Figure 1 represents the breadth of addressing strategic and tactical considerations on the Y-axis and percentage of probability to envisage higher RoI on the X-axis. The probability of envisaging right RoI from automation is directly proportional to the number of considerations addressed, the higher the number of strategic and operational considerations addressed correctly, the higher the RoI on automation.
The integration of automation, with the key pillars of people, process and technology is paramount to ensure a higher RoI on deployed initiatives.
Automation today is beyond RPA & AI, to include other technologies such as Blockchain, Virtual reality, Internet of Things (IoT) etc. Thus RPA & AI cannot be looked at in isolation and they can be linked thus by using the “AND” logical operator. It is thus not only about Robotic Process Automation or Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning but is also about using them in conjunction by using the AND operator, so that it becomes RPA AND AI AND Blockchain AND Machine Learning AND Analytics and when all of these are integrated, RoI calculations become even more complex.
Let us try to address some key considerations for ensuring a higher RoI on RPA & AI. These considerations can be rightly classified as per priority of enterprises into two categories, that is, strategic and tactical. While strategic considerations are at the forefront of automation initiatives using RPA and AI, there is an equally important set of considerations that need to be examined, as these are fairly tactical.
Some of the indicative strategic considerations could be:
- Executing digital and automation as part of a Centre of Excellence set up rather than executing them on a standalone basis
- Having an agile approach for digital technologies with rapid replication across business processes
- Upgrading of current infrastructure/legacy systems prior to deployment of automation initiatives
- Link automation initiatives to organizational revenue or operational metrics
Some of the indicative tactical considerations could be:
- Processes with a higher degree of Straight Through, that is, activities in a process that can flow as is/are transactional and require no human intervention.
- Deployment of right automation tool/ platform based on a robust evaluation
- Investment of significant time in building, configuring and testing automation bots
- Latency in processes/ areas of automation impacting overall integration
Enterprises shall ensure a balance of strategic and tactical considerations that are to be addressed for envisioning holistic return on their digital and automation initiatives. Let us further plot some of the considerations in a matrix format: