“Task automation, ignoring employees will act as a risk factor”

According to Rajendra Prasas, global head of automation at Accenture and co-author of The Automation Advantage, automation in the workplace is nothing new. Over the past few decades, companies have flocked to RPA to automate routine business tasks. This simplifies operations, reduces errors and cuts costs.

Businesses are now turning to intelligent automation to automate key business processes to increase revenue, operate efficiently, and deliver superior customer experiences. Intelligent automation is a smarter version of RPA that uses machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cognitive technologies (such as NLP) to handle more complex processes, guide better business decisions, and open up new opportunities, Prasas said. said.

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Newsweek’s head of social media, Mark Muir, said social media management was automated. “Previously, we managed all our social media posts manually. For example, we “manually” shared new stories on our social pages, identified content to recycle, and tested different strategies. As a result of moving to an automated approach, we spend a lot less time on these processes.”

“We use Echobox’s automation to decide what content to share on social media, and also optimize how and when it’s posted so as many people as possible can see it,” said Muir. This allows us to spend more time focusing on our readers and finding new ways to engage them.”

Business processes suitable for automation

Ravi Besantrazi, head of global delivery at IT service provider Mphasis, introduced the following characteristics of business processes suitable for automation:
• A process that has clear steps and handles structured data, digital or non-digital data.
• Processes with seasonal spikes that cannot be performed by manual labor (eg policy renewals, premium adjustments, claims payments, etc.)
• Processes with strict service-level agreements (e.g. transaction initiation, order fulfillment, etc. requiring expedited turnaround).

Many companies are automating contract management, says Doug Balvin, managing director and chief growth officer for compliance and certification services provider Schellman. “Considering all the steps of drafting, sending, revising, and executing contracts via email, using technology to manage content, coordinate change approvals, and automate the signing process can save time and reduce errors,” says Balbin. told

It is also an opportunity to reduce all manual interactions in sales outside of contracts. According to Balbin, companies are offering chatbots that automate functions that answer key questions and connect prospects to sales teams.

It has automated many sales processes, says Bob Frey, director of sales operations at UMC, a US mechanical service contractor. “We’ve automated various sales steps so we can track sales through the pipeline,” says Frey. You can track what stage different sales are in. He does this using Cosential’s Unanet CRM, which is designed for the construction industry.”

Another area where automation is penetrating is security, Balbin said. “Testing compliance and controls in an increasingly complex environment is routine in cybersecurity,” Balbin said. Collect data, perform initial analysis, classify, and then [사람] There are compliance automation tools built in to deliver to assessors.”

Wayne Butterfield, Global Head of Intelligent Automation Solutions at the Information Services Group (ISG), noted that many companies are automating the finance-to-pay process and the HR hire-to-retire process. “In any business, there are tons of tasks that can be automated,” Butterfield said. The problem is: What skills are needed to automate this? From a value realization standpoint, does it make sense (to automate it)?”

Contact centers are a huge opportunity, according to Butterfield, because many of the activities that take place here are not only similar, but also have a positive impact on customer experience and employee effectiveness. For example, businesses can leverage automated virtual agents to handle common customer requests such as checking balances, paying bills or changing addresses. This allows human staff to respond to more complex customer inquiries. By offloading these mundane tasks to automated virtual agents, it also shortens the time it takes to resolve customer issues.

Where Intelligent Automation Leads

Maureen Fleming, vice president of Intelligent Process Automation at IDC, said that over the next few years, business processes controlled by intelligent automation will be (1) tasks performed by automation, (2) tasks assigned to (human) employees, and (3) robot assistants and Work architecture will change and become event-driven as human employees subdivide into tasks that are done collaboratively, he said.

“There will be fewer employees who are constantly using enterprise applications,” says Fleming. Employees will spend more time supporting themselves digitally by learning how to develop using low-code tools. They will also spend more time doing knowledge work or creative work, such as planning, proactively identifying and solving problems, and making decisions.”

Prasad notes that in the next few years there will be a huge opportunity for automation to be seen as an essential ally to the success of companies, reinventing discrete processes, transforming customer and employee experiences, and driving revenue growth. “Intelligent automation will usher in a new era in business that will enable businesses to meet the needs of their customers, employees and society in new and powerful ways that are more efficient and effective than ever before,” he explained.

Pitfalls of automation to watch out for

There are potential risks that companies should avoid while automating business processes. “The most important thing is to ignore and underestimate your employees,” Butterfield said. Results are achieved through technology, but everything is (usually) very people-centric, right down to the actual process automation. Poor change management will cause many problems in the long run. Companies need to keep people aligned with their overall goals.”

Security, and more specifically, ‘authentication’, is also important, Balbin said. “Every automation, API, etc. needs some way to pass access credentials,” says Balbin. If the system that automates these credentials is compromised, access to connected systems may also be compromised. It is recommended to use SAML 2.0 and other technologies that remove stored passwords from the system to minimize risk.”

Another pitfall is choosing only one technology as an automation tool. In general, Fleming said, companies need multiple skills to achieve the best results.

Muir noted that when companies choose to automate a business process previously performed by a single individual or team, there can be some resistance, and it’s understandable. “Some people initially resisted the idea of ​​letting an algorithm choose what a human would decide,” Muir said. You may have some fears with AI and algorithms. “There can also be a perception of a lack of control when a process is suddenly automated,” he said.

According to Besantrazi, companies should also have a clear strategy for automating business processes. “Automating processes without understanding the ROI can lead to business loss. “If multiple users are involved and building automation, there may not be any benefit.”

“Plan slowly and carefully, listen to people’s opinions”

Scaling intelligent automation is one of the challenges for enterprises, Prasas said. Therefore, he advises, it is important for enterprises to have a clear understanding of the strategic intent of this initiative from the outset and to make it part of their entire modernization journey, from cloud adoption to data-driven innovation. “Intelligent automation is not a race to be the first to deploy the latest technology,” Prasas said. “Success depends on understanding people’s needs, adopting new technologies in a way that minimizes disruption, and also addressing the challenges associated with new skills, roles, and tasks.”

In other words, focusing on people is just as important as focusing on technology. “Investing in intelligent automation should put people first,” Prasas said. In other words, it must be designed to enhance human capabilities and be supported by investments in technology, change management, experience, organization and culture.”

Butterfield agrees that strategic thinking is important, saying, “Start small and think strategically. Understand the problem you want to automate or improve before turning to a technology solution. Also, work with people.” On the other hand, people’s opinions should not be solely heard about how long a task takes, how many tasks can be completed in a given amount of time, and so on. Butterfield added, “This sometimes leads to inaccurate business cases.”

“The results will tell,” says Muir. “After companies introduce AI and automation into their processes, time gains and performance improvements should be key factors in objectively judging the success of a project. At Newsweek, the use of the Echobox demonstrated the quantifiable value of automation. This made it easier to embrace automation.”

“You have to find the right balance of automation for your team or business,” said Muir. If you want to automate but are afraid to automate the process 100% and give up manual control, there are ways to partially automate it. It’s good to be realistic about where you’re spending your time and energy on repetitive, manual tasks and figure out how to automate those parts.”

How employees are keeping pace with automation

Balbin said employees should embrace automation opportunities that can offer high value. “Take security operations as an example,” says Balbin. Leveraging automation allows staff monitoring networks for attackers to stay abreast of a changing environment and focus more quickly on high-priority threats and incidents.” You can turn it into a requirement. All of this can be run from a single management plane.”

Fleming noted that most companies are looking to upskill employees and transition them into new roles through automation. Incorporate new responsibilities into existing roles. “So when opportunities are presented to learn how to develop for automation, process improvement, etc., employees should embrace those opportunities,” says Fleming. Employees should look for external programs as well as internal upscaling programs,” he said.

Muir advises employees to be open-minded about learning new skills and how they can use them. “Technology is changing rapidly,” Muir said. The tools and systems you use today may not be the same in five years.”
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Source: ITWorld Korea by www.itworld.co.kr.

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