I was listening to recent news about the situation in Syria and how the Assad government is disconnected from the Syrian people. Syrians are now rising up in smaller groups against the government, assisted by external state and non-state interests.

No matter how much the US, Russia, Iran, UK and the EU align themselves attempting to consolidate positions, the individual and group interests will remain unless there are cohesive alternatives. With the Syrian government neither strategically nor cohesively representing the people, each interested party pushes their own agenda – ending up in civil chaos and rebellion.

Although we do not pretend to have anywhere near the personal threat to life or severity of outcomes, it strikes me that we continually suffer this type of political fragmentation in Business and IT Process Automation.

Automation and industrialisation of processes is well recognised as the solution to the efficiency, quality and velocity challenges we face to remain competitive. It is a common cause in which every group and individual has an interest.

However, if organisations and their IT have no cohesive strategic plan, each area of the business becomes an “island of automation”. This inevitably leads to a simplistic local view of automation, and the same fragmentation and political disconnects that leads to the oppression that is destroying Syria.

There are many external forces in vendors, consultants and external parties that make a healthy living out of this fragmentation and chaos. They would like to see the situation perpetuate. They are actively segregating the client’s activities into singular focus’ to suit their own outcomes. In doing so, they are preserving the current chaos and fragmentation. So, the stakes become too high to change track.

The industrial automation sector solved many of these issues over 30 years ago which is why we see harmony and productivity in modern manufacturing plants. Unfortunately, unless you are Amazon, you probably do not have the benefit of being able to build automation into your business model from the start. It is a retro-fit and needs a retro-fit strategy based upon solid technology, strong processes and most importantly, flexibility.

However consider this: a change in track is not needed. Just as with the common cause in Syria, what businesses need is cohesion of strategy. A solution that defines the common cause whilst encapsulating each individual agenda. In this we include: workflow, task automation, data / knowledge and business rules to allow us to automate and orchestrate processes, decisions, events, and incidents, in a unified infrastructure.

Considering automation as a game changing approach to your business without establishing this cohesive strategy that covers people, process and technology and draws on the decades of successful research and experience in industrial automation will create your own corporate Syria.

The rewards are great if the strategy is set coherently, considers and adopts the existing automations, and has a strategy to resolve fragmentation. We are doing this every day for our clients, but I think we need to leave Syria to the UN.