Infographic: Thinking Ahead: How early adopters have approached automation

 Rather than testing the water by automating low-impact, low-risk processes, many businesses have chosen to initially look at more important aspects of the organisation

How did organisations first identify the areas of greatest potential benefit for intelligent automation?

61% Focused on most under-performing processes, 31% providing key employees with tools to experiment, 21% Identifying areas that will deliver the fastest ROI, 3% Leveraging existing use cases of other businesses

 What were the first processes that organisations selected for automation?

67% Critical Business Processes

20% Customer-facing front office processes

13% Back office processes

What were the main goals of organisations’ early initiatives in process automation?

42% Cost Reduction

31% Improved Productivity

13% Improved Business Outcomes

12% Improved Speed to Market

 Automation strategy leaders have an overwhelmingly positive view of the impact of their early initiatives.

54% of participants in the study stated that their initial projects met their expectations.

44% claimed that their initial projects exceeded their expectations

It is essential to pick both the right processes for short term ROI and plan for long term scaling of automation.

Getting off the ground

Early Challenges and Critical Success Factors

What were the key factors behind any successes in organisations’ early automation initiatives?

29% Putting the right governance structure in place

26% Selecting the right processes for automation

24% Engaging the right stakeholders

17% Building the right business case

12% Finding the technology platform that best suited our needs

7% Getting buy-in from the workforce

Technology Challenges:  Cost and complexity of platforms early on, lifecycle management, licensing and virtualisation when scaling.

Operational Challenges: Building the business case, low adoption and usage levels early on, access to skills, ensuring scalability of technology platform and security/compliance when scaling.

 What stakeholders were involved in building the initial business case for automation?

55% CEO, 45% COO, 43% Head of Digital, 39% IT Leadership, 30% CFO, 25% Head of Shared Services, 18% Line of Business Leaders

 Workforce expectations: Be clear of the capabilities of automation and the training needed.Intelligent Automation strategies are often led from outside IT, however in order to succeed IT should never be sidelined completely.

What were the key challenges that organisations faced in their early initiatives?

44% Building the business case, 34% Low adoption/usage levels, 25% engaging process subject matter experts, 22% Access to skills, 13% Buy-in from both technology and business leaders, 12% Complexity of automation technology

Scaling the Heights

Becoming strategic with automation

 What are the main operational challenges that organisations face in scaling automation?

30% Lack of skilled resource, 24% Engagemtn between business and IT stakeholders, 22% Lack of buy-in from workforce, 18% Lack of access to cognitive/AI skills, 7% Not gaining the right sponsorship level

20%  of processes will be automated within the next five years at most major companies

What will be the main goals of organisations’ automation initiatives over the next five years?

44% Improved Productivity, 31% Cost Reduction, 24% Improved Business Outcomes, 12% Improved Speed to Market

79% Favour expanding distributed teams across the business instead of Centre of Excellence (CoE)

12% Believe expanding their CoE will be the best way to expand adoption

9% plan to use both tactics

Centre of Excellence (CoE) is not going to become obsolete in the future — it will continue to be used to maintain standards, consistency and skills.

Data Extracted from the report: Taking Automation to the next level: How to scale Process Automation from the Tactical to the Strategic. Download the report here

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