A June survey by IT research firm Emergence found only 12% of large enterprises out of 177 surveyed have deployed automation at a companywide scale, raising the question of what it will take to increase the scale of automation use.
Bank Automation News posed the question to Emergence founding partner and RPA expert Sarah Burnett. Enterprises should improve their strategies rather than blame the technology when things don’t work out, Burnett suggested.
To that end, Burnett shared five key ideas for increasing the scale of automation at a business.
1. Provide companywide guidance and support for automation.
Guidance should emphasize the automation of basic tasks within bigger complex processes or end-to-end simpler transactional processes. An investment in a support structure such as an automation center of excellence is useful to provide automation guidance.
2. Create a governance framework.
A governance framework “is needed to guide different teams and business units on how to develop, document, manage and maintain their automations,” Burnett said.
3. Adopt a reusability mindset.
“Those that have successfully scaled start with reusability in mind,” Burnett explained. “They design code and develop automations that can be reused.” To support reusability, organizations can create a repository of code for repurposing.
4. Empower staff to automate.
Banks sometimes keep automation centralized to one division, but to increase the use of automation across the enterprise, Burnett recommends banks help staff automate their own repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
5. Feed the automation imperative.
“Automating a handful of tasks shouldn’t be seen as the end of the initiative if you are looking for good efficiency gains,” Burnett warned. “You can go on finding processes to automate that are buried deep within business functions.”
To reveal processes ripe for automation, enterprises can engage in process mining, which monitors the actions of systems, and desktop mining, which documents the actions of employees. In addition, forming “automation councils that collect suggestions from staff and assess candidate processes for more digitalization and automation” can yield positive results, Burnett said.