Why automation is vital for the future of business

By 2025, global spend on digital transformation is set to reach $2.8tn, more than double the amount allocated in 2020. A big part of this is putting in place the digital strategies and technologies to build the foundations of an autonomous, connected organization.

In today’s competitive business environment and tumultuous job market, the demand for ease of use is higher than ever before. Automation, driven by enterprise service management (ESM), is essential to meeting this demand. To give an example, ESM can help organizations to move key business functions away from manual ways of working, towards automated digital methods.

By speeding up innovation and workflow automation, ESM not only enables organizations to find operational efficiencies, but also engineers trust, sculptures change and accelerates growth.

So, why is automation so important and how can businesses adopt ESM?

Why do organizations need ESM?

From navigating hybrid working plans to mitigating the impact of the Great Resignation, a combination of interrelated factors has led organizations to rethink current ways of working.

It’s no secret that the pandemic greatly accelerated the need for digital transformation, along with automated solutions. Workforces are now more distributed, with 76 percent of companies moving towards a hybrid working model. Meanwhile, the overarching move to omnichannel, digital-first approaches has dramatically reset both customer and employee expectations: people now want instant and smooth interactions at work and home, and this needs to be implemented across all devices.

The situation is compounded by the fact that over 40 percent of employees spend their time carrying out manual tasks, which can often be repetitive and mundane. Unsurprisingly, this is having a detrimental effect on overall job satisfaction, preventing workers from focusing on creative, more fulfilling tasks that drive real value.

This is where automation, driven by ESM, can provide a real solution to the problem. For example, automation reduces time, effort and cost, while reducing errors, allowing business leaders to meet new demands for ease of use and boost total experiences (TXs) across the board. As organizations work to ensure internal and external processes run more efficiently, they will be able to create a better, more holistic experience in which customers and employees can engage with the business.

How does ESM work and why is automation so important?

By streamlining routine tasks for all departments in an organization, ESM gives employees the tools to improve service requests and manual business processes, anytime and anywhere.

It does this by applying principles of IT service management (ITSM) to all departments within the business, including standard technologies like automation, service desks and incident request software, as well as self-service capabilities like chatbots and knowledge management.

In practice, ESM provides teams with a simple way to track the status of service requests, while monitoring business resources such as people and assets. In doing so, the automation of service management, specifically the support and delivery of services across all departments, not just IT, can help to reduce workloads, avoid manual errors and provide higher-quality outcomes.

To give an example, ESM solutions can help organizations to automate the process of managing Configuration Management Databases (CMDBs), enabling IT teams to better discover devices – whether they be on-premise or in the cloud – in complex environments. Through automated discovery, enterprises will gain greater visibility and control of their IT infrastructure.

In fact, the business benefits of ESM are huge. For those in customer service roles, automation helps employees to answer high volumes of requests. It also allows HR teams to effectively handle internal processes, including onboarding, training and staffing, while finance teams can reap the rewards of a faster and more efficient way to approve expenses, monitor payments and send invoices.

But the advantages are not just isolated to each department. If ESM is implemented in multiple areas of the enterprise, it can facilitate better collaboration between employees. For instance, streamlining back-end processes will give staff more time to focus on meaningful tasks that drive real value, such as collaborating with other departments to meet overarching business objectives.

The case for democratization

To drive real value, ESM needs to be available to everyone within an organization.

Fortunately, more market disruptors are focusing on democratizing ESM to ensure everyone across the business can benefit from effective automated service management.

They are working to simplify licence models and lower price points to reduce the barriers of
entry for businesses. Making deployment easier is also crucial, which means adding low-code tools to ensure non-IT workers are in a position to roll out the technology seamlessly.

Embracing a new era of innovation is key – and business leaders that implement ESM across all areas of the organization will be better placed to thrive in the coming years. Organizations should also look towards ESM solutions that offer collaboration. Online communities, for example, can enable users to engage with one another to jointly solve problems and propose enhancements.

It will be a major priority for enterprises in the coming years to deploy the tools and technologies that make their business fully automated, connected and efficient. For those looking to move beyond the innovation curve and get ahead of competition, creating a seamless TX will be critical.