Once upon a time automation was primarily seen as a lever to replace manual work through deployment of robots- physical or virtual. While this is still being seen as a major business driver for adopting automation by organizations, the landscape is witnessing drastic changes owing to the technological advancements across the automation spectrum comprising of key technologies like RPA, Cognitive Learning, OCR/ICR (Data Digitization), Virtual Agents/Chatbots, Machine Learning & Predictive Analytics.
Organizations are no more just talking about replacing their resource pool for back-end processes but posing questions on how they can maximize their returns by getting the pulse from their customer base. AI for instance is being used by Hollywood to predict whether their next movie could be a blockbuster; Amazon can very well anticipate if we are running short of toilet paper; and Netflix can very well suggest on what TV sitcom I can binge upon next. And all this while we already have Virtual Agents in the form of AI Assistants (read Google Home, Alexa) becoming household devices.
Don’t miss the automation train
The question becomes inevitable for businesses as to ‘How they don’t run the risk of missing the automation train’. But this is no more to do with taking the first mover advantage. Businesses can realize value from their automation investments ONLY if they approach the disruptive market with a clear methodology and right leadership drive.
It has already been witnessed that organizations which took a myopic technology bolt-on approach for applying solutions like RPA have struggled over time. A more holistic view needs to be taken in order to apply what could best enable businesses to embark on an automation journey. This is indeed a journey and not a sprint!
Intelligent Automation Approach promises to assist the organizations in identifying the right automation mix which they could be looking to integrate in their processes. Based on the information complexity and the ambiguous nature of processes, different set of automation levers can be targeted by the organizations.
This kind of intelligence is derived through a thorough study of the automation lever being targeted, process characteristics and the organization’s maturity with respect to executing their processes.
The traditional value proposition from BPM and data driven decision making still holds the key in enabling the organizations to take informed decisions and allow for interventions in their process re-design engagements
Most of the time, organizations being cautious are driven by incorporation of technologies which are mature and for which we have enough credentials in the market. This although should not be a road-block for organizations who are being far sighted in getting ahead of the curve. These are organizations who are willing to co-create some of the next gen offerings and are the ones who could benefit the most in due course. We are in the age where even traditional brick and mortar based businesses are banking on AI to become future ready organizations.Having said that AI/intelligent Automation is going to be the buzz for quite some time, its essential that the execution of the same is considered with caution and driven with substantial leadership push.
Key success factors to ensure maximized returns:
A) Have a dedicated Center of Excellence to drive the overall automation agenda
B) Prepare the roadmap by understanding the current automation maturity of the organization
C) Automation should be part of the vision statement of the organization and must be driven well by the leadership
D) Take a well-balanced investment approach when it comes to investing in new vs. mature technologies
E) Define the value proposition better (beyond FTE reduction)