McKinsey & Company recently surveyed the top-performing CEOs to understand how they’re responding to the current technological, economic, and geopolitical disruptions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they found that nearly half (45%) of the respondents indicated “automating work” as one of their priorities.
This begs the question: Which flavors of “automation” are these CEOs referring to? It’s likely some combination of automating:
- End-to-end business processes that involve humans and multiple applications, such as ERP, CRM, SCM, and HCM, via integration and automation technologies, like iPaaS, BPA, and RPA
- Decision-making through the use of AI technologies (machine learning, natural language processing, image recognition, etc.)
By turning to these automations, CEOs are aiming to improve efficiency, increase productivity, and reduce costs (which is everybody’s goal these days). Moreover, as these are top-performing CEOs, they likely also expect automation to help them accelerate their innovation cycles, increase their organization’s business agility, and provide more accurate business observability.
Putting automation technologies to work and realizing their full spectrum of benefits, however, isn’t so simple, as it requires a strategic, holistic, and pervasive approach to automation.
I’m glad to report that there is a soon-to-be-released book that can help you adopt such an approach: “The New Automation Mindset”.
The mindset, as laid out by Vijay Tella, Workato’s CEO and Co-Founder, Scott Brinker, VP Platform Ecosystem at Hubspot, and yours truly, puts processes, growth, and scale at the very core of the business strategy. We make the case that this requires thinking of business processes in end-to-end terms, embracing change, and democratizing the use of technology so that a larger number of people can proactively contribute to the organization’s success through automation.
Embracing “The New Automation Mindset” implies rethinking the technology platforms and the organizational set up that’s meant to enable automation. More specifically, you’ll need to adopt radically new:
- Technologies (e.g., iPaaS, low-code, and generative AI),
- Architectural principles (e.g., event-driven architecture and data mesh)
- Operating models (e.g., democratized automation delivery)
- Skills (e.g., training business teams on leveraging enterprise automation tools)
Organizations switching from the current siloed and tactical approach of automation to a holistic and strategic mindset may experience a bumpy, long, and risky journey. They’ll not only need to adopt technologies, architectures, and approaches they are unfamiliar with but also overcome organizational resistance, skepticism, and even overt or covert hostility as they try to instill the new mindset in their employees, clients, and partners. However, the good news is that organizations can now use this book as their compass.
While I’m certainly biased, I believe that the book is a must-read for every business and IT leader who wants to leverage automation technology to help their organization survive—and even thrive—in our current uncertain, unpredictable, and rapidly-changing business environment.