Intelligent automation can transform the way organizations work by saving time, enabling smoother workflows, and cutting costs. But before they can enjoy the benefits of intelligent automation, companies must know how to overcome several common barriers to success.
Intelligent automation in 2022: more adopters, still more problems
According to Deloitte's 2022 Global Intelligent Automation survey, intelligent automation is becoming the norm amongst many organizations. The reason for this is simple: using intelligent automation tools brings accuracy, increased productivity, enhanced customer and employee experience, and reduced costs.
But here's the bad news. Lack of vision and readiness, resistance to change, and the perceived cost of implementation prevent many awesome companies from achieving their potential.
In 2022, Deloitte’s Global Intelligent Automation survey highlighted seven common barriers to automation implementation.
Top 7 challenges to intelligent automation (and how to overcome them)
- Process fragmentation
Process fragmentation happens when business processes are not managed consistently and measurably in unified workflows. Process fragmentation is common in less mature process environments or businesses where data is siloed by business units or enterprise resource tools or databases.
If process fragmentation is a recognized challenge in your organization, a process discovery exercise may be an effective solution. Through process discovery, you can define, outline and analyze existing business processes to identify opportunities to unify workflows and make them compliant with agreed and most effective process frameworks.
💡 Tip: Process discovery can be automated with process intelligence tools such as Workfellow. Request a free 30-day trial.
- Lack of IT readiness
When it comes to implementing intelligent automation, many organizations still rely heavily on centralized IT functions overburdened with the task of keeping enterprise data, systems, and information security in check. Talk about a broad mandate!
To overcome a lack of IT readiness, it’s key to involve IT representation early and actively in any intelligent automation projects - and ensure that enterprise data and integrations are managed with respect to key enterprise guidelines.
- Lack of clear vision
Deloitte's global intelligence automation survey found that one in five organizations do not have a clear and accepted vision for intelligent automation. Four in ten do not even have an enterprise-wide intelligent automation strategy.
As the law of Occam's razor dictates, the simplest solution is almost always the best. If your enterprise lacks a vision for intelligent automation, the best solution is to bring together key stakeholders to define and communicate a vision statement describing your goals, objectives, and timeframe for execution.
- Resistance to change
A sense of well-meaning resistance to change upon implementation is understandable when it comes to complex subjects like automation. While executives and functional leadership are more supportive of automation, it’s important to consider the broader workforce. According to Deloitte, 54 percent of implementing and scaling organizations have not calculated the proportion of their workforce impacted by automation.
One way to reduce the resistance to change is to involve the workforce in automation initiatives, for example, by actively communicating about changes, providing relevant training, and supporting citizen developers enthusiastic about enabling automation in their workflows.
- Cost to implement
There is no single fixed cost to implementing intelligent automation. Companies must consider the costs attributed to monitoring, software, hardware, training, and even governance. But, according to Deloitte, companies that correctly implement intelligent automation can expect an average cost reduction of 31 percent over the next three years.
Before implementation, consider the total cost of ownership of different solutions to your enterprise. Consider the time and resources needed to train staff to use the new system effectively, and be sure the model will suit your demand profile by testing various scenarios.
- Executive support and alignment
When executive alignment fails, the entire endeavor fails too. But failure isn't always easy to spot. The subtle "Soft" problems such as poor program or project management and unclear visions are usually to blame.
When it comes to executive support and alignment, communication is the golden rule. Make sure that every decision maker genuinely agrees with the goals and understands the subject enough to take real action. Before implementation, don't be afraid to discuss any concerns, insights, and well-meaning resistance.
- Speed to implement
Rapid implementation is key to successfully moving from traditional to automated processes, but many organizations run into bottlenecks. Of course, adopting a new way of working doesn’t happen overnight, but developing a solid plan can get you off to a quick start.
Preparing to overcome the natural disruption of changing a way of working might mean redefining the organizational structure to accommodate intelligent automation. Training staff, continuously monitoring results, and maintaining strong communication are the keys to success.
Many companies are implementing intelligent automation and enjoying increased productivity and efficiency.
However, to get the best out of intelligent automation, companies of every size often have to jump over a few hurdles. But, with the correct tools and training, companies can overcome common barriers such as lack of IT readiness and clear vision, resistance to change, cost and speed of implementation, and lack of executive support.
But who says success can't be simple? With Workfellow, one plug-in is all you need to transform your workflow and see actionable insights in just one day. If you'd like to get started with intelligent automation, check out what Workfellow can do for you by booking a free sixty-minute demo or requesting a free trial today.