Automation Roadmap : Four things that Organizations need to do Differently
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Automation Roadmap: Four things that organizations need to do differently


This is the first part of our blog series - Enabling Automation: Fast forward, where we will bring you the latest updates and value propositions of Automation that can benefit your organization

Introduction

Over the last decade, there have been many IT solutions that have stopped at the “peak of inflated expectation”, a phase in Fig.1 - Gartner’s Hype Cycle* (as shown below) where unprecedented expectations were set due to the disillusionment created from success stories. This ultimately lead to hasty investments and scores of failures.


                        Fig.1 - Gartner’s Hype Cycle

In the automation space, there are comprehensive products available in the market to cater to the varying needs of customers in the areas of Robotics Process Automation (RPA), Artificial intelligence (AI), Machine learning (ML), and Analytics that have been enabled organizations to move onto the “slope of enlightenment”; when expectations are set around what is achievable and steady improvements are witnessed by contextualizing technology and its use- cases.

There is no doubt that automation has picked up a great momentum considering the pandemic situation. Organizations are digitizing their operations at a rapid pace, with automation as an integral part of digital transformation journey. A report published by Fact.MR* suggested that SMEs are expected to adopt business workflow automation on a large scale, creating a market of opportunity of more than US$1.6bn between 2021-2026.  

The Mirage of Automation Benefits

Organizations are often lured by the idea of increased efficiency with improved cost-saving through automation. While this is a cogent thought, organizations are bound to fail in their automation initiative in the absence of a clear and well-articulated roadmap. Adopting automation entails a steep learning curve that enterprises should consider while instituting automation.

When looking for automation solutions, it is vital for the organizations to identify and quantify the opportunities to use automation for revenue-generating or for cost-saving activities. Additionally, it is necessary to prioritize the business processes to be automated based on their benefits as well as their ROI.

Strategies to build an Automation Roadmap

    • 1) Move Away from Best practices to Next Practices
      • In discussions with customers, it is quite common that the discovery phase starts with questions related to assessments which include (but not limited to) roadmaps, industry-specific use cases, frameworks, accelerators, and case studies. This varies significantly as the path of automation is different for every customer.

      • However, it is important for the organizations to look at the next practices that will be relevant for the future and embark on those practices. While it is not wrong to spend time in understanding successful use cases in the discovery phase, it is necessary to ensure that excessive time is not spent on it and on waiting for proven results to emerge. The delay will cost organization in building differentiation in the marketplace.
    •  
    • 2) Identify Your Non-Conformists
      • The subsequent step in the automation journey is to identify use cases relevant to the organization. If there are no readymade catalogues to choose from, it is important to know how to progress in this journey. 

      • One of the effective ways to move beyond this sticking point is to bring the non-conformists of your organization into the fray. Non-conformists are passionate problem solvers who can help in identifying use cases. They bring to the surface many shortcomings related to organizational processes and practices as well inefficiencies. By brainstorming with non-conformists on activities or tasks that need to be optimized, organizations can speed up the process of developing specific use cases.

    • 3) Business Process Redesigns are a Must
      • There are many organizations having a multitude of mobile applications for the teams on the field. It is expected that updates are provided to these operational teams regularly. Even though this looks to be a tempting use case for automation, this is a classic case of redesign and optimization of the business process. It is important that organizations heed to business process improvements and make it an integral part of the automation use case preparation.

    • 4) Move from Proof of Concept to Proof of Value
      • Taking the conventional route of evaluating the product features and their fit, is not going to create excitement for buy-in from stakeholders. Identifying use cases, quantifying business benefits, moving to the development of the solution, and validating the business benefits is the only way to hasten the adoption of automation.

     

    Conclusion

    It is important that organizations develop a customized framework to implement automation solutions. A one size fit all approach will not be the right approach in this journey. Organization- specific use cases need to be developed and the value realization showcase is of paramount importance in this journey.

    Stay tuned for the second blog of our blog series - Enabling Automation :Fast Forward, where we will be taking a deep dive into how you can generate immense value from SAP intelligent Robotic Process Automation (iRPA) and Conversational AI Bots.

    *References taken from Gartner & Fact.MR  








About The Author

Vaideeswaran S
Vaideeswaran S

Director - Enterprise Applications, Blueprint Technologies

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