Five keys to intelligent automation success


Embedding intelligent automation into business processes can reduce costs, improve efficiency and speed time-to-market to businesses worldwide. But it takes intelligent planning to effectively reap the rewards. By taking these five steps, enterprises can cut through the noise and be on the path to intelligent automation success.

  1. Clearly define your mission. With any kind of automation project, be clear on the vision and be focused on the mission. It’s important that you define exactly what you are trying to accomplish and what kind of value you are trying to drive for your business.

Intelligent automation activities should be aligned with strategic imperatives consisting of these four elements: cost, speed, quality and innovation. For a successful implementation, everybody needs to be aligned with a clear vision of the big picture. Start with the end in mind and work backward.

  1. Know how to measure success. Coming in with a plan that shows results is critically important. Understand what you’re measuring, and be clear and comprehensive in the choice of metrics you want to gauge. Operational metrics such as reduced cycle times are key, but so are financial outcomes like working capital.

Each operational group is going to have a different way to measure success, but it really pivots around these three questions: Where are things going? What we do we stand to gain if we do things right? And ultimately, what do we stand to lose if we don’t do this?

  1. Think in terms of iterations. Constantly changing business demands means that enterprises today can no longer think of doing things in a sequential manner. It is paramount to be able to create iterations and learn from those iterations, so that you can incorporate those learnings into the automation you are implementing.

Start small to determine whether the capabilities and design you are working on are ultimately going to create value and solve your key problem. By starting small, you won’t waste resources and you’ll be able to more quickly find out if you’re on the right track. Once you’ve landed on creating that value, put the infrastructure in place to scale quickly.

  1. Check your badge at the door. One of the key things we find is that intelligent automation cuts across multiple disciplines and success requires a cross-collaboration of multiple business units and organizations. By checking in your badge at the door and focusing on the bigger mission at hand, you can achieve a lot more.

Think of this as reconfiguring people, processes and technologies, to help stack the odds of success on your side. Also, it is essential to get executive buy-in by forming a cross-discipline, cross-organization committee of leaders that recognize success will require different skills coming together in different configurations.

  1. Encourage an experimentation mindset. Look no further than startups – given the state of where technology is today, you can pretty much build anything you want. Achieving success with intelligent automation takes an experimentation mindset. Still, keep in mind that the shiny things that seem innovative and interesting also need to create stable value.

Experimentation should not be the domain of a few in your organization. Invite people to help you experiment. Put the best ideas on paper, rethink those ideas on paper and see how it all might work. It’s best to see how the good ideas flow before you translate that into lines of code.

Finally, know that implementing intelligent automation is not easy. Common words spoken from stages at conferences are, “Something I learned from my journey was we need help.” To achieve success, enterprises need to cut through the intelligent automation hype and find the right partners to drive the different elements that deliver value.

Ready to introduce intelligent automation into your enterprise? See how DXC Technology can help you.

Dar Suy is director of emerging projects at DXC Technology.

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