What CIOs Must Focus on While Building Their Automation Strategy
Digital Transformation RPA

What CIOs Must Focus on While Building Their Automation Strategy

In an age where organizations are finding it difficult to enhance the productivity and efficiency of their workforce, any kind of automation helps in reducing the daily strain and workload on employees – while empowering the business to more easily achieve its goals and accomplish its objectives. From business process automation that streamlines day-to-day operations to robotic process automation that leverages AI-enabled robots to carry out mundane, labor-intensive tasks – the doors automation opens for a modern-day organization are many.. 

Building an automation strategy that delivers results 

Every organization relies on a mix of tools and processes for collaboration, document management, business process management, and more. And yet, they constantly face the challenge of driving high levels of productivity and efficiency from these processes. Effectively introducing automation into the very core of the enterprise to streamline tasks, processes, or even entire departments can enable organizations to rethink the way they work, and set the stage for optimal performance of mission-critical workflows. All such initiatives then lead to improved employee productivity and customer satisfaction. 

According to reports, the worldwide RPA market size is expected to reach $7.01 billion by 2025. 

By automating mundane, time-consuming, and error-prone tasks, automation allows repetitive work to be done more quickly, accurately, and tirelessly than humans, freeing them to focus on tasks that require emotional intelligence, reasoning, and judgment. Such automation aids in improving the accuracy and uniformity of workflows, enhancing employee morale and productivity, driving consistency and compliance, and ensuring operations 24×7. 

But making the most of this technology is not just about implementing a handful of automation tools; it takes careful planning, a robust roadmap, and the expertise of a skilled team to build an automation strategy that is resilient, reliable, and rugged. Here are some aspects that CIOs must focus on while building their automation strategy and make their investment worthwhile: 

  1. Be clear on the objectives: Automation is not about taking humans out of the process but the robot out of humans. To achieve unparalleled success with your automation strategy, it is important to have a clear understanding of all the repetitive tasks your employees are forced to carry out daily such as data processing, order processing, payroll processing, onboarding, claims processing, audits, etc., and then pick those that would benefit the most from automation. Such an assessment will help you determine the breadth and depth of automation capabilities your business currently has, and needs, and prioritize opportunities based on their criticality. 
  2. Build a robust framework: Having a framework in place that outlines all the essential elements of your automation strategy is a great way to enable success. Right from your overall strategy, current (and future) state assessments, existing (and desired) automation capabilities, technology tools required, budget and resources available, organizational readiness, and development and deployment models – having a clear idea of all things automation and documenting it is critical to tread on the right path. It is also important to ensure the strategy and roadmap you build aligns with your goals and resources – including budgets, people, and time.
  3. Rope in the qualified experts: Given how complex implementing automation technology can be, roping in qualified experts can allow you to get a deep understanding of the need and benefits of automation while also helping you implement the solution in sprints. By constantly showcasing the value and benefits of automation across each of your processes, experts will be able to define a long-term vision, maximize impact on your people as well as your organization, and scale the technology across the enterprise. 
  4. Take baby steps: Instead of taking an enterprise-wide, big bang approach to implementing automation, it makes more sense to automate key processes first, and then extend the technology to other parts of the business. A phased approach like this will also help in addressing workforce resistance, learning from failures, and planning for necessary training and communication. The experts you engage with will help you identify processes that stand to benefit the most from automation, create Proof of Value, build a robust automation roadmap, and implement the technology in a well-planned manner. 
  5. Invest in modern tools: As you develop your automation strategy, you also need to consider the various automation tools and technologies available in the market. To find the right tools, you first need to understand the problems you are looking to solve. Based on a detailed assessment of your existing processes and workflows, you can evaluate the capabilities of different tools and acquire those that support mature, enterprise-grade automation. Opting for low-code/no-code tools can help your workforce in automating everyday tasks and build visual models on their own – without depending on the IT team – and more quickly meet objectives. 
  6. Don’t overlook governance: Since automation is still looked at with a lot of suspicion and apprehension, you also need to put a strong governance model in place that defines how you will govern and operate your enterprise automation capabilities. You need to build the right organizational structure, form the right governance committees, and ensure regular communication with all stakeholders. It is also important to constantly review, evaluate, and measure automation processes to make necessary edits to decision-making authority and resource allocation processes. 

CIOs that have already started their automation journey or are currently in the process recognize that achieving success with automation cannot happen overnight. Given the planning and precision that an enterprise automation strategy demands, it is important for CIOs to be clear on the objectives, build a robust automation framework, rope in qualified experts, invest in modern tools, take baby steps, and ensure proper governance. 

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