Being Intelligent with Automation — Partnering with a Vendor Versus Managing In-House
In part 1 of our blog series, ‘Being Intelligent with Automation’, we covered the following key pointers regarding the need of Intelligent automation:
● Understanding intelligent automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotic process automation (RPA)
● Types of intelligent automation
● Differences between AI and RPA
● Identifying business processes for automation
● Problem-driven and solution-driven approaches to implementing Intelligent automation
By the end of part 1, we had seen how to compile the list of processes that can benefit from intelligent automation. However, it is equally important to understand which of the processes selected for automation are top priority for daily operations
The processes that you have selected by now would likely fall under one or more of the following conditions:
● They are high in volume and repetitive
● Many employees are working on them
● Employees are spending a lot of time on them
● They are at risk of human errors
These processes should then be prioritized based on which ones are critical and take the most time and effort, while implementing intelligent automation.
In part 2 of this series, we talked about communicating with your employees about automating these processes, how to quell some concerns they may have and the philosophy as intelligent automation as human augmentation- not replacement. Then, we looked at various case studies in the health, finance, and sales and marketing sectors with examples of RPA versus AI case studies. We also talked about the benefit of each case study to your employees.
Standard criteria for quantifying process priority
When talking about process prioritization for intelligent automation, stake holders may find themselves asking, “How do we quantify something like a business process?” Well, there are two parameters that can be utilized for this objective:
Let us look at both parameters and how they can help you in prioritizing the business processes you want to automate:
Parameter 1: Impact
This parameter is based on how much the organization’s daily operations would be impacted if a process is automated. The focus areas under this parameter are:
● Human effort (in hours)
● Human error possibilities
● Capacity to increase revenue and profit
These focus areas can be rated on a scale of 1 to 4.
Parameter 2: Speed
The second parameter, speed, is all about the time that can be saved by automating a process. How much time did a process take earlier, and how much time is it expected to take once automated? This difference falls under the speed parameter. The focus areas under speed are:
● Quantity per day
Like the impact parameter, these focus areas can be rated on the scale 1–4.
Plotting and using a graph to make decisions
Once the ratings for all five areas (three for impact and two for speed) have been scored, they can be individually summed up to get the total for each parameter. For example, let us assume that a process, P1, is a candidate for intelligent automation among three total processes, P1, P2, and P3. P1 has been rated as follows:
Human effort (in hours) — 3
Human error possibilities — 3
Capacity to increase revenues and profit — 4
Actionability — 3
Quantity per day — 4
For these ratings, we can easily get the total for each parameter as impact = 10 and speed = 7. Now, we can plot this data on a simple X-Y graph with speed on X-axis and impact on Y-axis.
This graph represents the plotting for the process P1 (and others). As you can see, P1 falls under the quadrant A, whereas the other two processes lie under quadrants B and C.
Reading and understanding the importance of this graph plotting is quite easy:
● Processes falling under the A quadrant have high value for both impact and speed. Therefore, P1, in this example, takes the highest priority. In general, even among all the processes that may end up in quadrant A, those with the highest values of the two parameters take precedence for intelligent automation.
● Processes falling under quadrants B and C can be prioritized based on your organization’s main objective. If it is to get the results of intelligent automation implementation quickly, go for the processes that fall under quadrant B (higher value for speed). If the goal, however, is to achieve a better long-term return on investment, prioritize the processes under quadrant C (higher value for impact).
Note: The processes that fall under quadrant B can be leveraged for short-term PoCs, because of their higher value for the speed parameter.
● Processes that fall under quadrant D take the lowest priority because they have comparatively low speed and impact potential.
Now that we know how to quantify eligibility and prioritize the candidate business processes for intelligent automation, the next question is whether it should be handled by your organization itself or offloaded to a vendor/partner.
Who should implement intelligent automation in your organization?
There are plenty of ready-to-implement intelligent automation solutions in the market today. Artificial Intelligence-as-a-Service (AIaaS) is expected to be a $14.596 billion (U.S.) industry by 2023. It is tempting to quickly purchase a solution and implement it in your organization, but while a solution may fit your specific requirements, you’ll want to weigh considerations between a vendor solution and implementing intelligent automation in-house. There are certain benefits in both the cases, and to understand what would work best in your case, it is important to ask yourself some basic questions.
Is automation your organization’s strong suit?
Automation can be extremely beneficial to many (if not all) organizations, but it may not be your teams’ strongest competency. Do you have the skills (technical, managerial, and domain) necessary to develop an automation solution from scratch? If yes, building an intelligent automation solution in-house can prove to be extremely cost-effective. However, if you do not have such resources, it may be better to hire a vendor with expertise in automation technology to help you implement intelligent automation in your organization.
Do you have time to spare for intelligent automation?
Does your organization have the time and resources to build and implement an intelligent automation solution? If not, it would be logical to get an external solution from the market.
So, let us assume you have decided to offload the intelligent automation implementation to a vendor instead of doing it in-house. The next logical question would be, ‘how do I select a vendor for this journey?’ As with every new corporate relationship, selecting the right vendor for intelligent automation implementation is key.
Selecting a vendor/partner
It is important to select a vendor who has enough experience in the industry in which your organization operates. Apart from that, it is recommended that you do intense due diligence and conduct extensive meetings with multiple prospective vendor partners so that the best solution can be agreed upon for your specific requirements. It is critical you do a lot of research into how these vendors work so that you can decide which of them will be the best fit for your organization. Always keep the processes selected for automation and the parameter values in mind while you are finalizing any deal with a vendor.
In conclusion, if done correctly, intelligent automation can change the way your organization works. Your organization can become faster, more efficient and more accurate in its operations and, in turn, can help you save a lot of time, effort and money. With AI and RPA to take care of your high-volume, mundane activities and tasks, your human employees can focus on more complex tasks, boosting their productivity and work satisfaction. Therefore, it is a win-win situation for all the stakeholders involved and it is highly recommended for organizations to seriously consider intelligent automation implementation.
If you’re considering intelligent automation for your organization, visit our website at social27.com.
Social27 as your intelligent automation partner
If you’re looking to increase your ROI, attract new customers and retain existing customers, Social27 may be the perfect vendor/partner to spearhead your intelligent automation goals. As a longtime Microsoft vendor and partner, our intelligent automation solution has been blessed and certified by leaders in the intelligent automation industry. And, as a medium-sized business who has worked with companies of all sizes in various industries, we’ll understand the pain points of your business and the needs of your customers.
Our intelligent automation solution will help align your sales and marketing team, qualify leads, set them up with sales representatives and arm your sales representatives with the information they need to have a relevant, value-based conversation with your existing and prospective customers.
If you’re considering intelligent automation for your organization and think we may be a great partner for you. For more information, visit our website at social27.com.