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Start your automation journey with ‘Do’, ‘Think’ and ‘Learn’

Sumithra Gomatam, President, Global Process and Platform Solutions, Cognizant; and Matthew Smith, AVP – Automation, Emerging Business Accelerators, Cognizant | Nov. 4, 2016
Organisations need to address the fast-arriving enabling technologies, techniques and tools that will allow them to digitise their processes – and quickly to remain a frontrunner.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

 Intelligent automation, or robotics process automation (RPA), is set to be one of the biggest game-changers for organisations in expediting business processes, reducing errors, and cutting operational costs.

It is true that RPA saw its share of hype, with claims it would cut delivery costs in half, leave workers without jobs and kill off the sourcing industry altogether. Little wonder then, that many business leaders expected this war between 'man and machine' to signal the end of the workforce as we know it.

However, while it has not completely transformed the industry, the fact remains that business leaders are increasingly starting to embrace intelligent automation. These forward-thinking businesses that are now taking advantage of RPA will ultimately see results in their performance, agility and competitive capabilities.

Intelligent automation is not about entirely replacing the human element, but about elevating the role people play in operations and putting businesses on the fast track to success. It is also not about replacing underlying IT systems. On the contrary, it offers a non-invasive and cost-effective approach to making rote and repetitive processes digital, instrumented, analyzed and intelligent. That makes intelligent automation all the more relevant in the face of legacy systems that entail extremely high remediation or change costs.

In the digital era, speed is the new currency in business. Organisations need to address the fast-arriving enabling technologies, techniques and tools that will allow them to digitise their processes - and do so quickly.

Embracing RPA may not be a one-size-fits-all solution for businesses. For example, tasks that rely on a significant amount of creativity or intelligence cannot easily be undertaken by a piece of software. Instead, business leaders should take the time to evaluate their business strategy and build plans to integrate RPA in ways that will help understand current and future opportunities to move forward.

So how should businesses navigate the tricky 'first steps' in adopting intelligent automation? RPA can be broken down into three simple areas for businesses to understand the real opportunities and chart the best path forward: I Do, I Think, I Learn. The key to intelligent automation lies in an agile framework. Be well-prepared and kick-start your automation journey with a 'do, think, learn' framework.

  • Systems that "do" so you don't have to

Software that can replicate repetitive, rules-based human actions

Automating processes with RPA tools can be likened to creating traditional flowcharts. Once built and tested, libraries of automated tasks can easily be reused or quickly customised to make future automations go faster. Essentially, any rules-based activity that can be applied to different processes and situations is likely to be a viable RPA candidate. Such tasks include loan application processes, claims adjudication, accounts payable and receivable, invoice reconciliation, data entry/extraction and report generation.


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