Automation Journey

Processes Automation can transform how an organisation operates but to achieve this transformation successfully and at scale requires the organisation to go on an automation journey from automation novice through to hyper-automation expert. This journey will include mountains to climb and challenges to navigate past but the opportunities it presents are well worth it.  Read more about this journey including these opportunities and challenges below.

Combined Intelligence can help you overcome these challenges, accelerating your progress towards achieving the full benefits of automation. We can help in all phases of your journey, whether you are just setting out, you need to scale your programme, or you are looking to utilise artificial intelligence and achieve hyper-automation. We have created the following initiatives to provide rapid targeted guidance and assistance at each of these phases:

Instantiate Build a successful automation programme and capability.

Invigorate Scale an existing programme and take it to the next level.

Intellect – Add intelligence and evolve automation into your organisation’s DNA.

Opportunity

Process automation provides the ability to transform how an organisation operates. When done well, process automation can deliver many benefits, including:

  • Transforming the customer experience.
  • Improving products and service delivery.
  • Reducing process lifecycle time and increasing throughput.
  • Removing mundane work, freeing people time for higher value tasks.
  • Increasing employee satisfaction.
  • Improving accuracy, quality, consistency and reliability of processes and data.
  • Expanding management and business information and insight.
  • Reducing risk and enhancing security.
  • Significantly reducing operating costs.

Achieving and maximising these benefits is a challenge, requiring organisations to go on a journey and, to be successful, to make the right intelligent decisions along the way. Various surveys have recognised that between 30% – 50% of automation programmes fail to deliver even the initial benefits expected.

Journey

The journey typically begins with an organisation recognising and accepting the need for process automation. It then progresses through a series of phases (see illustration below) and ultimately, if successful, the organisation achieves hyper-automation where automation exists throughout the organisation and is embedded within its DNA. Unfortunately, many organisations get stuck along the way, failing to realise the full transformational benefit automation can bring.

The journey can be broken down into three key phases – build, scale and evolve:

  • Build – Transitioning from identifying the need through to building successful automations that deliver initial benefit to the organisation. Including the following steps:
    • Need – Recognising the need for automation across the organisation.
    • Vision – Setting an incremental vision for automation and the benefits expected to be achieved.
    • Pilot – Demonstrating the potential through an initial pilot.
    • Live – Live process automations delivering value, often at a departmental or business function level.
  • Scale – Taking the big step from an initial collection of automations to operating at scale with advanced end to end process automations delivering the full range of benefits across the organisation.
    • Advanced – Delivering transformational end to end process automations at scale.
  • Evolve – Going beyond rules-based automation and evolving to utilise and integrate with intelligent technologies. Extending the scope, capability and adoption across the organisation; achieving hyper-automation.
    • Intelligent – Utilising AI to go beyond rules-based automations.
    • Hyper – Automation is everywhere in the organisation and part of its DNA.

Successfully progressing through this journey requires organisations to overcome many challenges, see below.

“Process automation can positively transform an organisation but only when done intelligently!”

Steve Sheppard – CAO

Challenges

As with many journeys, there are many challenges to overcome in order to successfully reach the destination. Some organisations have found this difficult, leading to automation programmes stalling and the organisation not achieving the full range and extent of potential benefits. Examples of the challenges that can occur at each stage of the journey include:

  • Build
    • Defining a realistic and achievable incremental vision for automation.
    • Creating a centre of excellence with the right skills, capabilities and scale.
    • Selecting the right technology platform and, potentially, partners to support delivery.
    • Creating the best IT and security environment.
    • Achieving buy-in across the organisation (c-level to front line) including the acceptance of change.
    • Identifying and capturing the right opportunities for automation.
    • Creating and following effective processes across design, implementation, deployment and operation.
  • Scale
    • Designing and delivering end to end (cross department) process automations.
    • Automation as part of a wider Digital Transformation programme.
    • Designing and implementing for maintainability, performance, security and scale.
    • Managing change, failure and ongoing optimisation.
    • Gaining organisational wide acceptance and appreciation that automation is beneficial and long term.
    • Achieving and maintaining performance and availability appropriate to a business-critical platform.
  • Evolve
    • Utilising, for example, intelligent character recognition, natural language understanding and computer vision as part of automated processes.
    • Automating decisions based on machine learnt experiences.
    • Enhancing insight and providing intelligent predictions through augmented analytics.
    • Deliver competitive advantage through innovative combinations of automation with intelligence technologies.
    • Completing a cultural change within the organisation to embed automation within its DNA.
    • Avoiding and overcoming these challenges can be difficult, this is where Combined Intelligence, with our experience, can help.

These challenges can be overcome but doing this without significant pain, excess work, negativity towards the automation team/programme, unexpected costs, reduced benefits and significant delays are key to the success of the automation programme and onward progression of the organisation through its automation journey. 

Overcome

Combined Intelligence’s mission is to help organisations achieve the maximum benefit from intelligent technologies including intelligent process automation and artificial intelligence. We have a team with the relevant skills combined with real-world practical experience to help organisations identify opportunities and overcome challenges throughout their journey to hyper-automation.

Combined Intelligence can provide guidance, aid and support to help organisations to overcome their specific challenges and to accelerate their automation journey. We have created three initiatives (Instantiate, Invigorate and Intellect) that are aimed at providing guidance and inspiration to organisations at each of the three phases of their automation journey. Each initiative has a defined scope (adjusted to client specific needs), can be delivered quickly (within a 3-4 week elapsed timeframe) and, importantly, (with the current travel restrictions and social distancing measures) each initiative can be performed remotely (utilising collaboration technology). These initiatives focus on the challenges that often occur and deliver outcomes that provide real value to the organisation in overcoming these challenges. To understand more please follow these links:

  • Build – How to Instantiate and successfully progress an automation programme.
  • Scale – How to Invigorate an existing programme and take it to the next level.
  • Evolve – How to add Intellect into automation and evolve automation into the DNA of the organisation.

Where an organisation believes they are progressing on their journey well, these initiatives can provide a health check, delivering reassurance to the organisation as well as providing some additional innovative ideas and thoughts to aid them accelerate their programme further.