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How businesses can manage the economic downturn through 2023

CIOs will utilize software-defined workflows to automate accessing data from point tools.

Image: — © Digital Journal
Image: — © Digital Journal

The business landscape for 2023 signals further economic problems with corporate layoffs poised to continue. As an example, Salesforce is the latest major tech company to announce substantial layoffs.

More than any other factor, having fewer employees will force companies to “do more with less” – and often to try to work smarter and not harder. One of the ways businesses are considering to achieve both of those goals is via automation.

To consider how businesses are planning to automate at a higher level, Oomnitza co-founder and CEO Arthur Lozinski’s IT Automation predictions for 2023 has explained to Digital Journal what the optimal approach to take is. This can be distilled down to several milestones, including:

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. Lozinski  explains: “Insider threats (i.e., data stolen by disgruntled, ex-employees) represent another significant cybersecurity risk to all businesses.” 

In terms of best advice, Lozinski  says: “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 (sic)— had either lost or changed their jobs.”

The process in many firms is problematic. Lozinski  explains: “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.”

In terms of best advice, Lozinski  recommends: “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

To best optimise the automation process, Lozinski  advises: “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. 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.”

There are further advantages: “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 terms of proactive actions, Lozinski advises: “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 audits4 and spend $3.5 million each year on compliance activities.”

He adds: “In addition, 66 percent of organizations failed at least one audit over the last three years.  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.”

This means changes to business processes, which Lozinski  sees as: “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 some other data management practices that firms can adopt. According to 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, 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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