By Elizabeth Shydlovich
Oftentimes business transformation goes hand in hand with the automation of processes. Companies eagerly embark on an automation journey striving to leverage its value. For this very simple reason, intelligent technologies become more accessible, affordable, and so much desirable solutions backed by Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (IA) technologies. Additionally, as Intelligent Automation states 75% of businesses intend to invest in RPA between now and 2025, and nearly half intend to do so in the next 12 months.
Deloitte adds even more thought-provoking data. About a year ago, Deloitte surveyed executives in a range of industries in 26 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe on their intelligent automation strategies and the impact on their workforces.
The analysis revealed that these organizations are not only continuing to use robotic process automation (RPA) but are moving beyond it by increasing deployment of intelligent automation. 58% of surveyed executives report they have started their automation journey. Of these, 38 percent are piloting (1-10 automations), 12% implementing (11-50 automations) and 8% automating at scale (51+ automations).
This is mainstream now, and it is going to stay with us for quite possibly ever.
Among the early and active adopters stand Telecom, Media & Publishing, Fintech, Banking HR, and Consulting.
Telecom companies reap the value from automation by applying it in call centers, network operations, back-office, and customer accounts. And most of them focus on it to enhance customer experience and impact the length of the customer lifecycle. By using automation solutions Telecoms want to:
- Reduce wait time for new connection setup,
- Enable more predictable business outcomes
- Achieve massive productivity improvements,
- Speed time to value,
- Accelerate order cycles.
Another adherent of automation solutions are HR & Recruiting agencies. They leverage systems to cut efforts on manual CV processing, automating responses to candidates’ requests, and also to help newcomers to settle down in a company and a team, for onboarding by other words. These solutions provide new employees with the necessary content, guides, rules, employee contacts, communication maps, and tips for quick adaption.
Media & Publishing companies boast with one of the highest levels of automation integration. Futurum reports that only 13% of Media and Publishing companies reported not yet having implemented automation into their operations.
Consultants also benefit from automation. Oftentimes they apply it for improving Know Your Customer (KYC) processes. The intelligent system plays the role of a virtual workforce, efficiently running analysis, assessment, customer information gathering, and customer screening functions.
Implementation: Engagers, Challenges & Costs
Automation makes business processes smarter and additionally has significant advantages over traditional IT solutions’ implementations, С- level managers add the implementation of automation solutions as an essential point of their strategies.
In fact, according to IDC research along with CIO/CFO officers, Line-of-business Heads are also in the frontline of technology lobbyists. This articulates a common tendency to process streamline and a proactive approach to optimization.
The road to successful technology implementation can be quite challenging. As reported by Deloitte, in its last year’s survey of 400 global firms. 63% of surveyed organizations did not meet delivery deadlines for automation projects.
Automation Anywhere sees four major challenges companies face in the implementation process.
- Unforeseen Delays in Infrastructure
The infrastructure setup is a precursor to automation implementation. It is typically dependent on the IT team that is already involved in multiple initiatives. Many projects stuck for not getting the infrastructure right or on time. Also, setting up infrastructure in an ad hoc manner may not support future scalability.
- Lack of Clarity on TCO
The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of automation remains unclear. It is perceived that the overall cost of implementation may outweigh the implementation benefits. This is due to the lack of clarity on costs beyond licensing, such as infrastructure, assessment, development, maintenance, and training.
- Inefficient Bot Utilization
Automation is largely about bots, their utilization is a key factor that can influence the Return on Investment (ROI) of the implementation. Typically, no more than 20% of bots have 50% utilization. Besides, it is difficult to track bot utilization across medium- to large-scale deployments. This leads to an increase in the dollars spent on licenses and maintenance.
- Time to Transition from Proof of Concept to Production
On-premise deployments can take around 18-55 days to transition a bot from ideation to production, depending on the complexity of use cases. Despite the relative ease of implementing automation, teams spend 25-30% of the time in system configuration and setup.
These require efforts to the implementation of strategy development, risk management, and careful budgeting. Despite this, in the long run, the automation solutions deliver impressive cost reduction benefits.
Such components the Control Room or the Bot Creator can be delivered via the web interface in the cloud. This allows avoiding the need for expensive hardware, saves the effort for the development environment setup, and leads to a reduction of 10-22% in infrastructure cost.
Development and Deployment Cost
Advanced cloud automation platforms offer an instant-on web interface for developers. It is easy to develop, deploy, and manage bots. Along with that, a unified, visual interface with a collection of drag-and-drop commands can further optimize development efforts. This all can lead to a reduction in development and deployment costs between 25-27%.
Maintenance and Support Cost
Automated platform upgrades diminish delays caused by manual intervention. Also, platform-specific, low-code development features can reduce the effort to maintain the bots. This can lead to up to 48-50% reduction in maintenance and support cost.
With the cloud-based model, automation solutions’ vendors are likely to reduce licensing costs to up to 26%.
Automation is already quite common in most of tech active companies in every domain from BFIS (Banking, Finance, Insurance, Security) to Media. For some companies its adoption is experimental, for others, it is a necessity to boost productivity. However with all the benefits, advantages, and possible risks amassed, the business receives a bunch of valuable solutions to deploy.
Embarking on this journey, it is imperative to look for a suitable solution deployment that is in line with company policies, budgeting limits, and training capabilities. It is a complicated strategy to be developed by technology adopters. Nevertheless, no matter how difficult it was, automation opens new avenues for enterprises by enabling greater scalability, security, and flexibility at reduced costs.