due to the increasing complexity of existing processes and the need to re-engineer them to derive more value. Although most organizations have been able to automate close to 60% of their workflows, there is still a lot of room for improvement. Clients routinely expect a year-on-year improvement in service delivery, quality, reliability, and performance.

Adapting intelligent operations automation into IT processes provides enterprises a way to meet the increased expectations on service delivery effectiveness and enables transformative changes. Intelligent automation helps enterprises derive insights from the current operating state on a continual basis by using metrics and logs, combining them with contextual information, and developing self-learning models that drive automated actions.

Here are some other ways in which enterprises could gain from intelligent operations automation.

  • Address increased expectations regarding service delivery effectiveness: Customer expectations are rising thanks to the rapid changes in the technology landscape. This change is not only happening in the external business landscape, but also internally within the organization, where leaders are looking to increase the reliability and predictability of services. Intelligent automation-driven improvements in service delivery will allow customers to automate more operations across the enterprise. The key problem here is lack of visibility and transparency in the end-to-end process. This is where intelligent automation can help, by stitching together data from disparate systems, generating insights that will enable a seamless workflow that helps improve services, and providing stakeholders clarity about their business operations.
  • Shift in spending from non-discretionary to discretionary: There is a massive shift in the way enterprises are driving transformative change across their organization, with automation and AI gaining importance. Businesses want to be build new and innovative business models and services to keep pace with the competition, as well as gain new revenue streams. Thus, the amount of resources enterprises spend on special transformation projects to either roll out new services or test emerging business models and technology has increased. To aid this transformation and increase the discretionary spend on transformative products, optimization of non-discretionary spend is critical. Intelligent operations automation will help enable this change and accelerate business outcomes.
  • Reduce operational and security risks: One of the key aspects of effective management is reducing business risk in operations. Reducing risk requires timely insights into the current state of operations so that the required mitigation and contingency mechanisms can be put in place. Given the large volume of operational data available within organizations, automation and domain-specific models using machine learning can help provide timely insights. Automation of checks for compliance as well as identification of anomalies in a timely manner will improve the risk posture of the organization.
  • Developing a culture of agile product organizations: There has been a paradigm shift in how organizations are running operations and rolling out new products, services, or apps. Agile methods are being applied in various functions of the organization for better delivery of products and services. This helps the organization rapidly learn, decide, and deliver in quick iterations.When implemented as part of the agile journey, intelligent automation solutions provide the required insights and automation capabilities to reimagine products and services. With organizational structures shifting from project-oriented to product-based using cross-functional teams, operations automation capabilities can help hasten the change management involved by providing the right insights, improving collaboration and reducing toil.

To sum up, today, enterprises need to reimagine their entire end-to-end business and IT operations to drive agility through intelligent operations automation.

Ravindran Subbiah is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) with the Operations Framework Incubation Program at TCS. His vision is to accelerate intelligent automation across the IT function and build processes that provide enterprises a way to meet the increased expectations on service delivery effectiveness. He has over 25 years of experience in operations management and service management across service-provider and end-user organizations.


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