Almost all coffee making recipes require the beans be ground, and then mixed with hot water long enough to allow the flavor to emerge, but not so long as to draw out bitter compounds.
And then came coffee pots, vacuum pots, moka pots, electric coffee maker, and what not! Its purpose? To infuse until the desired strength brew was achieved. Similarly, any organization that wishes to achieve the perfect blend of growth and sustainability must embrace automation.
While the benefits of enterprise automation initiatives have been well documented, in order to successfully reap value, organizations must understand that it will take more than just implementing tools. This is because the secret recipe is more strategic, and not tactical. Here are five strategic initiatives organizations must undertake to successfully introduce automation:
Organizations must understand the “can do & cannot do’s” of automation, before embracing it. Quite often, unrealistic expectations on technology kills future applications. It is therefore important to setup internal structures to educate, and evangelize the idea of automation. Also, automation is here to stay. It’s the key to our utopian, neon light future. So, the misconceptions about automation killing jobs must be addressed to ensure success.
With unlimited potential on offer, organizations would be well served to setup a Centre of Excellence to oversee the successful application of automation technologies. With enterprise software vendors racing to enrich their software suite’s capabilities with embedded AI, license costs in large disparate landscapes are set to be impacted. Instead of bearing the expensive license costs YoY, it would be better to implement fit-for-use automation use-cases over existing investments.
While centralizing investments and developments, it is also important to prioritize investments into specific functions. Some functions like Procurement, Finance and IT are excellent starting points. While automation platform vendors are bundling use-cases in these functions, specific focus must be laid on leveraging automation for continuous improvement. This is the key to leverage its full potential.
The need for positioning the user in the center of all automation initiatives is key to success. AI based systems require significant training to deliver value to users. It is therefore important to provide a superior user experience to drive engagement.
Given what’s at stake, it is recommended not to go with an unproven firm. In this journey, your preferred partner should display an eagerness to meet your organization’s challenges, and bring in rich domain, technology, industry and expertise. Some vendors deliver platform expertise without an industry focus, while some niche industry focused solutions. The key to success is to bring in cross functional experts to build fit-for-use solutions.
Final thoughts: Humans and machines can be partners and collaborate for shaping the future. As Bill Gates pointed out, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”