6 tips to architect your future success with automation
AI-powered intelligent automation holds the key to faster speed to market, improved product quality, increased efficiency, and elevated customer and employee experiences.
The problem right now? Many organizations lack technology architectures that can support the high levels of intelligent automation that are now mission-critical. And migrating from legacy architectures that are fast becoming obsolete is extremely challenging.
If you’re planning to build an intelligent automation solution that’s scalable and sustainable, this raises a fundamental issue. You can’t afford to overlook your IT architecture. A well-thought-out technical design is the bedrock you need. And it’s non-negotiable.
It helps your teams to plan and implement solutions more predictably and more effectively. It improves the quality of automation. And, over time, it unlocks more and more business value.
So what does a robust enterprise automation architecture look like? I believe it should be designed around six key considerations: adaptability; strong data; AI at the core; cloud-based; secure; and platform-centric. Let’s take a closer look.
“If you’re planning to build an intelligent automation solution that’s scalable and sustainable, this raises a fundamental issue. You can’t afford to overlook your IT architecture.”
1. Make it adaptive
We’re in the era of compressed transformation. To meet customer and employee expectations, companies have had to adapt to decades of technology change in a couple of years. In some cases, a few short months.
With an adaptive automation architecture, you can remove barriers to change, respond to dynamic markets and stay relevant to customers. This gives you the speed and flexibility you need to take advantage of new innovations.
So how to enable all this? System architects need to design automation technology to work in a distributed way. That means setting up functions separately from the applications that need them. And then treating each one as an independent service provider.
It’s a microservices-based approach. And when automation is approached like that, you can independently update application subfunctions without impacting the rest of the application. It also means a change to one application can instantly benefit others that rely on that same function. All without any disruption to performance.
As your automation model grows in maturity, this becomes more and more important. Why? Because a microservices-based architecture supports continuous delivery, independent scaling, and making smart choices in a rapidly changing tech marketplace.
2. Weave a strong data fabric
Think of data fabric as a kind of framework, woven together from many different information threads. The fabric’s architecture is the plan or model for how those different parts work together. It imposes order on what would otherwise be a chaotic data universe.
With an enterprise data fabric in place, you’re ready to start realizing some important benefits. A few examples? You can centralize enterprise content silos. You can strengthen data discovery and analytics processes. And you can leverage data and enrich it in ways that would be impossible in source systems.
3. Put AI at the core
An AI-infused automation architecture can self-learn and evolve to create new experiences for your business, and for its customers. By centering automation architectures on machine-learning and deep-learning technologies, you’re ready to gain an impressive competitive advantage by delivering solutions with breakthrough economics.
If your business wants to harness AI’s full automation potential, it should be “AI-first.” That means building solutions that are AI-driven from the ground up, instead of trying to layer AI’s intelligence on top of systems whose original designers never anticipated that happening.
4. Move to cloud
Cloud computing offers a step-change in flexibility, agility and cost savings. That’s truer than ever in this era of compressed transformation and accelerated technology change. And these benefits all extend to automation. It’s why, from the outset, your cloud migration strategy should encompass automation solutions.
5. Architect for security
Automation can touch every enterprise application, along with the confidential personal and customer data within each one. This is why security and compliance are integral to any automation architecture.
A global organization’s security system should have a formal governance framework. And that framework needs to be managed by a dedicated, multidisciplinary team. A key role for them? Protecting data models through comprehensive coverage of automation applications enterprise-wide. This includes establishing strong protocols for managing access to automation applications. It also means overseeing how data is created, processed, shared, stored and destroyed.
6. Make it platform-centric
Adopting a platform-centric approach to automation is all about constructing a robust foundation. This must span technologies, standards, frameworks and workflows to support automation projects right across the business.
Provided you’ve got the foundation in place, your people will be drawing on the same group of assets, knowing that these assets represent the best the ecosystem can offer.
It’s well worth making this platform flexible. Some major benefits? Greater speed and agility. Increased productivity and quality. Accelerated innovation. Easy-to-scale automation solutions. More efficient users. And engineers who are freed up to focus on higher-value work.
Provided you establish the strongest possible automation architecture, built on the six principles I’ve described, your organization will be well-positioned to get the most value from its investments in this essential space.
I’d love to hear your views and experiences in the comments.
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