March 16, 2020

Automation can help your business survive disruptions

Automation initiatives must continue

It’s amazing how quickly things can change. COVID-19 has turned the world upside down in a matter of weeks. Schools are closed. Conferences are canceled. Work travel is on hold. More and more companies have closed their offices so their employees are working from home. People aren’t buying anything (except toilet paper).

This is having a very big impact on how businesses run. Smart companies are doubling down on efficiency improvements to run with a limited workforce.

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that [is] it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not before.”
— Rahm Emanuel

Good companies don’t survive a crisis. They thrive in it.
Now is the time to push through initiatives that were blocked by organizational inertia. This is where automation is key. Of course, the best day to automate was yesterday. But the next best day to automate is today. If you knew times like this were going to come, what would you have done about it? Well, this is your chance. You can do it now.

Where do you start?

Recognize that life and business must go on and the current crisis may be a new reality.

The biggest priority for business leaders is to answer this question:
What do we do when key people are sick (or unavailable because they’re caring for loved ones)?

Identify manual processes

First, identify where you have manual processes today. Direct each of your team leads to identify manual steps in their process and the amount of time each step takes. Then, pick the one that takes the most time and lean in on automating it.

If you have manual processes that need to be automated, do that NOW.
Obviously, we focus on the database at Liquibase, but this applies to ALL of your software release steps.

  • If you have manual testing, get that automated NOW.
  • If you have manual environment provisioning, get that automated NOW.
  • If you have manual reviews of SQL scripts, get that automated NOW.

(Of course, you don’t need to have a blue-ribbon committee with catered lunches—primarily because we’re all remote for the foreseeable future.)

Make it interesting and engaging
Those of us who are working from home can use some good engaging and productive ways to direct our energy. One way to make the automation process a bit more interesting is once you find two processes from two teams, have a friendly competition to see who can automate the fastest and create the most improvement. Everyone wins with this.

Lather-rinse-repeat on the other processes that are currently manual. Once your organization starts seeing success and reaps the benefits from the added benefits of automating these tasks, more teams will want in on it. That way, they can focus on families when needed and focus on important tasks when they return to work.

Life is going to be different after we get through this disruption. Good leaders take care of their people and their companies. You can do both with automation.

Some good resources and teams that can help you with automating your software processes:

  • Liquibase – for automating your database schema changes. Open source and free. Pro features are free for 30 days.
  • Liquibase Enterprise – enterprise-grade database release automation software. White glove support from experts who have helped many Fortune 500 companies automate their database releases.
  • Delphix – automated data masking and virtualization
  • XebiaLabs – application release orchestration

We’re here and happy to help with your database automation initiatives

We’re here to help. Your team can try Liquibase Pro today. No credit card necessary. Just download and go. We can also help with more complex database release automation challenges. Reach out to us and our team will find the right solution for your use case.

Robert Reeves
Robert Reeves
CTO & Co-Founder
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