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How to implement an automation strategy that actually works

Leaders want their automation strategy to deliver long-lasting value and an attractive ROI. To achieve this, you need a data-driven strategy and a unified IT landscape, plus the courage to forge into new automation territories.

01 February 2022 • 3 min read

New technology is a proven way to boost business productivity. Yet implementing a technology, especially into large-scale operational processes, is not always easy. Get it wrong, and the results can fall far short of expectations.

Take automation. In many Communication Service Providers (CSPs), automation solutions have been deployed piecemeal to improve specific processes. This has led to a disjointed environment that is hard to scale up as demand changes, and costly to update to cope with evolving IT and business operations. The result? Automation loses its shine and management can become unwilling to spend more on what they see as an inflexible technology.

Get it right and intelligent automation will deliver huge benefits by simplifying IT processes and ways of working to help achieve the flexible, fast time-to-market capabilities and sustainable cost structure that allows an organisation to thrive. In a previous blog post, NTT DATA sketched out the “spectacular” potential gains from intelligent automation long term, helping businesses “eliminate countless routine tasks, while creating new jobs that are more stimulating as well as better paid than those that will inevitably be replaced.”

So, how then do you implement an automation strategy or develop your existing automation landscape that will deliver long-lasting value and an attractive return on investment (ROI)?

Follow a business-led, data-driven strategy

It is crucial to begin by deciding what you need to do to improve customer experience. Rather than starting with the technology, look at what problems your users or business currently have. Otherwise, you risk ending up with a technology solution looking for a problem.

Accurately identifying current issues is important, whether it may be multiple ticketing systems, an increase in data due to 5G or complex ecosystems. This work will allow you to integrate technology into your business with capabilities that help your customers and users, such as intuitive interfaces and other features enabled by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Technologies like these provide an improved quality of service by redefining the minimum business requirements to service a customer; something that new technology companies and challengers are already doing.

Combining intelligent automation with a focus on unifying IT platforms will deliver even greater benefits. Often, as a business expands, its IT Service Management (ITSM) becomes more complex because piecemeal implementations of platforms are added across functions. In the telecom world, it is not unusual for an operator to be running several instances of the BMC portfolio of ITSM platforms.

Although most companies begin their automation journey to reduce costs, intelligent automation will be essential for future business success.

Such fragmentation is difficult to manage and makes it harder to automate processes, requiring the automation to be deployed for every siloed system, instead of just once.

Expand automation into new areas

Although most companies begin their automation journey to reduce costs, intelligent automation will be essential for future business success. In the telecom sector, growing network and system complexity, accelerated by the roll out of 5G, is putting services management beyond the capability of humans. Only automation of processes across the BSS (Business Support Systems) and OSS (Operations Support Systems) domains can effectively orchestrate the provisioning and management of services to ensure the highest quality end-user experiences.

Intelligent automation and platform unification will deliver new levels of productivity and innovation. It will allow employees to focus on higher-value tasks and ensure the highest quality and consistency of processes. Furthermore, by going far beyond merely automating menial tasks, intelligent automation can create an ecosystem that is smarter and capable of delivering more advanced operations in onerous processes. This will enable sophisticated forms of digitisation, data extraction, imaging and machine learning.

360% ROI

The sheer scale of the potential benefits of intelligent automation and platform unification was revealed recently by a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by BMC. Forrester interviewed decision-makers from 11 organisations and found that by adopting BMC Helix for IT and enterprise service desk needs, they could achieve a three-year, risk-adjusted net present value (NPV) of $10.6 million and an ROI of 361%.

In one use case, a global telco saved an estimated $300,000 USD a year just with the end-to-end automation of password resets.

Automation is evolving. What began as simple, repetitive tasks are now intelligent systems that can perform cognitive, perceptive functions – making automation a crucial tool to compete and succeed. At NTT DATA, our intelligent automation solutions are delivered in an open ecosystem for sustained value and continuous business outcomes, using a combination of best-of-breed tools, frameworks and platforms.

In one use case, a global telco saved an estimated $300,000 USD a year just with the end-to-end automation of password resets.

NTT DATA is working in partnership with BMC to provide insight into how intelligent automation and platform unification are best applied in highly complex business and IT environments. We partner with clients across their full journey – strategy, design, build, run and support. The approach is collaborative, ensuring that we always deliver against business objectives. We work with clients across industries to quickly identify areas for automation, so that they can do what they do best – create and innovate.

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