With cash flow and normal business kicked into a cocked hat, many organizations have clenched up and hunkered down, hoping for normality to return. However, a crisis has always proven to be the best time for driving a mandate for change - and one that would never happen in normal times. What we also learned from the 2008-11 global financial crisis was that the enforced distraction from normal business was actually a perfect time for accelerating business transformation programs. Circumstances that threaten, also present unique opportunities for forward thinkers to emerge from a downturn even stronger.
So now more than ever, there’s a golden opportunity to blow away that organizational inertia and transform work operations. But you’ll first have to fight the fear that’s inevitably permeated across your enterprise and remove the resulting restraints of wide-scale paralysis. You’ll have to make greater investments – and not just financial but in extra effort and bold thinking too.
Take bold action
Employing a very effective mind trick can help. Simply ask this question; what key actions would you take now if you weren’t afraid? Answers may include better staff training, operational upgrades and many other fresh service innovations. But there’s one galvanizing action that you should consider taking now. We’re talking about actioning intelligent automation – it really is the easiest and most effective way to help deliver work much faster, smarter, more efficiently and almost without limits – and with less.
Our global report The Impact of a Digital Workforce on Business Agility & Survival that surveyed 6,700 knowledge workers and senior IT decision makers reveals a positive link between global productivity, business agility and resilience – and intelligent automation– with 81 percent believing this will be essential for businesses to remain competitive in the next five years.
We’re talking about intelligent automation that runs a digital workforce, trusted and run by business leaders to collaboratively hyper-automate, streamline, expand and accelerate work across the world’s largest most innovative organizations. They’re using our digital workers to automate any business process that matters to generate hundreds of thousands of transformative use cases and seize new opportunities - on a massive scale and at the pace the market requires. In fact, what they’re achieving in months, would take IT programs and vast teams of people, years to complete and even then would achieve less impact too.
We’re not only talking about billions of multi-currency savings, new levels of operational agility and efficiencies, but improving business performance, delivering more strategic value-generating roles - while saving and re-utilizing billions of hours to fulfil ever greater demand. We are seeing transformed service delivery and quality, faster expansion of new services, effortless coping with Covid-19 lock-down - even via remote working, and most of all – speed and scalability.
This is a truly collaborative, large-scale, work revolution. The sophistication, breadth and maturity of these outcomes are years ahead of what’s actually being achieved with any desktop robot or bot – and without introducing the risk of wide-scale digital chaos too.
Why digital workers work better
Front and center is a digital workforce, an AI-enabled, ever-evolving, super resource that’s business-ready, IT approved and being trained to deliver all process work much faster, smarter, more securely, scalable and successfully than any other. They perform evermore complex work, not just across the front, middle and back office - but across the entire enterprise - in any industry sector – operating with total integrity and up to 650 times faster than people, with zero errors, 24x7.
You’d expect digital workers to perform any repeatable and predictable process, but they also do complex and stressful stuff that humans struggle with; from sophisticated diagnostics spotting money laundering, to detecting early signs of diabetes in a retina scan. Think of any work process, design it and they’ll deliver it.
Digital workers proactively work by interweaving AI capabilities to inter-operate effortlessly across ever-changing digital environments – without fail. They can read different screens, layouts or fonts, application versions, system settings, permissions, language. They ingest and sort semi-structured and unstructured data from any source, across all IT systems, while providing quality checks, detecting errors and passing exceptions to people to action.
So, what about your best assets - people? They’re freed from being the soul-destroying ‘middleware’ that really drags them down, free to work better and deliver more value. We’re talking about not only managing digital workers’ exceptions, but making critical judgements, applying newly gained insights from automated process data to continually improve work, spending more time with customers, serving them faster, enhancing their experiences, thinking, problem solving and innovating to drive growth.
This is just the beginning. To perform work, digital workers uniquely access and read the user interface of any current and even future technology - without requiring coding. It’s this universal interoperability capability that enables any new technology - especially from our ‘Digital Exchange’ online marketplace, to be easily business-consumed, safely tested and swiftly drag-and-dropped into enterprise process flows. This is already driving a new culture of accelerated innovation, with enterprises now able to leapfrog from the past, to the present and into the future – at an unprecedented pace.
To compound even more value, all automated work is being hugely multiplied by organizations across their businesses. People can not only centrally design, draw and ‘publish’ processes that digital workers automate, but share, improve and re-use these automated assets - anytime, anywhere – with zero coding required.
Crucially for the enterprise environment, everything is done most securely, compliantly and transparently, as there’s a centralized irrefutable audit trail of all process automations, including all digital worker actions and training history too. This, coupled with digital workers never impacting the IT estate, prevents technical debt and digital chaos – which wins the IT department’s approval too.
But none of this is possible without a Robotic Operating Model we created almost 20 years ago that’s constantly evolving, being continually enriched with insights gained from our customers’ world-class implementations to help them better launch, maintain, scale and sustain a successful digital workforce. In fact, it’s so incredibly effective it’s become the industry’s gold standard too.
To gain optimal results with digital workers, having the best methodologies and human talent is key to success. Once an operating model is defined upfront, including an ambitious, inspiring vision of desired outcomes – backed by senior stakeholders – you can start delivering and widely communicating achievements. This allows the digital workforce to really thrive as it scales across the business.
By streamlining, accelerating and digitally automating work, it’ll be digital workers that drive organizational adaptation and resilience they’ll drive an engine for sustainable growth, helping to deliver strategic goals that make the global enterprise and its people smarter, more agile and efficient in our brave new world.
Dave Ormston, Customer Success Director, Blue Prism