How to get started with intelligent automation

Befitting a concept that is sweeping the business world, a lot has been written and said about digital transformation (DX) in recent years. It has been the focus of workshops and seminars, best-selling books and endless corporate meetings as executives strive to manage the technological change that is essential for remaining competitive in an increasingly digital environment. However, amid this transformation journey, a revolutionary technology has emerged that is taking automation to new heights – intelligent automation.
How to get started with intelligent automation | ProbeCX

Intelligent automation combines robotic process automation (RPA) with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, enabling software robots to perform tasks not just based on predefined rules but with cognitive abilities. These smart bots can learn from past actions, adapt to new scenarios and even make decisions on their own, revolutionising the way businesses operate.

Once the stuff of fantasy, RPA saw software robots completing repetitive and time-consuming aspects of digital work, allowing employees to focus on more productive, higher value and creative tasks. However, with intelligent automation, the scope has expanded exponentially. These AI-powered bots are now capable of understanding unstructured data, natural language processing (NLP) and advanced analytics, making them highly versatile across various industries.

From reading screens and extracting data to filling in forms, RPA robots mimic human interactions for certain tasks and, in cases where they need specific expertise, they are even able to ask for human input or assistance. Highly valued by sectors such as financial services, healthcare, retail and human resources, intelligent automation provides a valuable way to ensure a more cost-effective and efficient business.

Five steps to getting started

P_Web_How to get started with intelligent automation

While intelligent automation can create growth opportunities and reduce operational costs, it is essential to remember that one size does not fit all. Successful implementation of this cutting-edge technology takes time, extensive research and strategic assessment. Moreover, an awareness that applying intelligent automation to the wrong processes can create new headaches.

From our experience we recommend the following five-step approach for your own intelligent automation journey:

  1. Identify the business value: a successful automation program starts with a clearly articulated business value statement that is driven by and/or is an enabler of business strategy. Taking time to build this clarity and develop a compelling vision is a key success factor for a long-term program.
  2. Quantify the benefits: review each of the business units across the organisation to identify where the largest benefits are. Quantifying the benefit opportunity is critical to understand where the highest ROI is, it also helps drive prioritisation decisions.
    Developing a benefits framework that can quantify both direct (time savings, cost reduction, revenue uplift, etc.) and indirect (customer experience, employee experience, compliance, etc.) is critical to opening up the opportunity space as broadly as possible.
  3. Build a pilot set of processes: building momentum is paramount to success. Start with one business unit to limit the change impact and focus on five processes to automate quickly. To move effectively, think about processes with good benefits cases, stakeholders who are excited about the change and stable processes that will be reliable and consistent. The outcome of the pilot will drive positive conversation, justify expansion and unlock further investment.
  4. Establish an effective support and governance model: once you have a pilot set of processes completed, you need a support model that ensures that business users are supported. From a user perspective, it will look like any other IT support desk where they can report issues and get help when needed. An effective governance model becomes important as the program scales to ensure you can maintain quality, manage risks and ensure effective controls are in place.
  5. Build on the pilot expanding across the organisation: now you are ready to rapidly expand the automation footprint. That means scaling the business units in scope to identify larger benefits and build up a larger backlog. The second aspect is increasing the technical delivery capability to build more processes in parallel and ideally in a continuous manner.

Intelligent automation is the future of business efficiency and innovation, and embracing it today will undoubtedly position your organisation for success in the digital age.

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