To automate is to be bold. And organizations that have taken the lead to reimagine their business through digital transformation are charting new paths in a time of upheaval. We’ve all confronted geopolitical challenges, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages wrought by the pandemic over the last two years. Even as we contemplate recovery, these roadblocks mean dealing with constant interruptions to our work.
In China, congestion at the world’s busiest container port due to COVID-19 lockdowns continues to persist in Shanghai. The backlog is expected to stretch well into 2023. Meanwhile, we are seeing more and more of our brightest minds leave in the Great Resignation, at a time when talent is already in short supply. Employees are looking for value, and to be valued at work.
Amid the uncertainty, many enterprises in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ)—and around the world—are building resilience through a digital-first strategy centered around automation.
A recent International Data Corporation (IDC) InfoBrief*, “It’s Time to Elevate the Automation Mindset and Scale in Asia/Pacific,” explores how forward-looking organizations plan to “go beyond robotic process automation (RPA) into intelligent process automation (IPA).”
Where RPA frees employees from manual and time-consuming work to do more meaningful projects, IDC believes organizations can take RPA further by personalizing and streamlining processes like customer journeys. That happens when organizations combine RPA with additional automation technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), process mining, and machine learning (ML).
The InfoBrief provides a blueprint for success adopted by automation pioneers who have relentlessly invested—and are expected to invest more—in automation. It also spotlights some of the top automation-ready organizations in APJ.
There is, as they say, opportunity in every crisis. In the next era of work, enhancing automation’s role will be crucial in meeting fresh challenges.
Investing for the future
RPA has been hailed for its twin benefits of saving costs and upskilling employees. But organizations are no longer stopping there. Research showed that “67% of APJ organizations increased their automation spending between 2020 and 2021.”
A shift in customer expectations has resulted in a push for automation. The emphasis on greater productivity, efficiency, collaboration, and accuracy has surpassed cost savings (once the top benefit sought by businesses).
This is where automation shines. The UiPath Platform delivers end-to-end automation that enables companies to complement their human workforce to achieve their goals. The result? More meaningful work, more satisfied employees.
In South Korea, the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF) provides a wide range of business and financial services to nearly 1,400 farmer-owned agricultural members. NACF uses automation to enhance customer engagement. It encourages its more than 100,000 employees to suggest automation cases, share the results, and download software robots from its one-stop automation portal. Such collaborations help users streamline their work and focus on serving NACF members.
Forward-looking leaders have also capitalized on the growing importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. For some, automating sustainability use cases helps burnish their brand identity—a vital advantage in a crowded market. Others do so simply to bring about positive changes on ESG matters in the wider society.
But even as organizations make purposeful strides, some hurdles remain. Finding the right talent to enable enterprise-wide automation is one top roadblock.
The InfoBrief also shows that over half of the 350 organizations surveyed responded that identifying the right automation software and ensuring robust security and governance are their top challenges. While many organizations are struggling to address those challenges, some have already drawn up a roadmap outlined by best practices.
These automation pioneers are generating conversations on how to resolve challenges to maximize automation efforts. Some key strategies include building a solid automation strategy, and identifying and optimizing processes. IDC research found that one in three organizations have a concerted and coherent strategy for success with initiatives driven by leadership. Having clear, top-down communication helps to reduce resistance and boost awareness about automation.
When organizations ahead of the curve commit to scaling with automation, they can accomplish more while allowing employees to develop new skills that take the organization to another level.
Be quick and committed
Success calls for swift and decisive action. Automation is part of digital transformation. And increasingly, small wins are seen as stepping stones to bigger projects rather than the final destination.
As more organizations have goals of end-to-end automation, it’s important to aim for higher levels of real-time applications, personalization, and efficiency. This can only be done when leaders set the tone.
Businesses that have banked on automation for growth are investing in the future—a future where employees are catalysts for change.
One way leaders can rethink talent is to establish centers of excellence (CoEs) to democratize automation and equip employees with the tools for success. CoEs support new ways of working that embed a culture of automation—from adoption to governance.
As automation becomes a must-have, the question organizations must ask themselves is: are we reaching our full potential, or do we need to automate better?
Gain more insights in the new IDC InfoBrief, and learn how organizations with an automation-friendly culture are outperforming their own expectations.
*An IDC InfoBrief commissioned by UiPath, It’s Time to Elevate the Automation Mindset and Scale in Asia/Pacific, Doc. #AP241356IB, September 2022
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.uipath.com/blog/automation/be-automation-trailblazer-scale-automation-successfully