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Why Intelligent Automation Is Critical to Successful Digital Transformation

Digital transformation remains a top C Suite priority. However, transforming business processes into optimized digital assembly lines to support this directive remains elusive. In fact, the vast majority of organizations are still in the early stages, with many still confused on where to begin.

Most organizations are faced with a proliferation of machine learning, artificial intelligence and automation tools to choose from while simultaneously wrestling with a complicated, rapidly changing technology landscape.

Since invention, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools have continued to evolve, and performance has significantly improved. Despite these advances, however, there is still a great deal of hype and confusion on its actual capabilities in driving digital transformation for organizations.

In a recent HfS* study, Tom Reuner reported that 50% of companies are not satisfied with RPA’s ability to drive cost savings and business value for their organization.

In order for RPA to be an asset for an organization, it must be used intelligently. There are some key lessons to be learned from early successes for organizations starting out on their digital transformation journey:

  1. It’s not about picking the right RPA SW to cut jobs. There is no single silver bullet. One tool will not solve the multitude of organizational challenges and address all process automation requirements. These tools fundamentally redefine how the work gets done by creating a digital workforce.
  2. It’s about intelligent automation that leverages the convergence of RPA and digital technologies to maximize benefits for an organization. They combine RPA with digital technologies, such as dynamic workflow, machine learning, natural language processing to achieve more than just productivity gains. Automation becomes an additional lever in end to end process transformation: Centralize -Standardize - Optimize - Automate.  Together, RPA and digital technologies streamline, reengineer, and continuously improve processes to maximize automation benefits.
  3. See automation as a strategic tool and create an automation platform. True end to end process transformation optimizes how work gets done and is aligned to a larger digital strategy. In implementing automation, an organization must carefully set expectations around what the tools can do and how their organization can use them to create an automation strategy to enable successful digital transformation.

Successful organizations have realized significant business benefits from intelligent automation including revenue generation, speed of execution, accuracy, compliance, and cost savings.

For rules based processes intelligent automation, organizations saw between a 55% - 65% savings for onshore operations, and 25% – 35% for offshore operations. As technology continues to evolve, this will only increase.

In considering automation for an organization, one must have more than just an RPA strategy for their business, they must have a digital strategy that is enabled by intelligent automation.

* HfS June 29th  Tales from the Automation Trenches webinar hosted by Tom Reuner, SVP, HfS Research