What Processes to Automate: Process Selection Beyond Cost Reduction

We have entered the age of the Bot.  All medium and large businesses will do intelligent automation (IA) at scale, it is just a matter of time.  The window for you to gain a strategic advantage with IA is closing fast as most companies are exploring using automation for their enterprise.  So how do you start this journey in a way that you won’t regret later?

The impact of your IA program will depend on the reasons you are doing automation, your automation strategy.  This strategy impacts the most crucial question of any IA program “what processes do you automate?”.  The Automation industry is littered with automation program failures.  This article relates 12 of the most common reasons for failure, and out of those 12, 8 are process selection related.

Process selection in most enterprises is being done based on only two factors: Cost to implement and Run vs Cost (read labor) savings.  There are other benefits to automation like the following:

The industry today is focused mainly on cost.  There are great phrases like “taking the bot out of the human” that make us all feel better about how automation is being used, but the reality in the boardroom is the only question that is really asked today is “how much is automation saving us?”.

Cost is an important aspect of why companies embark on an automation journey and it will save you money, but we at Catalytic believe that the other factors can and should be just as important as cost reduction.

I like to tell clients that the automation industry is much like the mobile phone business was 10 years ago.  When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007 the first part of his three device intro was “a widescreen iPod with touch controls”.  The iPhone was introduced as first a music player.  10+ years later as you look at the smartphone you carry with you everywhere is your music library the most important aspect of why you have that device?  I know for me there are many other things I use my phone for that are far more important than my collection of one hit wonders.  Despite the hype, automation is still in its infancy.  Cost is still the ‘widescreen iPod with touch controls’ that everyone is focused on.  However as the industry matures the other aspects of automation will become more important.

Andy Fanning

Andy Fanning

VP of Enterprise Services

As an Automation Strategy leader at Catalytic, Andy is focused on helping clients navigate the business transformation shifts that occur as a part of the Intelligent Automation revolution.

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