DTP assignment Group 43: Automation for everyone by everyone!
Company X: Automation for everyone by everyone!
*Due to confidentiality requirements, the company name has been replaced by a pseudonym for this summary: Company X*
Company X is currently using SharePoint Designer for business process automation (workflows). However, Microsoft recently announced that it will discontinue SharePoint Designer in a few years. Therefore, it is recommended that Company X starts the implementation of a new technology due to its reliance on workflows.
- Company X IT model
According to Gartner’s enterprise information management (EIM) maturity model (Newman & Logan 2008), Company X’s IT model is at the Proactive maturity level and is developing towards a managed level. The company has not reached the latter level because (1) data management best practices across functions/geographical regions are still limited; (2) there are no defined data stewards to ensure data quality in the organization; (3) stand-alone analytic applications and separate MDM systems are still used; and (4) there are no standard metrics to identify productivity gains from IT implementations.
- Technology business justification
With the focus on innovation, successful companies are pursuing the right tools to automate and improve business processes to increase efficiency. Company X makes use of this workflow management to (1) save time, (2) improve compliance, (3) increase accuracy, and (4) prevent coordination errors.
- Current state: SharePoint Designer
Company X uses SharePoint Designer to create workflow enabled solutions. An example is its use for track-and-tracing maintenance requests. This is a software that is free and available for all. However, it is difficult to use for general users without programming skills. Therefore, the workflows are often managed by IT specialists. The current issues are: misunderstandings between business and IT, and waiting time for the workflows to be ready. Consequently, the business wants to avoid the ‘queues’.
- Proposed state: Nintex
The proposed technology is Nintex, a drag-and-drop tool allowing anybody to build workflows without programming. It is expected that automation will increase, resulting in organizational productivity. Nintex was chosen over competitors because: (1) it has the easiest user interface and user experience, (2) tighter integration with SharePoint and Outlook, and (3) lower price level.
- SWOT: SharePoint Designer vs. Nintex
The most important strength of Nintex is being usable by non-technical users, while the weakness of SharePoint Designer is requiring programming knowledge. IT will no longer have to spend time learning the business process to automate. However, implementing Nintex will result in a few potential threats; (1) general users making mistakes, (2) users duplicating workflows and (3) the dependency on the company Nintex.
The project plan is focused on piloting and incentivizing adoption by traditional and non-tech savvy employees. Company X Management needs to consider the following; (1) engagement and partnership of IT consultants with end-users, (2) proper communication with stakeholders regarding technology benefits and potential gains in time savings, (3) encourage user feedback, and (4) cooperatively implement user feedback.
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