What Does It Take To Get Workload Automation Set Up?
Follow these five steps to ensure a smooth workload automation implementation process.
Workload automation (WLA) allows your company to manage the execution of business processes across multiple environments, operating systems, and third-party applications automatically. In the process, it frees your team from the burden of executing repetitive tasks, so they can focus on high-value initiatives. Because of the transformative impact WLA can have on your organization, it pays to get workload automation up and running quickly.
So, what can you expect from the automation implementation process? Once you’ve selected your workload automation solution, there are five basic steps to implement automation before your organization can take advantage of its operational benefits.
Step 1: Conduct training
No one likes to ‘read the manual’ before jumping into an exciting new capability, but taking the time to learn the framework of your solution will ensure a smooth automation implementation. That’s why it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of how your workload automation solution works first.
Some solutions are more user friendly than others, but they all require training. You may find some automation providers don’t offer training or will charge you separately for it. At SMA Technologies, we provide free training led by our automation engineers before the installation process begins. In fact, we require it to make sure your operators have a complete picture of how your workload automation solution will enhance your existing operations, so you can take full advantage of its features.
A robust training process will provide:
- Access to a computer or virtual private network (VPN) with built-in training exercises and instructions
- A personalized training environment for each trainee that incorporates hands-on training based on real-world scenarios
- Instructor-led courses run by the same automation experts who perform the implementation
- The option for more in-depth custom training sessions that address advanced automation concepts
Step 2: Determine how you want the automation software installed
Once you know how to use your automation solution, decide how your organization will install it. Generally, you’ll have two options for installation:
- Your company hosts it on local or cloud-based virtual machines.
Automation software that’s available for public distribution can allow your organization to download and/or install the software’s components yourself automatically.
- The workload automation software provider hosts it.
When the provider serves as the host, they take responsibility for the maintenance of the application and its underlying infrastructure. For example, SMA’s OpCon Cloud has such an option, allowing you to skip the installation process and move directly to automation.
Both of these installation options can utilize a “container” software approach where all of the elements necessary to install the application are pre-packaged in a central container. Containers can reduce deployment time and resource utilization because they’re highly portable, easily adjustable, and can be easily cleaned up after use.
Step 3: Integrate the solution into your systems
Most solution providers will work with your company to determine the business areas that would benefit from automation and help you put them in order of priority.
If you’ve already outsourced your core system, common use cases where our customers are finding the most value in a robust workload automation solution include:
- Document imaging and storage
- Business intelligence and reporting
- Payments and processing
- Loan origination and processing
With your list of company processes to automate, you’ll then integrate the solution into your business operations. The automation solution provider should evaluate your digital infrastructure to understand your operating systems and develop a plan for integrating workload automation across your IT environments.
While integrating the solution, consider these elements:
- Will it integrate with your existing user account system, such as Microsoft’s Active Directory?
- What types of operating systems is it compatible with — Windows, Linux, macOS?
- Does it support cloud-based platforms such as AWS or Microsoft Azure?
As IT environments become increasingly complex, organizations need workload automation solutions that are robust enough to orchestrate processes across multiple domains.
Step 4: Migrate your current workload automation platform (if applicable)
For businesses switching from another company’s automation software to a new platform, the migration process begins with understanding the existing automation setup. Your new automation provider’s consultants should be familiar with many different automation systems. They should understand the structure of your previous system, so they can optimize your new platform for improved task automation.
Step 5: Create user accounts
While integration incorporates technical processes and systems, the final setup step—creating user accounts—involves getting your team set up to manage automation workflows. This administrative portion of workload automation implementation is critical to getting the solution up and running correctly.
Start by creating an account for each user. As you do so, you’ll need to customize individual permissions to ensure proper access. Differentiating user accounts provides a necessary layer of security and customizes access based on each user's administrative needs.
How to streamline workload automation implementation
A key benefit of workload automation is its ability to improve company operations by automating important but time-consuming processes. Working with a solution provider with domain expertise in your industry is a sure-fire way to hit the ground running.
Mastery of automation also translates to time saved during your implementation. For example, at SMA Technologies, we install OpCon for you in as little as two weeks, thanks to our consultants’ automation expertise. Ultimately, a quick implementation makes for a faster return on your investment.