Automation scales up

Fixing, scaling and broadening to drive adoption, impact, and return from automation

The scope of automation is growing. Businesses are looking beyond small fixes and opening their eyes to the wider possibilities more powerful technology can bring.

In our previous blog post, we highlighted how senior leaders are starting to truly commit to automation. Here we examine why the strategies they are developing are increasingly more ambitious and what benefits thinking big brings.


What’s happening across organisations like yours

As we are already seeing, 2021 is the year that leading enterprises are going to stop simply dipping their toes in the automation waters. This is the year they will immerse themselves completely.

73% of businesses surveyed in 2020[i] had started on their automation journeys, while 77% said they are ready to scale up their intelligent automation into enterprise-wide programmes[ii].

These numbers will only increase, and for good reason. While many organisations have introduced automation on a pilot or piecemeal basis over the past couple of years. They are either finding these are no longer fit for purpose or are ready to take them to the next level in the following three ways:

  • Fixing – Revisiting and revising failed automation where it was introduced as a quick fix for a poor process rather than as a strategic solution.
  • Scaling – Breaking automation out of individual processes and teams and implementing it across divisions, geographies, and technologies to maximise its impact.
  • Broadening – Widening the scope of what can be achieved beyond simple efficiencies to the transformation of complete end-to-end processes.

The full potential of automation truly emerges when it is applied to every area of your organisation and has a joined-up strategy behind it.

[i] Intelligent automation survey 2020 | Deloitte
[ii] Easing the pressure points: The state of intelligent automation | KPMG


Why this matters to you

No one part of a business is an island. Each is interlinked and dependent on others to carry out its work effectively. That is why you will get the most from your intelligent automation investment by taking a holistic view and automating complete processes, end-to-end.

This is not just a bold boardroom statement though; it is beneficial on a practical day-to-day level. In fact, organisations that have already scaled up their automation have reduced costs by 24%[i] thanks to the ability to carry out processes faster and the productivity boost this brings to your team.

But cost efficiency is only part of the story. What is exciting about the year ahead is the ability this gives you to grow your business and to develop an innovative culture that keeps you at the cutting edge of progress in your sector. This will enable your existing talent to flourish while attracting new talent that will help you stay one step ahead of the competition.

[i] Intelligent automation survey 2020 | Deloitte


How you can take advantage of it

Of course, implementing anything across your organisation is a significant undertaking and you need the full support of the C-Suite to really drive it home, as we covered in the previous trend. Once they are fully signed up, there are three crucial principles to follow when you are scaling up that will maximise your chances of success:

  • Focus on your objectives before choosing a technology. Once you have defined your goals you can develop the right tools to achieve it, otherwise you risk compromising those aims to fit with the capabilities of the tech.
  • Don’t limit yourself to cost savings. This comes back to broadening the scope of your strategy. What are the major organisational opportunities you could grasp?
  • Develop a vision and be brave. Change usually brings resistance and you may need to open some mindsets. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve and why will help you do that.

Whether you are taking your first steps into automation or attempting to get more from your current investments, the most impressive gains are made when you do it at scale.


What’s next?

As automation widens its influence, people and technology will increasingly find themselves working together. For some, this is a frightening prospect, but as we will explore in our next blog, A hybrid workforce emerges, there are some huge opportunities that this could bring for your employees.

If you would like to read more about this, and all the major trends that will define the near future for your business, you can download our Automation Trends 2021 eBook right now.

Tags: intelligent automation, RPA