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What is RPA? A revolution in business process automation

What is RPA? A revolution in business process automation

Automation is becoming more and more of a way of life in our business and departments – sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. I’ve been involved in automation for a long time. A lot of people are concerned about this type of automation replacing human jobs but I’ve found that, instead, it has the ability to free up time and make real people even more valuable to the organizations for which they work.

How do you view automation in your department? Is it something that you’re utilizing to make your people more valuable or is it a way that you can reduce the size of your team?

More CIOs are turning to an emerging technology practice called robotic process automation (RPA) to streamline enterprise operations and reduce costs. With RPA, businesses can automate mundane rules-based business processes, enabling business users to devote more time to higher-value tasks. Others see RPA fitting into a larger context, as they take a more deliberate path to adoption, seeking to understand RPA’s potential to work alongside machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Here CIO.com takes a look at what robotic process automation really is, and how CIOs can make the most of RPA in alignment with business goals. What is robotic process automation? RPA is an application of technology aimed at automating business processes. Using RPA tools, a company can configure software, or a “robot,” to capture and interpret applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems, according to the Institute for Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence . Inclusion of the term “automation” may cause some to confuse RPA with ML and AI. RPA can include ML or AI, but it is governed by set business logic and structured inputs, and its rules don’t deviate, whereas ML and AI […]

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How you can use UC to beat shadow IT communication channels

How you can use UC to beat shadow IT communication channels

This is an interesting article about IT’s role in the ever changing scope of team communications among the organizations with which we’re involved. There’s always a demand for IT to “keep up” as trends change but, as the article states:

…there is seldom consensus between departments as to how their teams should communicate. In fact, different company departments often have a bad habit of walling off their communication.

The issue of “shadow IT” can be a big one. After all, how are you supposed to secure access to your network – let alone maintain your communications – when you have no control over the tools that your team is using?

Ever since the cloud, many departments have been bypassing IT and adopting solutions out of the cloud – often called shadow IT. Generally, IT still struggles with this as it related to all technology, including communication systems.

Unifying communications can help to ease the pain, but only if it’s done right.

IT can reduce the impact of shadow IT and add sanity to the otherwise communication anarchy by simplifying mediums, integrating communication platforms and consolidating channels when possible. IT that creates comfortable and easy-to-access communication channels reduces the chances rouge departments will deploy their own detached solution.

Take a look at the full article with the link below and check out how you can use unified communications to solve your issues with shadow IT.

Thinkstock IT faces a regular cadence of communication challenges. New technologies and platforms that facilitate office communication frequently enter the work arena. And office leadership challenges IT to keep pace, deploy better systems and re-architect old systems to suit the needs of different departments. However, there is seldom consensus between departments as to how their teams should communicate. In fact, different company departments often have a bad habit of walling off their communication. People have different communication preferences. Some prefer video chat, others face-to-face or email, or SMS. Similarly, people have preferred software environments: Google Chat, Slack, Facebook, Twitter, HipChat, Skype for Business, Asana, WebEx, etc. Those in leadership roles often make their preferences the standard for their team’s communication – even if that means adopting solutions without IT’s approval. Ever since the cloud, many departments have been bypassing IT and adopting solutions out of the cloud – often called shadow IT. Generally, IT still struggles with this as it related to all technology, including communication systems. What happens when a company has multiple chat platforms, social media and conferencing applications and other communication mediums? In such a situation, communication standards between departments is incredibly variable. As such, it […]

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6 hard truths IT must learn to accept

6 hard truths IT must learn to accept

I find that accepting new truths often leads to a paradigm shift in the way that we manage our organizations and the way that we have to address new network security threats. Reading through this article, I find that there are many ways in which we need to start changing the way that we deal with our IT solutions inside of our companies – small and large alike.

A couple things really stood out to me when reading this article:

“BYOD has become BYOIT,” says Mike Meikle, CEO of secureHIM, a healthcare cybersecurity and education firm. “Employees can quickly stand up whole IT solutions, from applications to storage, with a few button clicks, and then access these platforms from their mobile devices.”

I remember when I was first starting in this industry back in the early 2000s, there was a huge focus on preventing this exact type of behavior. This idea of “shadow IT” was such a threat that it was almost all anyone talked about. Now, with BYOD having become such a big trend in workplaces, it seems that we really do have to redefine what that means.

“Everybody wants systems that are easy to manage and hard to breach,” he says. “But they usually end up with big ticket security appliances that are hard to manage and sensitive data that remains unprotected. A smarter approach is to assume your environment has already been compromised and design your security plan around that.”

I think that, in all of our talk about network security, this “we’ve already been hacked” approach is a good one. While we certainly all love to think of ourselves as having the ability to create the impenetrable network, there’s more value in the realization that it’s more than likely that you’re already compromised. Like the article says below – how secure is that USB drive that your co-worker just plugged into their desktop?

 

Wikimedia Sometimes the truth hurts. It can be hard to admit that you’ve lost control over how your organization deploys technology, or that your network is porous and your code poorly written. Or no matter how much bandwidth you’ve budgeted for, it never quite seems to be enough, and that despite its bright promise, the cloud isn’t the best solution for everything. In a world where anyone with a credit card and keyboard can spin up their own data center, it’s easy for CIOs to feel irrelevant and redundant. Good luck with all that. The gap between your dreams and cold hard reality just gets wider every day. That doesn’t mean you should give up, but it does mean you need to get real about what you can change and what you must accept. Here are six hard truths CIOs must learn to live with. [ Beware the 12 ‘best practices’ IT should avoid at all costs while heeding the 9 forces shaping the future of IT work . | Get an inside look at 13 real-world digital transformations . | Get the latest insights by signing up for our CIO daily newsletter . ] 1. Shadow IT has […]

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