Fifty-eight percent of executives in the 5th Annual Global Robotics Survey by Deloitte reported that their organizations had “started their intelligent automation journey.” And the turbulent climate of 2020 means that many organizations have been forced to push these projects further as they drive efficiency and resilience across their organization. So, how do you make sure that you deliver value from these projects?
Bizagi, UiPath, Symphony, and SCOR were hosted by Discussion Box to talk about how intelligent automation can help organizations thrive during times of uncertainty. These are some of the key highlights of that roundtable session Driving Efficiency and Resilience By Leveraging Intelligent Automation.
As post-COVID budgets are tightened, cost saving has become a focus for many organizations. It’s important to prove that your automation project is a worthwhile investment.
“The ROI organizations are looking for, and the agility that’s needed, needs to have a very quick payback, or it will be pushed back to a future investment,” Chris Duddridge, Area Vice President (VP) and Managing Director for United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland at UiPath, highlighted in the discussion.
Your agile plan of action should include a series of incremental quick wins that are directly related to the objectives of specific departments and teams. These quick wins will be an excellent way to prove the value of automation technologies, which can in turn help you get backing from executives, who will further fund your initiative.
“Agility has become a core capability. The big shift, from my perspective, is we need to define those short, agile ways of actually leveraging all the amazing technology that we have in place, or could be implemented to bring quick results,” said Mata Veleta, Head of Operational Agility at SCOR. “We need to segment the areas where we can start investing wisely and proceed that way in smaller chunks, rather than huge implementations,” she said.
Research by the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that, across industries, there is already the potential to automate more than 30% of the tasks that make up 60% of today’s jobs. So how do you decide which area of the business to apply your new agile methodology to first? A process-led approach can help decide where to begin.
The panelists discussed that rather than undertaking a huge Six Sigma analysis project, business process analysis can be an easy way to find quick wins.
Using process modeling and simulation helps organizations to automate the most valuable processes and focus efforts where it counts and where it will deliver value. This way, you don’t just deploy automation technologies and then try to make them solve problems that you find along the way. Deloitte found that organizations who had a clear understanding of how to capture value from intelligent automation reduced costs by 21% on average.
“With a process-led approach, you’re looking at the outcome of the business and the strategies of the business,” said Rachel Brennan, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Bizagi.
“Transparency is so important – you need to have your business analysts and stakeholders able to understand what’s going on with their process rather than having it hidden in code… Having the visualization of a process model for everyone to agree on means they can say, ‘Yes, this is what we’re going to do’,” she said.
The transparency that comes with a process-led approach is also beneficial at a time when standard processes need to be changed quickly. An agile, low-code, process-driven approach makes it quick and easy to build out tactical processes, such as ones needed to support working from home, and test and deploy it without too much IT intervention.
As one of the chairs of the roundtable, Frank Casale, Founder and Chairman of the Institute for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), commented, “There is significant ROI in intelligent automation projects that are more process led, as opposed to those that start with the technology.”
Combining technologies to create intelligent automation can deliver end-to-end automation across your processes, and help you realize value quickly. Indeed, Deloitte found that organizations who were piloting intelligent automation said that they expected an average payback period of 15 months, but respondents from organizations that were automating at scale reported an average payback period of only nine months.
“Digital process automation and RPA coming together make a much better story together than separately. It’s the sum of the parts,” said Brennan. “The two come together and you’re able to orchestrate over the legacy systems as well as integrate with them without having to do one-year projects to get these changes. It’s a great story to put them together and actually achieve those five-week projects.”
That’s exactly what insurance provider SCOR did. “Within SCOR we had an amazing experience. Our claims process within the UK was entirely manual, to the point where people would print out emails from clients and take them person to person to be assessed. Now, suddenly, everyone’s working from home. What do we do? We worked with Bizagi and within five weeks we digitized the entire claims assessment process for the UK, which is incredible looking at how we did things previously,” said Veleta.
Applying intelligent automation in agile sprints delivers results quickly, which is exactly what organizations need during this turbulent period. Producing results fast helps to prove the value of these exceptional technologies.
“Intelligent automation is evidence based. It is here to stay and playing a part of digital transformation,” said Jason Martindale, VP for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) at Symphony. “It’s one of the biggest enablers to make [digital transformation] a reality and the benefits that optimization can deliver.”
If you would like to hear more about what was covered in the Discussion Box roundtable, you can listen on demand now.
The advantages of using automation technologies in post-COVID environment
The benefits of working with a partner to deliver your automation project
The automation skills challenge, and how to overcome it
Editor’s note: this is a guest post. Views represented in this blog post belong to the author and are not necessarily representative of UiPath.