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Is It Worth Converting Custom Scripting to Automation?

Find out if workload automation can effectively mitigate the risks of custom scripting.

Ryan Dimick
Ryan Dimick
Read Time
4 mins
Last updated
Jan 6th, 2023

In a previous article, “The 7 Insidious Risks of Custom Scripting,” I discussed the downsides of relying on homegrown, custom scripts to automate repeatable processes in your financial services business.

Despite these risks unique to custom scripts, automation can offer a wide range of benefits to credit unions, banks, and insurers. In fact, many common processes that are currently handled through human-based effort can benefit from automation.

For example, according to a McKinsey report, nearly 44% of work activities in the insurance sector can be automated. That’s why more and more, organizations are turning to IT workload automation and orchestration (WLA&O) in place of homegrown scripts to achieve better optimization and less complexity in their operations.

It’s well understood that much custom scripting work can be automated. Yet the question remains: should it?

In this article, we’ll dive into whether automation is a beneficial solution to the custom scripting problem, and how organizations can best approach this problem to optimize long-term success and ROI.

Custom scripting stock 2

Workload automation has some cons...

Before you decide whether implementing WLA&O into your operations is the right call, it’s important to consider potential challenges. For one, employing workload automation does involve some upfront investment. Actual expenses will vary based on any number of factors, including the scope of the automation project, pricing models, and the sophistication and scalability of the automation solution you select.

Another aspect of implementing WLA&O that can be concerning to some is the inherent loss of control. In-house developers understand the programming language they use to create a custom script inside and out and are well positioned to make updates when needed. This sense of control can be powerful, and staff involved in creating and managing scripts are invested in the process.

In certain cases, the investment of time and resources into implementing a world-class workload automation solution just doesn’t make sense. For instance, if your company maintains just a few, fairly simple custom scripts, it can be a manageable burden. But it’s important to document those scripts thoroughly and consistently, and the authors must be held accountable for errors and ongoing maintenance.

But the pros are significant

Despite these potential downsides, in most cases converting your homegrown automation scripts to a tightly managed workload automation solution makes sense. For one, WLA&O supports better change management than a collection of unrelated and undocumented custom scripts, by offering a single point of control across today’s complex IT environments.

In addition, a centralized workload automation solution reduces the risk of brain drain if the original custom script designer leaves the organization. No- to low-code automation processes do not leave financial organizations open to the same flight risks that are involved with talent writing complex scripts.

Improved employee morale is another benefit of workload automation and orchestration. An InformationWeek study found that 45% of surveyed IT teams spend more than five hours per week writing scripts to handle workflows and automation. Automating manual and repetitive tasks helps reduce the amount of drudgery that teams face and gives time back for employees to focus on higher-level projects—two factors that lead to higher overall job satisfaction and employee retention.

Whereas homegrown scripts often face interoperability hurdles, workload automation enhances integration and interoperability among key systems. As environments become more complex, a single point of control helps ensure fewer errors and less system downtime that could affect staff productivity, customer access, and service levels.

Another issue with homegrown scripts is that they tend to take on a life of their own. As organizations continue adding homegrown scripts to patch holes in their processes or bridge interoperability gaps among key systems, the sheer number of active and inactive scripts balloons over time. It becomes increasingly difficult to rapidly triage and resolve the root cause of a specific problem, eventually requiring the investment of significant resources to solve the issue. In contrast, the return on investment for workload automation and orchestration compounds over time, as more processes are automated and the solution scales along with your business.

Lastly, workload automation supports the highest levels of security and compliance when it comes to retaining customers’ data. Updates, fixes, and system patches are no longer limited by the ability of scriptwriters or their available bandwidth.

Keys to automation success

If you decide to convert your custom scripts to a workload automation solution, be sure to select your automation partner carefully and perform proper due diligence during the vendor assessment stage.

Specifically, look for a vendor with deep domain and industry expertise and experience in implementing WLA&O in similar environments. The solution should offer pre-built integrations with leading systems through custom APIs. Post implementation, the vendor should provide 24/7 support through access to automation experts, assuring peace of mind in the event of service interruptions or failed file transfers.

To ensure long-term success, select a fully customizable and highly flexible automation solution that’s capable of growing with your organization and able to meet your current and future goals.

Custom scripts can leave a business vulnerable to many risks that modern-day workload automation and orchestration solutions eliminate. Implementing a world-class workload automation solution doesn’t take as long as you think! Credit unions, banks, and insurers can migrate to a commercial solution with enterprise-level capabilities and be up and running in a couple of weeks. Why not get started today?

Have a question about automation? We’d love to hear from you.

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