Taking your First Baby Steps into Robotic Automation?

The dawn of Intelligent Automation and Artificial Intelligence has arrived. Everyone is talking about it. It may be a little daunting to figure out how to begin your automation journey… What processes should I start with first? What automation strategy works best for my shared services organisation? When should I begin? Who should be involved? Why should I consider Intelligent Automation? Here’s a quick sum up of things you should be aware of before embarking on your IA journey.


Why should I consider Intelligent Automation?

There have been many recorded success stories of IA such as reducing cost and errors, repurposing repeatable and tedious transactional work and also changing the perception of GBS from a low-cost internal provider to an innovator (For more details, look through the Intelligent Automation Universe Case Study Catalogue).

Even so, there are still people who are apprehensive about IA and view it as a threat to their jobs. However, as I see it, IA taking over repeatable manual task previously done by shared services employees, provides the opportunity for upskilling of workers and bringing more higher value work to the shared services centre. However, that does not mean, one should jump on the robotic automation bandwagon and expect immediate results with a zero percent failure. 


What automation strategy and processes should I consider?

Be strategic, tactical and practical. Every organisation is different, and one should consider the process flow and data-readiness to support automation. Start on “small” processes that can bring about obvious wins before scaling up. SSON’s Global Intelligent Automation Market Report (H1 2017) is a great read to understand the important perspective of “fit for purpose” to choose the right IA solution to align with, and execute, your enterprise strategy.

As with any change in the company, instilling the right culture, appointing change managers, and preparing employees for what’s to come (and their jobs are not being threatened) is extremely important.


Who should be involved? 

There is an increasing number of IA software vendors and consultancies/integrators in the space. It is important to do your research on who you would like to engage for your first proof-of-concept/pilot. SSON Analytics has developed an interactive tool called the Intelligent Automation Universe which allows you to do just that.


1.Software Vendor Catalogue:

oLearn about their product capabilities such as the ability to extract different kinds of data, cognitive capabilities, and insights captured by their solution.

oWhat’s their main technical differentiator?

oWhat is their customer footprint? (e.g. the type of industries, company size, customers’ geographical locations, functions and processes)


2.Consultancies/Integrators Catalogue:

oLearn more about their areas in IA where they have direct applied experience

oTheir relationships with software vendors – whether they are vendor agnostic, licensed resellers or partners, and their customers

oCustomer footprint


Of course, while getting the appropriate 3rd party to work with your organisation is important, it is also essential to get internal buy-in which increases the probability of a successful implementation. 


To sum up, organisations should see IA as an enabler to solve a specific business problem rather than being led by the technology itself. Examine your workflows and consider which processes could be automated. If utilised correctly, IA could grow to be a value-driving competency for the enterprise.


Related Content: Starting on Your IA Journey - What You Should Know

If you’re an IA software vendor/consultancy/integrator interested in being listed in the Intelligent Automation Universe, please reach out to syazana.lim@sson-analytics.com.


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