Survey finds that while automation enhances customer experiences, increases productivity, speed demands are stressing IT’s abilities and resources, putting business benefits at risk
Atlanta – October 14, 2014 – IT executives are bullish on their ability to drive business benefits through the automation of business processes according to the 2014 PMG IT Automation Survey of 304 North American corporate IT professionals.
Amid increasingly strained corporate IT departments, the successful use of enterprise automation is believed to be one way to help organizations meet business objectives. That is if IT can overcome the roadblock of disparate systems and shadow IT efforts to automation.
Nearly all IT professionals responding (98 percent) say the automation of business processes is vital to driving business benefits in today’s corporate environment. In fact, many respondents report automation is already helping them meet business objectives related to enhancing the customer experience (61 percent), increasing productivity gains (59 percent), sharing knowledge (52 percent) and delivering new products (46 percent).
“Moving the automation of business process from IT departments and the often lofty vision created by consultants to everyday acceptance and use within companies is starting to become a reality,” said Joe LeCompte, principal at PMG. “Today 87 percent of IT departments are saying they are aligned with their organizations’ business goals. Combine that with the increased availability of drag-and-drop business process management and control tools, the outlook for true enterprise automation is very bright.”
How bright? When asked to predict the major trends in the automation of business processes, IT executives say
- Automation will change the way virtual and cloud environments are managed (82 percent),
- Self-service automation will serve the entire organization (73 percent),
- Automation will reduce the cost of IT operations (68 percent), and
- Automation will automate big data and data integration (65 percent).
While the majority of IT pros are confident (61 percent) in their department’s ability to provide automation solutions, nearly four out of five (78 percent) report the speed demands placed on IT department today “leave little time to be more than order takers,” “are stressing IT’s abilities and resources” and “are putting business benefits at risk.”
It is clear there is some work to do to get many organizations ready for true business process automation. When asked to name roadblocks to IT automation within the enterprise, those topping the list included:
- My organization does not have a holistic approach, and ad hoc automation done in silos creates points of incompatibility (59 percent),
- My organization does not have mature business processes to automate (49 percent), and
- Business owners are creating their own automated solutions with non-standard or incorrect tools (48 percent).
“Shadow IT is also an issue for businesses looking to automate,” says LeCompte, “with IT leaders saying that 44 percent of the time business departments deploy automation solutions without IT’s knowledge. This is an issue IT needs to take the lead on curbing.”
The survey found today the majority of business leaders, 54 percent, bring IT into the planning and deployment process. LeCompte says that’s good, but not good enough. Additionally after more than a decade of preaching the strategic importance of IT, only 45 percent of business leaders are viewed by IT executives as knowing how to use technology to improve operations and gain a competitive advantage.
On the lighter side – and perhaps a sign of the demands being put on IT departments – 52 percent of the IT pros surveyed said they most often eat lunch at their desk. Among the group of the techno-elite, only 7 percent have used much hyped virtual currency bitcoin.
Finally, the tech buzzword IT executives would like to put to rest is Big Data (33 percent) and [anything] as a Service (29 percent).
About the 2014 PMG IT Automation Survey
PMG commissioned a blind survey of North American IT professionals in September of 2014. Respondents to the online survey included a total of 304 IT leaders. Of that group, 53 percent were in IT management (managers, supervisors, directors, etc.), and 15 percent were senior IT executives (CIO, CTO, vice president, etc.). Company size ranged from less than $200 million in revenue to more than $3 billion, with 45 percent having more than $1 billion in annual sales, 45 percent having more than 5,001 employees, and 57 percent having IT departments with 51 or more employees. Industries represented included computer technology, consulting, finance/accounting, healthcare and manufacturing.
A significant number of the Global 2000 rely on PMG to deploy enterprise service catalog and business process automation software that streamlines operations, reduces costs and improves efficiency. Our solutions transcend traditional IT service management boundaries giving business and IT professionals a smarter way to automate business processes ranging from IT financial management to identity management, employee onboarding and cloud provisioning. As a result, our clients handle shared services requests faster with fewer manual processes and less reliance on staff intervention. For more information, please visit pmg.net.