Our Intelligent Automation (IA) blog series continues this week with our most practical post yet. Last week, we took a deep dive into the, day-to-day business benefits of IA but this week, we’ll share the key pillars of actually building an IA strategy for your organization.
At this point, you realize it’s time to embark on the Intelligent Automation journey. Achieving success means going beyond choosing the right technology – you need to have the right plan. This section outlines seven pillars (also steps) to create a successful Digital Operating Model necessary for Intelligent Automation.
Designing your process automation program starts with defining your vision. How does it align with your business objectives? Your vision should not only be enough to drive the entire organization, but clear enough to be understood, and directly related to the context in which those in your organization are operating. You could also engage a third-party vendor to perform an unbiased strategic evaluation of the broad potential of automation and the expected benefits at a high level for each of the organizations or departments within an organization. This analysis is different from a process assessment exercise.
Next, define the organizational design that does two things: best supports delivery of the IA capability and aligns with corporate strategy and culture. Remember, this is a strategic initiative; where does it sit, who does it report to and what leverage would it have? Define the structure of this organization as well, which includes identifying roles, like Head of Automation, Service/Support, Release Management and Enterprise Architect, among others. Finally, decide the structure of your IA COE. Will it be centralized, federated or hybrid? It may start as one but evolve into another as you grow the COE.
One of the top three reasons organizations fail in scaling their automation initiatives is choosing the wrong processes or not knowing what processes to choose to get the maximum benefits.
Organizations should adopt a comprehensive, objective and structured methodology to identify the right processes. Failing to approach it in a structured manner can create a high risk of automating processes that do not provide the right benefits. Even worse, you may discover late in the development cycle that the process cannot be automated for some reason. This leads to loss of confidence in the technology across the organization.
Lateetud uses the below framework, supported by software and tools, to assess processes.
As you start developing the automations, you need to have a clear methodology of how you intend to deliver the automations to production, and ensure the methodology aligns with your internal standards. Consider taking a more agile approach to delivery, compared to a water-fall approach. Agree on the delivery approach and embed the templates and policies in your existing change management methodologies. Lastly, define the delivery management and tracking approach that ensures optimal usage of the defined technology.
How do you support your operational processes? Once you answer this question, create a service model to support those objectives. This will include management, reporting, scheduling system support, product support and referral/exception handling processes for business-as-usual.
In general, the service model could look like the one below and can be customized further for organization specific needs.
This is an area where workflow orchestration comes in quite handy, as it brings together all the technologies and helps you to monitor and manage them for BAU and continuous optimization.
Define what roles you need to setup in your organization, as well as responsibilities for each of the roles and the process of selecting the right candidates to fulfill these functions. You also need to establish training and enablement programs. These will ensure that the resources are properly trained to own the technologies that are included in your IA ecosystem. It should be done in a phased manner and should be aligned with your implementation approach or define process priority.
Lateetud recommends a three-tiered and three-phased approach of prioritizing processes for Intelligent Automation and enabling employees accordingly.
Technology is a significant pillar. Partner with your IT organization to define how the technology components will be architected, to ensure scalability and optimum performance. Technology must align with security and compliance requirements, including access credentials, hosting (cloud or on-premise), support, upgrades, integration with internal applications, communication or data exchange, API policies etc.
You’ve crafted your strategy, but what does the timeline look like? In my next post, we’ll walk through a "Typical IA journey". In the meantime, visit for more information about how IA can benefit your organization.