Reduce cost with IT workflow automation

March 21, 2024

Technological advancements, coupled with the progress in AI, have revolutionized the way people work and the work they do, opening doors to new opportunities for automation. While businesses primarily seek to save time and enhance efficiency through workflow automation, it's important to know these advancements also lead to significant cost reduction and productivity gains, completely reshaping IT management. Studies show that 83% of IT leaders believe automation is vital for this process, with nearly half of all organizations implementing automation solutions to streamline tasks and cut costs.

In this article, we discuss various aspects of workflow automation in IT management, from procurement processes to end-of-life asset management, and how these automation solutions can lead to cost reduction.

Rising impact of workflow automation

Before we proceed, here are some survey findings from Gartner highlighting the increasing adoption and impact of workflow automation among tech leaders and why your company should consider implementing it:

  • 81% of tech leaders consider workflow automation as a top priority
  • 91% of IT leaders reported an increase in daily automated workflows
  • 80% express contentment with existing automated workflows.
  • 90% of decision-makers plan to expand their use of automated workflows in the future
  • Companies allocate a percentage of their IT budget, ranging from 1-10%, towards workflow automation tools.

Workflow automation for IT Managers

Workflow automation eases burden for IT managers by simplifying complex tasks and lightening their workload, especially in procurement from purchasing to end-of-life management. It introduces various solutions that streamline IT processes, making them simpler, more manageable, and cost-effective. The fact that 71% of Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) prioritize cost reduction, as revealed in Deloitte’s 2023 Global CPO Survey, highlights just how crucial workflow automation is in shaping procurement strategies.

1. Simplifying procurement processes

Procurement automation is a cornerstone for organizations aiming to do more with less. Manual procurement tasks, including contract, invoice, payment processing, and supplier selection, are time-consuming and prone to errors. Cumbersome approval workflows lead to delays and increased administrative overheads, hampering productivity and escalating costs.

Procurement automation streamlines purchasing, sourcing, and vendor management processes, ensuring cost-effectiveness and compliance. A survey by Gartner indicated that companies with automated purchase orders experience a 20% reduction in costs associated with supplier payments and invoice processing. 

  • High-Cost Savings: By managing spend effectively, procurement automation generates higher ROI through cost savings.
  • Reduced Non-Catalog Spending: Automation ensures compliance and reduces spending outside approved suppliers, enhancing cost control.
  • Better Visibility: Real-time access to supplier and cost information enables efficient contract and order tracking.
  • Automated Purchase Order (PO) Generation: Purchase order automation improves the creation, approval, and processing of orders, significantly reducing manual effort and errors. Forrester Research indicates that such automation can reduce cycle times by up to 60%, enhancing efficiency and accuracy. It also offers better control over spending and improves visibility and collaboration among stakeholders.
  • Improved Vendor Management: Automated vendor approval processes ensure efficient procurement, emphasizing compliance, cost control, and clear communication. From assessing vendor needs to internal approval and onboarding, the focus remains on optimizing relationships. Automation reduces delays, enhances visibility, and centralizes data, enabling businesses to build strong partnerships.

Some examples:

  • Urban Company utilizes procurement management software to streamline SaaS procurement, saving 100 hours and achieving a 15x ROI.
  • Accenture leverages AI and analytics to streamline procurement, resulting in significant cost savings and improved account payable accuracy.

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2. Optimizing asset management

Efficient asset management is critical for IT managers to control costs and resource allocation.
Automation enhances asset tracking, usage monitoring, and renewal/retirement processes, potentially resulting in substantial cost savings:

  • Real-time asset tracking: Automated asset tracking can lead to precise inventory management, potentially reducing inventory costs by up to 50% through optimized asset allocation and utilization. (Source: Deloitte)
  • Without real-time tracking, companies risk overstocking or understocking inventory, leading to increased carrying costs or lost sales opportunities. Additionally, inefficient asset allocation may result in equipment downtime or unnecessary purchases, impacting productivity and profitability.
  • Implementing a robust IT asset tracking system not only ensures efficient inventory management but also protects valuable client information, prevents employee theft, and enhances overall security, safeguarding investments and minimizing financial losses and legal risks.
  • Usage monitoring: Analyzing asset usage patterns enables better resource allocation, resulting in up to 30% cost savings through reduced underutilization of IT equipment. (Source: Gartner)
  • Automated renewal and retirement: IT managers can minimize manual intervention and administrative overhead by automating renewal or retirement processes, saving up to 40% on asset management costs annually. (Source: Forrester)
  • Also, there's a significant environmental benefit to extending the lifecycle of devices. For example, upgrading instead of replacing hardware saves costs and reduces electronic waste, contributing positively to environmental sustainability.
  • Similarly, implementing efficient retirement processes ensures that devices are properly recycled or repurposed, minimizing their environmental impact. It's crucial to recognize that by prolonging the usage period of devices, we're actively contributing to reducing the carbon footprint associated with manufacturing and disposing of electronic equipment. 

3. Efficient patch management

Workflow automation plays a strategic role in simplifying critical tasks for IT managers such as patch deployment, vulnerability assessment, and compliance reporting. By automating these processes you can effectively minimize expenses associated with security breaches and non-compliance issues.

  • Automated Patch Deployment: With automated patch management, IT managers can save up to 70% in patch deployment costs by reducing manual intervention and downtime associated with security breaches. (Source: Gartner)
  • Vulnerability Assessment: Automated prioritization of patch deployment based on risk levels enhances security measures, reducing the cost of addressing vulnerabilities by up to 50%. (Source: Ponemon Institute)
  • Compliance Reporting: Automatic generation of compliance reports demonstrates adherence to security policies and regulations, saving up to 80% in compliance audit costs annually. (Source: IDC)

4. Improving End-of-Life management

Proper disposal of retired IT assets is crucial for data security and compliance. Automation simplifies end-of-life management processes, potentially saving costs associated with data breaches and compliance violations:

  • Automated Disposal Procedures: Streamlined processes for retiring assets ensure compliance with regulations and minimize security risks, potentially saving up to 30% in costs associated with data breaches and non-compliance penalties. (Source: Industry Survey)
  • Secure Data Erasure: Automated data wiping procedures guarantee data security and privacy compliance, potentially saving up to 40% in costs associated with data recovery and regulatory fines. (Source: Industry Survey)

In conclusion, by choosing workflow automation, organizations can tackle the challenges of IT management head-on. From simplifying procurement processes to optimizing asset management and ensuring compliance, automation offers robust solutions to common problems. Through these implementations, businesses can achieve tangible results, such as cost savings, improved efficiency, and enhanced security. It's not just about IT managers implementing solutions; it's about empowering everyone to navigate the digital landscape more effectively, driving innovation and growth for the future.

How Velory can help

The automation journey could be quite daunting without the right tools and skillset. That's where Velory steps in, providing a platform that integrates asset management with a user-friendly store interface, simplifying the journey from asset acquisition to retirement. With Velory, you gain access to a centralized solution that empowers your team, automating asset management, tracking, vendor management, device retirement, and renewal processes, hence, reducing lifecycle management expenditure across the board.

Also, our dedication to sustainability ensures that every asset is maximized, contributing to the reduction of e-waste and environmental preservation. 

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