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Business turning to automation to meet lower headcount

Given this risk, in 2023, CIOs will prioritize automating their employee offboarding processes, leveraging emerging technologies, such as Enterprise Technology Management solutions.

The government says current levels of energy cost support for businesses is unsustainable
The government says current levels of energy cost support for businesses is unsustainable - Copyright AFP Daniel LEAL
The government says current levels of energy cost support for businesses is unsustainable - Copyright AFP Daniel LEAL

While the year has just begun, economic headwinds are indicating that corporate layoffs are poised to continue, with Salesforce being the latest tech company to announce substantial layoffs.

More than any other factor, having fewer employees will force companies to “do more with less”. One of the most effective ways to achieve both of those goals is via automation.

Looking at the prospects of driving through change via automation for Digital Journal is Oomnitza co-founder and CEO Arthur Lozinski. Among the considerations are IT Automation predictions for 2023.

Secure employee offboarding will become a CIO priority in 2023

According to one survey, 12 percent of all employees take sensitive intellectual property with them when they leave an organization. In other words, insider threats (that is, data stolen by disgruntled, ex-employees) represent another significant cybersecurity risk to all businesses.

Lozinski  observes: “Without proper termination processes in place, malicious ex-employees — many of whom know exactly where to find sensitive data — can leave with company data or access company networks after their departure. Further adding to the security risks is the reality that employees keep quitting at record levels. According to the US Department of Labor, in 2021, 69 million people — more than 20 percent of Americans — had either lost or changed their jobs.”

In terms of the implications, Lozinski  finds: “Unfortunately, many organizations’ employee offboarding processes are deployed through a patchwork of manual and error-prone workflows involving multiple teams and multiple handoffs navigating in and out of multiple point tools. This means many employees aren’t properly offboarding. For instance, not terminating access to applications or cloud instances, which leaves companies at risk of ex-employee theft. Forty-two percent of organizations reported at least 5 percent instances of unauthorized access to SaaS and cloud resources after employee departure.”

Given this risk, in 2023, CIOs will prioritize automating their employee offboarding processes, leveraging emerging technologies, such as Enterprise Technology Management solutions.

CIOs will prioritize automating processes that span siloed management tools

Bolstered by success in automating employee offboarding processes, CIOs will prioritize assessing the level of automation for similar enterprise technology (ET) processes that span siloed management tools and touch a company’s broad and complicated technology landscape.

Here Lozinski observes: “In 2023, CIOs will realize that automation — long deployed as a strategy to increase efficiency of tasks managed by point tools, such as updating router operating systems — can now be applied more universally across many of an organization’s ET processes that leverage technology to deliver value-added services back to the business.

CIOs will also realize ET process automation can address several pressing pain points. For instance, replacing expensive manual tasks with automation can increase employee productivity, reducing costs and freeing budget to increase funding for disruptive initiatives such as digital transformation. Automated Day 0 employee onboarding can help ensure relevant workflows are completed so employees can be productive when they first walk into the office. And as another example, automated ET processes can be logged to validate that processes are being followed to address audit requests.”

Continuous audit readiness will gain steam, enabled through automation

In 2023, CIOs will deem it no longer acceptable for IT to scramble to retroactively fill in logs once an audit is announced, as organizations on average consume 58 working days each quarter on compliance audits and spend $3.5 million each year on compliance activities.

Lozinski considers: “66% percent of organizations failed at least one audit over the last three years.[5] To help address these challenges in 2023, CIOs will prioritize leveraging ET process automation to improve IT’s audit readiness to efficiently ensure that the company is continuously meeting its internal, industry, and regulated compliance obligations.”

In other words, Lozinski clarifies: “In 2023, CIOs will utilize software-defined workflows to automate accessing data from point tools, transferring this data into a centralized data warehouse, and analyzing and normalizing the data to be sent to auditors. Essentially, this creates a standardized, end-to-end enterprise technology process that utilizes automation to quickly consolidate data for auditors. And by not requiring manual tasks, the data is more accurate, reducing the risk of audit delays and violations.”

There are other factors as well, says Lozinski: “In addition, rampant data fragmentation and hygiene issues — frequently present, as point tools report inconsistent data regarding the same assets — will be addressed by leveraging technology like Enterprise Technology Management (ETM) to run software-defined workflows. This is given an ETM application is built on an asset management solution, which is necessary to provide an accurate, single source of truth for a company’s assets to accurately inform the automated workflows.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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