Of course, automation doesn't become intelligent overnight. There are three key stages every organization must experience on its journey toward intelligent automation.
For intelligent automation to be successful, you must understand the relationship between people and machines. As business processes are increasingly automated, preparing your workforce to excel in this new environment is critical. During planning, it's also important to consider how to embed automation seamlessly into existing programs and initiatives, without disrupting other parts of the business.
A major part of the planning process is identifying where intelligent automation can deliver the most value. This requires objectively reviewing processes and the specific activities within them. You need to determine what can be automated by basic robots, and what requires advanced technologies like machine learning, natural language processing or computer vision. In your assessment, consider the nature of the process, data inputs, risks, controls, supervision, and stability.
And, lastly, remember that automating a broken process won't fix it. A process should be stable and mature before applying automation. Just because a process can be automated, doesn't mean that it should be. Especially if you can't identify the potential benefits and ROI.
2. Change management
Intelligent automation will undoubtedly change how your business works. For a smooth transition, you need a change management strategy. This includes an execution roadmap, an enterprise operating model, and a proven method for measuring ROI. You will also want to establish centralized operations and embed intelligent automation into existing programs and initiatives.
When deploying intelligent automation at scale, leadership should engage key stakeholders from the start to ensure buy-in, adoption, and to prepare current employees to learn to work in tandem with AI. According to our AI 360 study, 80% of workers say they are willing to learn new skills to take advantage of AI, yet only only 35% of workers report such options are available at their companies – and only 21% say they have participated in said training. Providing training helps people understand how automation will enhance, and not replace, their jobs, inspiring them to be more confident in the workplace. Forming a dedicated communications team tasked with raising awareness of the benefits can help, too.