Leveraging Automation to Achieve Business Resilience

In collaboration with SSON and Infosys BPM, EdgeVerve conducted a joint survey to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on enterprises. Over 200 global organizations took part in the survey. 56% of the organizations indicated that they were looking at automation as one of the disruptive technologies are organizations to build business resilience.

It’s hardly surprising that COVID-19 has accelerated the use of automation in an enterprise’s digital transformation journey. RPA, seen as an essential factor in propelling digital growth, has become necessary to thrive in a post-COVID era.

Leaders are increasingly leveraging automation to prioritize mission-critical work, scaling their existing automation footprint to cope with the new normal. To build a truly resilient organization, leaders need to rethink their business strategy, incorporating advanced technologies such as automation to drive productivity and customer satisfaction.

The report by SSON points out “a number of factors – culture, location, preparedness, organizational maturity, captive versus outsource, and team cohesion that impact operations.”

How can leaders ensure the stability of business operations in these uncertain times? How can resilience help organizations operate in a new reality?

According to Satish Nair, Vice President and Business Head at Infosys BPM, “The past 6 to 8 weeks have seen extreme automation and digitization coupled with a need for business resilience getting front seat priority within enterprises, leading to a handful of key learnings and solutions emerging to address a post-pandemic era leveraging automation.”

Satish Nair draws attention to a few elements which organizations need to focus on to transition to decision-making based on business goals and not tasks. Doing so can lead to a multidimensional approach, giving businesses the best tools to adapt to the disruption.

Decision-making through the lens of a business function goal

Going beyond individual task-based automation to decision-making based on business goals helps organizations operate in entirely new ways, re-evaluate the situation, and facing the inevitable hurdles. RPA uses software bots to automate highly repetitive tasks, freeing the knowledge worker to focus on higher-value work.

With real-time data enabling insight-based decision-making, responding to immediate business needs in an ever-evolving business environment is a breeze. Decision-making has transformed in times of the COVID-19 pandemic with businesses gathering valuable information, equipping leaders to put data-driven decisions at the core of their operations.

End-to-end process view

Organizations should look at the entire process and not a specific activity when considering automation, to achieve a better business outcome, beyond the focus on tactical effort reduction.

Automation matters like never before. In particular, process automation results in greater operating efficiencies and arguably translates into lower costs, consistent quality, and growth. With huge volumes of unstructured data out there, end-to-end process automation is crucial as it helps streamline workflows, increases operational efficiency, and reduces costs.

Defining clear automation goals is the first step in optimizing process automation enterprise-wide. From customer service to sales order processing, implementing end-to-end automation solutions leads to sustained growth and continuous process improvements that define an enterprise.

Speed/agility of decision-making

Businesses are leveraging automation to weather the situation better, necessitating fast decisions and implementations.

Organizations today are making faster decisions on projects that were stuck in the pipeline for months—the reason – Automation. Agility is one of the key factors for digital transformation success. An agile environment brings processes up to speed, helps anticipate potential risks, and prepares organizations to take appropriate actions, minimizing disruption to day-to-day operations.

In today’s age of data-intensive businesses, agile organizations can quickly respond quickly to changes and identifying critical areas of optimization. Having said that, experts believe automation and agility are two sides of the same coin. Organizations that leverage automation benefit greatly from a more agile, innovative, and forward-thinking business environment.

Working in ring-fenced silos

Building joint task forces across Business and IT to drive digitization with the domain context and prioritization. Working in ring-fenced silos creates disjointed environments that negatively impact decisions and implementation.

Operating in siloed functions can negatively impact cross-team collaboration and efficiency. Creating an environment to break down the silos and encourage teamwork successfully is the way to go. DevOps can help employees focus on common objectives, measure outcomes, and maintain continuous service delivery.

IT and business teams are no longer operating in silos today. Embedding a DevOps mindset helps businesses eliminate outdated processes, enabling issues to be resolved quickly with increased collaboration and productivity.

In short, these are a few factors that are essential to maintain business resilience when disruption or crisis strikes. Organizations that keep in mind the overall goals while implementing automation reap the benefits of resiliency, eliminating unnecessary barriers, and streamlining collaboration between disparate functions.

According to Satish Nair, the three important factors how automation can support digitized service delivery models (interview excerpt from the report) are:

Read the complete report to understand how automation drives business resilience and provides immunity from COVID-like crises.