In a recent vendor briefing with Gartner, they mentioned that many large enterprises are getting stuck on Windows 10 1809 because they have not been able to streamline and automate the processes required for efficient Workplace Automation, such as app packaging, app testing, deployment scheduling, reporting, readiness checks, and many others.
Those processes are still largely manually driven, completed in isolation (teams operating within silos), and often without proper velocity planning. This is highly inefficient and unsustainable given the massive volume and increasing pace of change that needs to be managed! Consequently, not keeping up causes loss of productivity, potential security vulnerabilities and possible business disruption, a bad end-user technology experience, and lower employee satisfaction.
Workplace Automation sets out to solve all this by keeping your IT estate tightly managed and constantly up-to-date. But what exactly is Workplace Automation? Below, I tried to define it in layman terms using 100 words or less (I managed in 54 words).
Workplace Automation Defined In Less Than 100 Words
Most people would agree that Workplace Automation includes the execution of single, yet repetitive workplace-related tasks in an automated fashion — whether that is automatically approving a purchase request for a new laptop as long as the request is under a certain threshold, auto-deploying the latest Windows 10 update because automation has checked the pre-requisites, or knowing when a machine is going to fail and being able to run a fix proactively without having to contact the user. Juriba defines the term in a slightly broader way to include a more strategic point of view.
Workplace Automation is the ability to:
Pro-actively manage change by creating the systems that automate complex Workplace Management processes involving multiple touch-points and process outcomes that then trigger actions into other systems as well as,
Re-actively execute single, yet repetitive workplace-related tasks in an automated fashion with minimal (or no) direct involvement from humans.
Although technically speaking, the automating of many tasks as part of a process or workflow is known as "orchestration", in the context of enabling and managing a Modern Workplace, the term Workplace Automation is much better known and accepted. Therefore, and to avoid creating confusion, we have decided to define Workplace Automation as both the tactical automation of a single task, as well as the strategic and proactive component of managing the harmonious and optimized automation of possibly hundreds of tasks contained within multiple workflows.
While the first part is simple enough, I want to spend a minute or two on the second part. We believe that Workplace Automation is as much about automating the dependency chain impact as it is about single events. It is about having the flexibility to create what criteria you need and then build automation on the back of that criterion being met. We want our customers to be able to take almost any workflow — regardless of inputs, outputs, or actions that need to be taken — and automate it in the most efficient manner while interfacing and interacting with whatever system or systems as needed.
In addition, Workplace Automation is also about the automation of things that would hold up progress, e.g., if an application goes red, we need to ensure that we are not automating the deployment of the devices that depend on that application but rather are managing that dependency by automatically packaging and testing it so it can turn green and the upgrade can go ahead as planned. A good example might be this: If your machine is green for disk space check, for applications check, for site readiness check, and for whatever else you would like to check for, then move that machine to the next available ring and scheduling slot.
According to a McKinsey study of roughly 2,000 individual work activities, 45% of workplace activities performed by a wide range of professionals ranging from gardeners to CEOs can be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies which translate into about $2 trillion of activities in the United States alone! While not all of these relate to Workplace Management alone, there is a huge number of activities that can be automated using a Workplace Automation platform like Juriba.