Automation Self-Service?

As IT automation moves to the center of IT process and business process automation, self-service automation for end-users will be key.

Written by Colin Beasty. Last Updated:
IT automation self-service enables business users to monitor and manage critical processes

It’s always nice to see a customer who’s putting what the Forrester and Gartner’s of the world are touting into practice. Admittedly, vendors like ourselves can enhance our offerings with new capabilities faster than customers can sometimes digest, and workload automation is no exception.

But that’s not the case with one ActiveBatch customer I spoke with this afternoon, a large cellular infrastructure provider that builds and rents space on cell phone towers across North and Central America. This company is using workload automation to automate a myriad of accounting and banking processes for nearly 2,000 vendors that support its cellular towers. This can include customers who rent space on individual towers to power companies that provide the electricity to those same towers. By automating these processes via automation using workflows that include job steps for Secure FTP, OpenPGP and data encryption, payments and bank files are being transferred securely and more reliably, and that means accounting can stay out of IT’s hair and vice versa.

But this cellular provider is now taking things a step further; they’re deploying ActiveBatch to their accounting department. Workload automation and task scheduler software isn’t typically the first software you’d think of when it comes to accountants, but it’s a classic example of what many industry analysts are calling “Self-Service Automation.”

“Self-Service Automation” is giving non-IT users a service catalog from which they can initiate processes themselves – without the need to involve someone from IT operations. In the case of this cellular provider, two or three accountants will enable them to run certain workflows and banking processes themselves, rather than waiting for a response from IT.

“Self-Service Automation” is also where IT process automation really starts to integrate with business process automation (BPA). Think about it. If the business processes that companies use are becoming increasingly tied to IT processes that span various applications and technologies, workload automation will continue to move to the forefront of both IT process automation and BPA. The next step logical step in this evolution is the ability for end users to plan the execution of business processes via a user friendly, graphical interface and allow the workload automation solution to self-provision resources and load applications to achieve the desired business results.