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Integrated automation: connecting processes in a hybrid environment

Automating manual processes should be part of any digital transformation strategy. For organizations with hybrid IT infrastructures — that is, a combination of cloud and on-premises systems — it’s important to achieve integrated automation in which core IT systems and processes are connected and can interact seamlessly with each other.

In this blog we look at:

  • Why organizations choose hybrid in the first place
  • The particular challenges that hybrid poses for process automation
  • How process mapping is the first and most important step to integrated automation
  • How Nintex can help automate processes and integrate systems across hybrid IT environments

Why hybrid?

The cloud may well be the future, but many organizations are opting for a hybrid approach — one which embraces cloud computing while also maintaining legacy, on-premises systems. A survey carried out by 451 Research found that 69% of organizations see their immediate future as multi-cloud and hybrid. But why is this approach so popular?

For some organizations, hybrid is the best fit as they gradually move to the cloud. For others, maintaining some degree of computing on-premises is imperative.

There are many good reasons to opt for hybrid IT:

  • Security and privacy are increasingly seen as a priority for businesses. Keeping systems on-site lets you know exactly where data is stored and can provide greater control over maintenance and security. In some industries, regulation requires organizations to do this.
  • In some cases, legacy IT systems cannot be moved to the cloud easily. Many organizations have built up their IT infrastructure over years, even decades — with lots of time and money invested. Legacy systems were instrumental in building their success, and continue to support business-critical applications and data stores. If these systems work and work well, why upturn them?
  • Moving everything to the cloud in one go may not be easy, viable or even possible. A staggered approach may be better. Some users can be overcome by too much change in how things work. In other situations, the costs associated with investing in new technology can force organizations to move to the cloud in stages. A hybrid approach can be an important step in the digital transformation journey.

But what about process automation?

Digital transformation is no longer just an interesting idea. Organizations that fail to adapt to modern ways of working will fall behind their competitors that have effectively harnessed modern technology to boost productivity, reduce costs, and offer employees and customers better experiences.

If keeping some legacy IT systems on-premises is necessary, then organizations should seek ways to pursue digital transformation goals, including process automation, without abandoning these existing systems. Integration is key.

The challenges

With disparate systems in the cloud and on-premises, various issues can arise:

  • Processes and workflows can become overly complex, as they exist (perhaps duplicated) on different systems
  • Data can be siloed, duplicated, and lost
  • Processes may remain manual if they span disconnected systems
  • Work may be duplicated, as different employees carry out identical tasks in different systems or applications
  • Collaboration among teams can be damaged
  • It may be unclear who is involved in processes (especially across teams and locations), and people may be left out of workflows that require their input

In organizations with hybrid IT environments, integrating disparate systems with workflows delivers crucial benefits.

By connecting all the dots, workflows can pass smoothly among people and systems. It’s time to break down the barriers to digital transformation and achieve integrated automation.

Understand your processes

A key first step in process automation is process mapping. This involves identifying the current state of processes within the organization:

  • What processes are in place?
  • What works, what doesn’t?
  • Who is involved?
  • What are the pain points/barriers to success?
  • What can be improved?
  • What needs to be deprecated?

This is even more important with hybrid IT. You need to understand which systems are being used, which ones work, and which don’t. You need to identify any processes that are ineffective, and detect silos that may prevent information being shared and/or result in workflows faltering.

Once this information is gathered and the true state of your processes are understood, you can better connect your cloud and on-premises systems.

The key to automated integration

Modern process automation platforms, like Nintex, integrate with the most widely adopted enterprise solutions (e.g. Salesforce, Adobe, Dropbox) to help businesses keep hybrid operations running smoothly. Crucially, Nintex integrates both cloud and on-premises IT.

With Nintex you can orchestrate processes across CRM, ERP, HRM, CLM, as well as various portals, native apps, and all other cloud-based/legacy apps/systems. Nintex doesn’t just help automate processes. It facilitates automated integration — breaking down barriers to productivity by connecting your whole IT stack.

Nintex improves the way people work through process mapping, management, and automation. What’s more, it provides ongoing insights and powerful analysis to help optimize your most important processes — no matter what your IT environment looks like.

 

 

To learn more about how Nintex can help your business achieve integrated automation and seamlessly connect IT systems in a hybrid environment, get in contact with the Nintex team today.