8 Questions to Ask about Processes before Implementing Intelligent Automation in Business
Businesses and organisations of all types and sizes are now starting to embrace automation – not just as a way to eliminate repetitive and tedious tasks but also as a huge stepping stone towards future-focused digital transformation.
IA utilises technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to automate and simplify more complex business processes and tasks that require decision-making and pattern recognition.
With IA, businesses like yours can minimise the need for human intervention in tedious, frustrating tasks. This, then, enables your employees to achieve greater internal efficiencies and focus their time more on value-adding activities that drive more revenue.
So, are you ready to get the most out of IA?
The first step you need to do to effectively implement IA in your business is choosing the right processes. Let’s help get you started!
What are the questions to ask before implementing Intelligent Automation?
We discussed in a previous article the five factors that ought to be examined when designing an automation plan.
But what are the things you should consider when it comes to choosing business processes to automate?
How will you ensure that IA results in higher productivity levels, cost savings and better customer experience?
Here are some questions to guide you:
- “Is the process rules-based?”
Processes with clear processing instructions (template-driven) and those that require decision-making based on standardised and predictive rules make automating them easier.
In IA, software robots are largely designed to handle tasks that follow a clear formulation in a conditional format. For example, “If address X is encountered in database Y, update database Z at position ZN.”
So, if a certain process comes with many different and varying exceptions, it’s most likely to be overly complex. Automating it will result in increased costs and time for your business.
- “Are there measurable savings?”
At CiGen, we recommend that you start the implementation of IA with processes that can be evaluated against a known cost and/or time basis.
The cost savings or business benefits gained can typically be expressed in terms of greater accuracy, faster response times, reduced labour costs and higher productivity from re-allocating staff.
- “Does the process have readable inputs?”
The processes that are optimal to automate have readable input types, including text-based data, User Interface (UI) activities (keyboard strokes, mouse clicks, etc), Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and green screen. So, if your processes do not have readable inputs, you must first investigate what steps are required to obtain them.
In addition, you must also check if processes can operate within almost any application or environment, such as desktop, Citrix, web, server, etc.
- “Is the process manual and repetitive?”
Make sure that the processes you’re planning to automate involve:
- a high degree of manual input
- structured and repetitive input
- activities that are susceptible to human errors.
If they don’t fit these characteristics, then perhaps it’s better to leave them in the capable hands of your creative, bright-minded employees.
- “What type of data does the process work with – structured or unstructured?”
RPA calls for structured data, like that made available in an ERP application, an Excel file, etc.
Unstructured data, such as the free-form content within the body of an email, must often be pre-processed and turned into a structured format for robots to successfully automate processes based on this.
Fortunately, you can rely on IA to deal with both structured and unstructured data.
- “Are they high-volume and/or high-frequency processes?”
Consider if they are high transaction volume processes (including batch processes), such as those that run end of day and end of month, or high-frequency processes, such as those that run intra-daily, daily and weekly.
These kinds of processes offer excellent payback, so we recommend that you start automating them once you have built some valuable experience with your IA development tool – that is, midway through your pilot program and not at the start.
- “Is the process mature and stable?
The more stable the process, the smoother and more effective its automated version will be. And since its operational costs are consistent and well-defined, these stable processes are also predictable, making them cost-efficient to automate.
- “What process automation should you avoid?”
Seek to avoid automating processes that are either marked for re-work, continually changing over the short to medium-term or those that will be eliminated in the near term.
Future with Intelligent Automation
A McKinsey report showed that an estimated 25–46% of current work activities in Australia would likely be automated by 2030, boosting productivity, personal income and economic growth.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Standardised, repetitive and high volume/frequency processes will soon be the realm of software robots, not people. This is not to be worried about – this will improve the well-being of everyone so that humans can focus on the more important projects.
What does automation mean for your business, then? Simple!
This means more of your employees will be free from tedious and manual tasks, so they’ll have the opportunity to practise their critical and creative thinking skills. As a result, they will be able to engage more in higher-value work that will also drive more positive ROI for the business.
Shift to Intelligent Automation today
The 8 questions we have prepared above should help you start the automation process feeling more confident.
At CiGen, we partner with organisations like yours to help you achieve the full business benefits of IA and establish a flexible operational environment for your future growth.
Our ultimate goal is to energise organisations and the workforce of tomorrow as digital technologies increasingly evolve toward Artificial Intelligence (AI), Computational Intelligence (CI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
Harness the true power of automation with CiGen On Demand
Our team of RPA specialists are here to ensure you reap all of the rewards of business automation, while we address all of the potential risks.
We even provide an affordable automation service to small and medium-sized businesses through our CiGen On Demand subscription solution, making it even easier for your business to harness the true power of automation and earn back your valuable time.
Contact us today for more information on how we can help your business to succeed through robotic process automation.