Is Your Organization Future-Ready?
Process efficiency, process modeling, and process management have been the name of the game—at least until now. Legacy process technologies live in a deterministic world, but the time has come to envision a more probabilistic world, enabled by AI. Technology in the future will provide value and make processes even more dynamic and self-learning. Moving forward, it will be intelligent process automation (IPA) and stakeholder value creation that will be vital to future-ready businesses. Smart processes will learn from every run of the process, adapt to situations and context, proactively listen to events, automate by infusing intelligence and eliminate mundane activities to deliver higher productivity. We are only at the beginning of the IPA journey, and its ongoing evolution presents great potential across vertical industries.
Intelligent Processes = Measurable Business Impact
For example, a construction equipment manufacturer employs smart processes using IoT devices or sensor to collect parameters for equipment health monitoring, service alerts, usage and geo-fencing. Usage monitoring allows the manufacturer to deliver equipment through a disruptive usage-based costing model (equipment-as-a-service) instead of the traditional CAPEX-based procurement model.
Geo-fencing ensures the equipment does not move outside the set boundaries. Take another example – Telecom companies are implementing smart processes for site surveys, supply chain and project management in network deployment projects. The smart processes help telecom providers in completing the work in a single site visit and helps in dynamic execution of tasks. The field service can easily alter the activities depending on external factors such as problematic terrain, regulations, etc. The smart processes enable supply chain management at a global scale with a unified monitoring dashboard.
While IPA holds great promises, the journey is just beginning. Your organization can start on the journey today and you don’t have to have AI to get started. Consider the following five best practices for moving from a deterministic to intelligent digital strategy.
Figure 1: Key aspects of driving effective strategy
Five Key aspects of driving effective end-to-end digital strategy using IPA
1) One-Engage compelling digital experience
Understanding the intent of the customer and delighting him or her at every touchpoint across channels with the same contextual insights creates a one-engage digital experience. A digital strategy using IPA will bring in AI, chatbots, virtual assistants, desktop bots, email automation, AR/VR, facial recognition, biometrics, and co-browsing for an end-to-end immersive experience. Irrespective of different channels of engagement, IPA links customer journeys automatically to create a one-engage experience. It creates new avenues of business interactions through other channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and partner apps. ONE-ENGAGE delivers a differentiated post sales experience, faster personalized sales & marketing, improved top-line, higher market penetration, better retention, while creating customer advocates.
2) Insights and process awareness
Data insights play an important role in business operation decisions. IPA with Artificial Intelligence leads to better decision making and discovery of new opportunities to improve operations. Customer profiling, risk assessment, next best actions, and understanding customer intent upfront are a few of the activities which can benefit from artificial intelligence and dynamic visualization to enable quick decisions. Instead of an operations team reading a document to understand its details, an IPA solution reads it on their behalf and visualizes it for a set of pre-defined documents like contracts, tax forms, annual reports, etc. This allows operations teams to spend more time on value-added tasks such as business development instead of spending time on rote work like data entry and correction. From there, they will start identifying more opportunities for IPA to increase daily productivity and efficiency.
3) One-Office transforming the business operation
The traditional model of siloed operations with front-office, middle-office and back-office functions is not efficient for a digital organization. A re-organized, highly automated one-office operation, with an IPA solution, focuses on breaking down the silos that inhibit not just technology transformation, but also business transformation. The one-office initiative starts with robots executing end-to-end processes, provides APIs to service-enable legacy systems, and moves forward with touchless processes, cognitive bots, and lifting and shifting of activities to simplify the end-to-end process across business units. Simplified business operations drive efficiency, eliminate bottlenecks, and reduces operating costs.
4) Enterprise-wide process re-imagination
To create a next-generation customer journey co-creation with partners, you need a low-code ecosystem supporting end-to-end automation so that citizen developers can take concepts to market quickly. End-to-end automation allows for re-imagining and co-creating the customer journey, delivering the value that customers expect, while directly impacting sales.
5) Digital ROI linking digital outcomes to overall strategic goals
The progress towards digitalization and the value it delivers should be captured through a governance mechanism. Digital ROI could be measured on five strategic focus areas namely customers, employees, business operations, security of digital assets, infrastructure and bot performance. Removal of routine tasks and its associated time savings can be achieved within 3 to 8 months through robotic automation. The organization should first think of how to re-imagine the customer journey, addressing both customer experience and customer value realized from the strategic transformation over a 2-5 year period. Consider the following:
- Strategy, Platform, Tools and Governance – To start, a digital strategy should have clear goals and objectives defined and every process should be envisioned from the perspective of the user’s journey and touchpoints. Strategic and Design thinking workshops should be organized to define operating model, tools, governance, platform architecture, and a smart process roadmap. Governance models should address problems associated with bot proliferation, performance, life-cycle management and dependencies.
- Detailed process mining, opportunity refinement and planning – Re-imagine and re-engineer the process through design thinking workshops, teaching multi-disciplinary skills that will lead to cultural changes within the organization. Smart process opportunities need to be refined, prioritized and executed in an agile fashion that does not significantly impact the existing way of working.
- Smart process implementation – The “learn and adapt” model of implementation must be followed to automate, generate intelligence, measure value (through monitoring & metering) and finally, refine the decision models.
The five key aspects and considerations discussed above will help in creating an effective digital strategy from process conceptualization to implementation to realization of ROI. Intelligent Process Automation will infuse intelligence to create context-aware business processes that drive efficiency and best-in-class customer experience.