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Author: Rajesh Kumar R |12/24/16

Measure your Enterprise Automation with Mindtree’s Automation Maturity Model

Automation – A business imperative

We are currently moving towards a world where it is becoming extremely important to modernize enterprises at a very rapid pace. New business models are being evolved ever so fast and there is a business imperative to fund these rapid innovations. Enterprises are still allocating 60%-70% of their IT spend to “run the business”, with the remaining to “transform the business”. Hence, there is an urgency to bring in efficiency to “run the business” through automation.

When automation is being applied at several different levels in an organization, it becomes important to measure the organization’s automation maturity so that one can assess where they presently stand and where they need to get to and what levels of productivity can be achieved with each progressing level of automation maturity. Based on our experience with numerous automation initiatives, Mindtree has formulated the Automation Maturity Model – which is a scale to measure an organization’s automation maturity to help strategize the initiatives that are required to achieve the required automation levels.

The Automation Maturity Model Productivity Gains

Measure your Enterprise Automation with Mindtree’s Automation Maturity Model

Maturity Level 1: Ad hoc

● Characteristics

At this initial level of maturity, automation is not typically a planned activity but happens in pockets across teams at different levels on need basis and they are not allocated any management attention or budget. They would be in the form of scripts and some tools that are available at the team’s disposal or based on freely available tools. The automation tasks would typically include runbooks, automation of some standard operating procedures with scripts or scheduled jobs for routine tasks.

● Drivers

The automation at this level is driven by individuals who are motivated to improve their way of working or take the initiative to bring about some efficiency in the work they are doing.

● Productivity gains

While at the micro level a task or a set of procedures may get completely automated, at a macro level an organization or department would achieve about 5% improvement.
At this level of automation, we are not looking at any team size reduction or achieving significant profit margin improvements

Maturity Level 2: Opportunistic

● Characteristics

At level 2 we are looking at automation initiatives that are being executed to address an identified area of improvement or for addressing a problem. A typical example would be a night shift job that involves server monitoring and producing an hourly report. Now, this is a clear opportunity to bring in automation to address this specific issue of repeated report creation. Let’s say this results in bringing in a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tool to aid the monitoring and report creation - this is an example of opportunistic automation. As you can see, at this level, it is mostly reactive in nature. At this level we are looking at some form of formal evaluation of tools, some budget allocation to address automation with team level management focus.

● Drivers

The automation is driven by teams or projects with specific focus on addressing the issue at hand with a defined outcome.

● Productivity gains

The overall gains at this maturity level would be up to 10% and could potentially result in minor team size reduction or significant gain in productivity or quality on certain tasks.

Maturity Level 3: Systematic

● Characteristics

When the maturity level is at this level, we are looking at portfolio or program level automation initiatives executed with defined automation targets with specific metrics. While at level 2 we saw the initiative was reactive in nature to address a specific need, at this level it is proactive initiation with exploring areas of automation to achieve a level of defined efficiency, productivity or quality. There would be widespread application of multiple automation tools such as RPA, DevOps and even some level of custom-developed tools or platforms based on needs.

● Drivers

At this level, automation is driven by experts in automation technologies who understand the domain, methodology for assessment and have technical expertise in automation technologies; the experts have a metrics-driven approach to achieve the defined automation targets

● Productivity gains

At the systematic level, the productivity levels could increase by up to 20%, which means that for a business unit or a department where such initiatives are carried out there could be reduction of team size by up to 20% to carry out the same process or gaining 20% additional outcome with the same team.

Maturity Level 4: Institutionalized

● Characteristics

At this level, the automation initiatives are taken up at the organization level with a portfolio of platforms and tools. At this level, automation is no more an initiative but it becomes the way of life. Automation would be woven into every estimation or budgeting exercise; productivity expectations and the automation that is expected to be established are taken into account. There would be documented automation strategy with organization-wide knowledge and drives.
Enterprise-wide automation platform could also be established to make technology accessible to all teams across the organization. It will include the usage of advanced technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing, chat bots and widespread deployments of RPA tools.

● Drivers

Automation is driven by the organization at this level with well-defined strategy; readily accessible technology and expertise provided to all units of the organizations.

● Productivity gains

At this level of maturity, productivity improvements of up to 30% can be achieved, or in other words ability to run the same level of outcome and quality with only two thirds of the current workforce.

Maturity Level 5: Adaptive

● Characteristics

This is the highest level of automation where the automated process itself becomes adaptive to the demands of the business. At this stage, we are looking at deployment of technologies that can support self-learning, self-healing auto-scaling and auto-optimization methods across various processes. Application of artificial intelligence, machine learning and approaches such as No-ops would see wide-spread adoption across the organization. At this level of maturity, automation is no more an add-on to the existing system of processes; fundamentally, systems are designed to adapt to changes. They would be data-driven, have the ability to predict changes, and are capable of adapting to them.

● Drivers

This level of automation is driven by strategy and vision established at all levels of the organization. A roadmap is established to achieve the set goals as they involve; this will not only help in adopting technologies, but also transform the way in which systems support the business and processes.

● Productivity gains

This being the highest level of automation, there are no specific targets set with respect to the productivity. However, productivity gains would be over 30%.

Conclusion

The automation maturity model provides an objective way to assess where an enterprise is and where it can get to, with respect to automation. With the major advancement in technologies many areas which were once thought were possible only in advanced labs and never really practical to access at an industrial scale are being commoditized today. For example, we can access advanced NLP via free APIs or try out some Computer Vision capabilities or even access Machine Learning modules over the cloud. With the ever growing need for efficiency and ready access to technologies, automation has become a business imperative to adopt. As a result, sometimes there may be a tendency to rush towards automation however it must be approached in a methodical way to achieve maximum impact and assessing the enterprise’s automation maturity could be a starting point to formulate the automation roadmap.

To learn more about automation technology and how we can help you, please contact us here.

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