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Automated Enterprise – is it real?

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While most of the IT leaders are focused on upgrading and moving their core IT Systems such as ERP, CRM, SOPs and middleware solutions to Cloud, some (now a large portion) are working on automation beyond the conventional systems to create business value.

Starting with covering the fundamentals, this article will provide insight into current usage and the future predictions of this very important technology trend.

What is it?

Simply put, Enterprise Automation is a BPA , RPA and DPA combined.

Business Process Automation (BPA) is bots working to provide efficiency, provide transparency and facilitate compliance.

Digital Process Automation (DPA) is bots helping you serve your customers, suppliers, and partners to improve their experience and ROI in working with you.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is bots interpreting existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. This is not confined to traditional IT systems such as CRM/ERP, but can connect anything to anything such email to HRMS or twitter so service cloud.

While there is certainly an overlap in the above three and in some cases they are simply different terms for same end result, however in context of current classification of technology functions across industries, it is good to have all the three angles in the strategy when it comes to enterprise automation.

How real is it?

Here are few case studies of industries who are successfully using the Automation to make things better.

Here are some interesting use cases where bots are already making a real big impact

Updating CRM

Updating interactions to CRM is time-consuming and unproductive yet necessary, bots now allow companies to integrate their email, call and other communication data to CRM. If you can not find a good solution for the CRM system you are using, you could write a simple bot to update your CRM records with customer contact data.

Updating Scorecard
Companies that lack integration between HR and CRM systems can leverage RPA bots to ensure that changes in CRM are uploaded to scorecards so sales reps can see their progress real-time

Common customer issues

For example, resetting a broadband customer’s connection to the server can fix some simple connection issues. This can be done without switching screens with a simple RPA bot.

Automating multi-step complex tasks

Some legacy systems force customer service reps to complete numerous steps to complete some common tasks. If these steps do not require human judgment, they can easily be automated, saving significant time.

Regular diagnostics: It’s painful to hear the same problem from multiple people. And that’s exactly what happens when a system has a catastrophic failure. As teams work to resolve the problem, they also need to deal with calls of colleagues asking when the system would be up. Regular diagnostic work by bots puts tech support teams one step ahead of all other teams and lets them respond to possible failures before they can be noticed by regular users. This improves both user satisfaction and sales support personnel from wasting time on calls about problems they already know about.

Argos Labs shared a good example on regular diagnostics. A bot regularly checks live camera status to ensure that issues are spotted before they are noticed by users.

Bank reconciliation

Extracting data from bank statements for reconciling records and comparing them against the company’s own records was manually done via complex spreadsheets. However, this is a process that can relatively easily be automated.

Daily P&L preparation

Large financial services companies, especially those in the trading business, track P&L and risk exposures daily. While some companies have automated these processes, there are still companies that rely on excel, legacy tools and manual effort to complete these reports.

UiPath reports that they worked to automate daily P&L preparation for a financial services company. Resulting RPA installation reduced handling time from 60 minutes to 20 minutes, increasing the accuracy of reports.

Employment history verification

This process includes numerous routine steps such as arranging interviews, maintaining records. UiPath provides a case study where they rolled out an automation program in 8 weeks, reducing 40% of the manual labor.

Absence management

Set up a simple RPA bot to cross-check absentee reports against time logged in the corporate network and let your teams fill in the absences they had. You could also use another simple bot to simplify filling in absence information so your personnel does not forget to notify the system when they have an absence.

A real-life example is provided by UiPath. They rolled out automation for handling sick certificates in SAP in 3 months for a German HR services provider. RPA roll-out reduced manual effort to 5% of pre-automation levels and reduced processing time by 80%.

And quite frankly there are hundreds of other use cases which are currently being automated and this number is set to grow.

What does the future hold for 2019?

Forrester predicted that automation would reach a tipping point — since then, we’ve seen RPA vendors soar in value; UiPath reached $3 billion valuations in September. Physical robotics leader ABB announced plans to have robots build other robots in its production process. And MIT announced a $1 billion initiative for a new college focused on AI.

Forrester released our 2019 predictions report on the automation world, focusing on how automation will drive new business value:

  • Organizations will invest in structures and frameworks. By the end of 2019, it is predicted that 40% of enterprises will have automation centers and frameworks in place. Proliferating automation platforms (from RPA to DPA to BPM to ML and beyond) make aligning the right solution to the right use case challenging. In response, companies will invest in centralized coordination centers — automation centers or centers of excellence — designed based on unifying frameworks. These automation centers will determine how to apply different automation technologies to various business problems while driving base practices and technical compatibility and integration.
  • One in 10 startups will begin life with more digital workers than human ones. Today’s most successful companies generally operate with fewer employees than those of the past. In 2019, it is predict that one in 10 startups — operating in a more agile, lean, and scalable fashion — will look at the world through the lens of tasks, not jobs, and will build business models around automation-first principles.
  • Ten percent of jobs will be lost, but 3% will be created. Since 2015, Forrester has tracked the impact that automation technologies are having on employment. While popular assessments insist that nearlyhalf off jobs will be destroyed, Forrester’s viewpoint has been that humans and machines will collaborate in many workflows and that the automation economy will create new jobs. In 2019, we’ll see more creation than in 2018 (2%), as CIOs hire bot masters to manage RPA bots, creatives and designers to improve user interfaces of chatbots and voice skills, and process experts to solve business problems. As for jobs lost, they won’t necessarily drive up the unemployment rate if labor participation rates remain relatively low. The end result of this growth in automation will be a benefit in employee experience as rote tasks get handed off to able bots.

So you can see from the above, that Automated Enterprise is not only real but is almost silently increasing it is reach in the world of Enterprise IT and can no longer be ignored for any IT team of any size.

 

(credits – http://innoventionsinc.weebly.com , https://blog.aimultiple.com/, https://go.forrester.com)

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