August 17, 2014
Being a small business competing against much larger corporations–a small fish in a very big pond, if you will–is no easy thing. Large businesses simply have the resources and capabilities to tackle big problems at a more efficient rate than their smaller competitors. One place where large businesses have excelled is in automation, more specifically in workload automation. Having the technology to automate numerous back office processes brings with it many benefits. It’s something that has been largely out of reach of small businesses for years, but finally technology has caught up to the point where those same businesses can now begin utilizing workload automation to the full extent. Whereas before small businesses were limited by their budgets and less developed IT infrastructure, now workload automation is within their grasp, and with it the benefits of a more productive business.
To better understand how workload automation can significantly boost a small business, it’s important to know exactly what it is. Workload automation can go be several definitions, but the most common use of the term signifies the automation of the placement and execution of business processes to the right location at the right time to get the most out of IT performance. Some of those business processes are varied, from applications and web services, to database queries or those jobs found in an IT system. The main goal of adopting workload automation is twofold: improve IT performance by reducing the amount of manual IT management, and reducing the costs of operations.
With those benefits in mind, it’s easy to see why small businesses have been eager to make workload automation a part of their normal practices. So far, the costs have made it impractical for small businesses with limited budgets to make the leap. Most workload automation has been done for years through software, making systems that work directly “out of the box.” While software is an easy-to-use solution for larger companies, smaller businesses needed another way to make it a reality for them. That’s where the advances of cloud computing come in. With cloud computing providing software-as-a-service (SaaS), workload automation is now accessible by small businesses all over the world. No equipment needs to be installed and there are no implementation costs. In addition to that, cloud-based workload automation is more available when needed, can be scaled based on the workload, and can be accessed from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection and the correct authentication.
Now that workload automation can be a part of small businesses, many are seeing how it can improve the business as a whole. The business processes that are automated (like applications or IT security) had to be taken care of before by IT personnel. Now, all of those processes can be managed from a single control point. While IT jobs are made easier, IT infrastructure can be changed more easily as well. In that way, when it comes to upgrading and modifying various systems and databases, managing those changes ceases to be as tedious or time-consuming. At the same time, the reduction in control points also leads to a decrease in human error. These increases in efficiency and productivity directly lead to improvements in IT performance, and the results are there to back up the claim. In one case study, a healthcare enterprise company increased staff productivity by up to 80% when it adopted workload automation.
Tweet This: One case study shows a healthcare company increased productivity by 80% with workload
In that same vein, these improvements to IT performance can also drastically reduce costs for a business. This is done in a number of ways, but one of the most common is by detecting IT problems early on. With workload automation in place, the system is able to root out inconsistencies more easily, finding the problems before they turn into larger disasters. Detecting these problems allows for them to be fixed, saving the company time in addition to money. Workload automation also reduces costs by automating numerous jobs and roles, effectively eliminating the need for a larger IT staff. For those small businesses with a very tight IT budget, this benefit can prove tremendously helpful. Another case study shows just how effective workload automation can be in saving money, as a telecommunications company used it to reduce IT costs through reduced hardware resources and batch processing time.
Thanks to cloud computing and recent software advances, small businesses can now take advantage of workload automation. With reduced costs and improved IT performance and productivity, small businesses can finally use workload automation to put themselves on equal footing with the larger companies out there. Workload automation obviously has its own limitations, and much still rides on the individual skills of the business’s IT workers, but by making IT jobs easier and more agile, small businesses can be more competitive in a bigger marketplace.
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