Is It Time for Intelligent Automation? 5 Questions to Ask
As Information Professionals, we’re facing a perfect storm of sorts - as information chaos continues to grow, so does the value of this information. Information is now cascading down on every organization in unprecedented volumes and forms, challenging traditional and manual concepts of records management and information stewardship.
Simply put – we’ve just got too much stuff, with too much value, and we can no longer handle it all manually.
It’s this intersection of information chaos and information value that’s moved Intelligent Automation to a top priority for organizations everywhere. It is no longer enough to just store and archive content; it must be put to use in context as part of a broader drive to Intelligent Automation.
But, is Intelligent Automation right for you? Is now the right time? Let’s cover some questions to help you determine if Intelligent Automation could help you reign in your operations.
- “Are we lacking scalability?” It’s likely that your organization is planning to grow in the future – new customer acquisition goals, new sales territories, etc. If your organization achieves its goals and experiences this growth, will you be prepared to scale with it? New customers and expanded territories often translate to adding staff that needs to be hired, trained, and retained. All of which results in cost and time. A key component of Intelligent Automation is scalability. Repetitive tasks can be automated, freeing up your time to focus on more important tasks tied to your organization’s growth.
“Do we have too much manual work?” What are you spending the majority of your time working on? If most of your workday is spent completing manual tasks and processes like transferring data from one system to another, you could be wasting money and missing an opportunity.
As humans, we’re great at a lot of things, but we’re not perfect. When repetitive tasks and processes are manually-driven, they often lead to lots of errors and quality issues. Some tell-tale signs that your manually-driven processes aren’t working are unhappy customers, overworked employees, and attrition issues.
“Are we experiencing a lot of exceptions?” If you’ve already implemented some automation into your processes, are you seeing a lot of exceptions? Exceptions can be caused by a number of reasons, including unstructured data (like a contract or a conversation), semi-structured data (like an invoice or a form), new formats, or a system error.
If you haven’t implemented any automation into your processes, you should consider these factors when thinking about the data flowing in and out of your business – is it semi-structured/unstructured? Multiple formats? Exceptions can be dealt with by applying complex rules, human intervention, or you guessed it – Intelligent Automation.
- “Do we lack end-to-end visibility in our processes?” The visibility of your processes is the key to bringing it all together and providing the necessary metrics to evaluate. Intelligent Automation connects your process with a level of orchestration between your systems and/or applications. If you're unable to measure and track, how can you improve?
“Do we have a single source of information?” Are your legacy systems and applications operating independently? A common sign to look for is that you must go to multiple sources - emails, file locations, spreadsheets, and multiple software applications to collect or compare your data. Many of the systems we use because of usual individual benefits don’t always play well with others - meaning they don’t have the capability of connecting with other systems. This leads to tremendous inefficiency.
Intelligent Automation tools are designed to integrate with existing systems, platforms, and applications to create a more cohesive and streamlined infrastructure.
Why not now? Why not us?
To me, one of the most important questions to ask about Intelligent Automation is:
If a new competitor entered our industry, how could they leverage Intelligent Automation to disrupt the space?
Then, ask yourself – Why should we let someone else do it?
How Do I Get Started with Intelligent Automation?
Ready to start your journey with Intelligent Automation? Download this FREE Webinar On-Demand for guidance and help working through the four best practices for getting started on your Intelligent Automation plan:
- Start with a realistic assessment of the current state of automation in your organization; we’ll show you some obvious targets.
- Integrate process automation initiatives with your efforts to tackle the rising tide of information chaos. And vice versa.
- While immediate cost savings are an important immediate benefit of process automation, don’t neglect to educate the C-Suite on the strategic benefits as well – data quality, information security, and improved customer experiences.
- Embrace the next generation of process services to leverage your existing ECM and BPM investments.