March 15, 2024

Why you can't implement IT automation without a strategy

According to a 2023 survey, South African businesses are increasingly integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and automation into their IT activities, with 85% implementing automation in their operations. In today’s competitive landscape, having a clearly defined strategy for IT automation adoption is paramount for success.

IT automation transforms businesses by providing simpler procedures, better efficiency, fewer errors, and more production. With the ability to automate monotonous operations, companies may concentrate their efforts on areas that demand human experience and innovation.

How AI and automation go hand-in-hand

AI automation is fast gaining traction in industries including healthcare, banking, manufacturing, and retail. The growing demand for agility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness in a technology-driven business environment is driving this trend.

However, none of this is effective without considerable thought and a well-defined strategy. Professor Johan Steyn, a human-centred AI supporter, highlights the conundrum that companies face when technology advances faster than people's capacity to use it efficiently.

“They know they want to automate, but they are not sure about how to proceed, and so, we have a situation in which the wrong things are being automated at the wrong times for the wrong reasons,” explains Steyn. While business leaders have a mandate to automate many tasks, they cannot rush into it.

Inadequate planning can lead to disruptions in existing processes and a failure to integrate automation initiatives with overall business goals. The risks include negative reactions from employees impacted by the automation, missed opportunities to tap into existing employee skills and knowledge, and the failure to truly understand which processes can benefit from automation.

Tips for creating an effective IT automation strategy

To help businesses on their IT automation journey, there are several practical methods and guidelines for developing a strong plan. These include thoroughly assessing existing processes, finding automation potential, establishing clear targets and key performance metrics, involving stakeholders, and constantly analysing and refining the plan.

It is critical to link the IT automation strategy with overall company objectives and goals. Furthermore, considering scalability and flexibility when picking automation solutions guarantees that firms can respond to future challenges and opportunities.

“One of the reasons why a lot of our technological projects fail is because we are not consumers of our own products. Get to know the people who are doing the job, then find the right things to automate,” says Steyn.

“Not everything can or should be automated. It is important for decision-makers to understand what requires automation and why, and identify their end goal with AI adoption,” he concludes.

SEACOM offers strategic IT solutions

SEACOM takes pride in its ability to create and implement strategic IT solutions for enterprises in South Africa. With a thorough grasp of the intersection of technology and business objectives, SEACOM develops customised solutions to improve operational efficiency, improve customer experience, and drive competitive advantage.

Our strategic approach enables companies to maximise the benefits of their IT systems. By matching technology initiatives with business objectives and conducting detailed reviews of existing processes, SEACOM assists businesses in achieving significant digital transformation and sustainable growth.

Adeptly designing an IT automation strategy enables companies to fully realise the potential of technology, optimising operations, attaining efficiency, and encouraging innovation. We advise business leaders to seek expert advice and support while establishing their IT automation strategies.

Businesses that engage with SEACOM can benefit from our extensive industry knowledge, ICT services, and commitment to supporting organisations on their digital transformation journey. For more information about our ICT services or to get a quote, email us at or leave us a message.

SEACOM owns Africa’s most extensive network of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, including subsea cables and secure internet connections. We offer a diverse range of flexible, scalable and high-quality solutions for businesses that meet world-class standards for connectivity.

SEACOM is privately owned and operated, making it agile and adaptable to the needs of the customer. This makes us the preferred ICT and internet connectivity partner for African businesses and peripheral service providers. We can guarantee high-speed, low-latency and secure internet connections to corporates and small enterprises.

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