Automation is closer than you think — Part III
Now that you have embarked on the automation journey, the next thing that you would need to focus on is how to scale the automation.
We have seen many companies kick-starting automation and later on struggling to scale. This article touches on a few of the important aspects you need to focus on to scale this automation.
The first and the most important step is to align with the leadership team on the automation vision. The goal of automation can be anything from quality control, cost savings, compliance, etc. With the mortgage market slowing down, it’s important that we provide a crystal clear view of the benefits of automation. One way to achieve this from the outset is to define ROI thresholds for prospective projects. Having a rule such as “project will recover costs in 60 days or less” will gain leadership’s confidence that automation will not be a black hole where investments go in and nothing comes out.
Setting up an Automation Center of Excellence (CoE) is another very important aspect when you want to scale automation.
The CoE acts as a hub for implementing automation and strategic planning and helps perpetuate automation across the organization. Along the way, the CoE can make sure that best practices are brought to bear for every new automation project. What we have seen most successfully is to have the CoE extend beyond normal CoE boundaries to also own BOT deployment, standardization and maintenance.
Connecting the dots, the confidence gained in Align stage discussed above ought to be leveraged in justifying the value of the CoE. That means that you need to plan from the outset to onboard automation champions and architects and you need to have the foresight to include those costs as a part of your overall ROI. Similarly, your CoE will not run itself. So you need to onboard the appropriate governance resource(s) to ensure a predictable execution cadence.
Another important aspect to consider is the industry shift toward Hyperautomation.
Hyperautomation is the concept of automating processes by using a combination of technologies like RPA, AI, Analytics, and other technologies. In our earlier blog, we discussed the importance of how processes need to be assessed and filtered to check if it is automatable or not. Scaling the automation would involve deploying hyperautomation technologies and this can be determined during the opportunity assessment phase.
Hyperautomation helps the organization create a holistic approach to automation cutting across various aspects of business across departments. On the face of it, there is a fairly obvious trade-off to using hyperautomation: more automation tools mean more automation opportunities and increased efficiencies. But, like all technology, those benefits must be weighed against two key issues:
- Each new technology requires its own subject matter experts. That translates to additional program costs. Do your ROI calculations support more technical resources?
- In a multi-technology environment, you have to implement ways for each technology to work with the other technologies. This, too, requires time and resources. And, once implemented, the “interfaces” are technical debt that you will need to maintain and support.
In their simplest form, the three steps above will help you address the people, process, and technology aspects of your automation journey. While there are a few more aspects that you need to take into consideration, if these critical aspects are taken care of, scaling of automation will go much smoother.
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