Turbocharge Your Organization to New Heights through Workload Automation
Nowhere has the current talent crisis been felt more than in the tech sector.
The “Great Resignation” of 2021 has seen employees leaving the workforce in record numbers, with 4.4 million American workers quitting employment in September 2021, joined by another 4.1 million in October. Meanwhile, demand for workers has continued to rise, as job openings climbed to over 11 million in October, just south of the all-time high.
The struggle to recruit staff with highly-valued tech skills is particularly acute. According to a 2021 workforce trends survey from CompTIA, 40% of companies hired IT staff during the pandemic, and 66% planned to bolster their staff in 2021.
This tech talent gap is nothing new, but it is growing. As a current tech CEO— and former CIO and IT executive in the financial services and manufacturing sectors – I’ve been watching this trend with deepening concern for years. And I’m not alone.
In 2011, more than half of CEOs were concerned with the lack of skilled digital talent available on the market. By 2019, that figure grew to over three-quarters of those surveyed. And as the pandemic has forced businesses to pivot to remote work and digital service delivery, the need to fill this gap grows ever-more urgent.
It’s clear that for many organizations, the capabilities of in-house tech departments are not sufficient to meet the increasing challenges of stretched resources, growing workloads, and a pandemic-weary employee base that is finally reaching its limits (Fig. 1).
But there is a better way for organizations across a wide range of industries to overcome this talent gap, achieve unprecedented efficiency, and pursue market-beating growth. In fact, organizations can unleash their hidden superpowers through a solution that is often overlooked: workload automation and orchestration.
The automation solution
Early in my career, I enjoyed a front-row seat to the power of workload automation. As a system administrator for a Fortune 500 company, I was responsible for managing complex systems across a diverse enterprise environment. The company was growing rapidly and resources were always at a premium, so we applied workload automation to a variety of different processes across the enterprise.
Eventually, the division I worked for was sold to a new parent company. We then acquired two additional firms and implemented SAP, all at the same time. The only way we were able to achieve success in that journey was through automation.
Later in my career I joined a large credit union as CIO. Our first task was to modernize all the credit union’s systems, and automation again became critically important – we implemented SMA’s OpCon solution and within a very short period we realized we had something special.
After experiencing the benefits of workload automation firsthand during my decade of technology leadership in financial services, I joined the advisory board at SMA. I later came on board as Chief Technology Officer, and eventually President and CEO.
For highly transactional businesses, modern orchestration solutions enable the fast, easy automation of manual tasks. They are designed to seamlessly coordinate and manage workloads within and across functions and departments and various IT software and hardware components without draining resources. Flexible, powerful workload automation and orchestration solutions like OpCon empower businesses to scale—quickly, securely, efficiently, and effectively.
As an early and passionate advocate for the power of workload automation, I have seen it work live daily in industries ranging from manufacturing to financial services. Today, I consider myself to be the “Chief Evangelist” of this remarkable and under-the-radar technology. But I am not alone in this.
At SMA, we are fortunate to have dozens of workload automation evangelists like myself among our ranks. These are people who learned the unique power of automation from their time working on the front lines at other organizations – whether in financial services, manufacturing, the non-profit sector or elsewhere. And their ranks are growing.
Not just a job scheduler
When I meet with leaders in the industry it can be a challenge to fully convey the outsized impact a modern workload automation and orchestration platform can have on their organization. Many folks think of workload automation as the glorified job scheduler of old, but the technology has come a long way in recent years.
In fact, OpCon is designed to meet a wide variety of automation needs – from improving business continuity testing, reliability and execution to managing cloud infrastructure more cost effectively. This versatility provides organizations with numerous opportunities to create efficiencies and improve productivity, without adding to staff.
Obviously, I’m a long-time believer in the power of workload automation, seeing that I left my previous employer to help grow OpCon and introduce it to a wider audience. But don’t take it from me – I love hearing from our clients (around here we call them “raving fans”) about the revolutionary impact OpCon has had on their operations. And now you can, too:
Transform your organization through Self Service
I loved hearing from my friends at 1st United Credit Union about how they leveraged OpCon’s fast, easy automation capabilities to free up resources and transform the cooperative into a more strategic, rather than reactive, organization.
“All of our manual processing is pretty much gone,” says Lori Hernandez, Director, Information Services at 1st United Credit Union. “I’ve already freed up almost an entire person, and we’re not done automating yet. We need to be able to do more and OpCon will enable that.”
By using OpCon’s proprietary Self Service feature, which enables business users to trigger automated processes with just the click of a button, 1st United has also been able to improve data validity and reduce costly errors.
“Because we’ve taken out that human/typing component from so many jobs, our accuracy has gone through the roof,” Hernandez says. “For example, we set up Self Service tools for our electronic services department because they used to have to type directly into our console. Now the potential for human error has been eliminated.
“With technology, you’ll always need people, but with OpCon, our people will be able to do so much more.”
Free up staff to take more strategic roles
Speaking of raving fans, I’m a huge admirer of how Open Technology Solutions (OTS), a leading technology CUSO (credit union service organization), supports the technology needs of its three large credit union owners: Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Bellco Credit Union and State Employees Credit Union of Maryland. By converting to the OpCon workload automation and orchestration solution in its core processing environment, OTS was able to eliminate its overnight tech staffing needs and reallocate 11 employees to more strategic roles.
In addition to maximizing staff productivity, the CUSO was also able to reduce its number of servers. “In our old environment, we were forced to run 21 separate instances of our previous automation tool,” says Dustin Montoya, Director of Development at OTS. “Today we run two instances of OpCon, one for testing and one for production. That’s it.”
“We’re excited about extending OpCon beyond just our core processing environment,” says Chris Patterson, Manager of Application Development and Automation Support. “The sky’s the limit.”
Extend automation beyond financial services
Just in case you thought workload automation was only for banks and credit unions, rest assured it is making impact outside of financial services, as well— in industries ranging from retail to education and the public sector. For example, a State Department of Revenue is employing OpCon for data management and automation, gaining new levels of efficiency and cost savings along the way.
“This tool is just awesome,” says a manager at the agency. “It can do anything we want done. It lets us mesh everything together seamlessly – from Unix to Unisys, Linux to SAP, and more. There’s almost no human intervention needed now. That’s really cut down on errors.
“We’ve become the poster child for how to do things right. We’re getting more done in less time without hiring more people.”
Beat the tech talent gap at its own game
The shortage of tech talent is real. And it’s not going to magically disappear once this pandemic is in our rear-view mirror. But as a business and technology leader, you’re in the driver’s seat. By leveraging the unique power and scalability of a modern workload automation and orchestration platform, you can take control of all your business-critical operations and propel your organization to new, unimagined heights.
OpCon enables IT organizations in transactional businesses to easily automate manual tasks and seamlessly orchestrate workloads to effectively manage an increasing workload without more resources. OpCon delivers enterprise power and scalability to give you control over business-critical operations faster and easier than alternative solutions. To learn more about OpCon from SMA Technologies, contact us at [email protected].
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Overworking your team to little benefit? Learn how workload automation can help you scale your organization more efficiently.