Article Synopsis :
Are you embracing automation in your business? Maybe you don’t think it’s your job to do so; maybe you don’t want to deal with the inevitable workforce implications; maybe you’d rather focus on the glossier aspects of transformation, such as customer experience, upskilling, and digital strategy. All valid reasons.
But ignoring automation is a bit like ignoring the internet itself twenty years ago. This white paper from PwC’s automation practice suggests the following five questions (with takeaways) to drive your automation discussion:
- Do we understand our business processes and pain points?
Do you want small automation sprints to attack discrete areas? Do you want to re-imagine entire workflows? Answers in hand, you should:
- Take two tracks: fast and forward-looking
- Fix problems while finding new value
- Look across the business, i.e., beyond the back office
- Are people and culture at the heart of our strategy?
Is your automation strategy tied to the reason good people are at your organization in the first place? Think about:
- Fitting automation into your culture, not the other way around
- Improving the day-to-day, every day
- Revising roles with a purpose – and with complete transparency
- Will our efforts be sustainable through robust governance?
From technology and data standards to roles and responsibilities, are you addressing the tough questions? Think about:
- Developing a formal governance framework for automation
- Building a decision-making matrix for automation projects and rollouts
- Balancing empowerment and control
- How is our tech ecosystem evolving to meet our goals?
Does your architecture allow the use of additional technologies to add intelligence to continually optimize business processes? Think about:
- Resisting the urge to lead with tech – think processes and people
- Blending technologies to get maximum benefit
- Putting AI to work to solve known process challenges
- Are we measuring business returns beyond financial ROI?
Beyond simple cost-out, are you evaluating the customer experience element in every process? New operating models? Think about:
- Considering measures beyond cost reduction or other financial metrics, such as employee job satisfaction
- Avoiding cost shift from one department to another as processes are automated
- Considering new opportunities to draw new value from data, i.e., make your data work harder
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Digital Insurer's CommentsWhile it’s true Automation is at its root a technology play, focusing on the technology and/or relying on your IT department to ‘deploy’ Automation across your organization, i.e., into business units, is a terrible and costly mistake.
Where humans and machines come together it is always, as a hard and fast rule, better to focus on the humans. The machines are merely multipliers of human value, and should be viewed as such.
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