By Jim Close, Regional Vice President of Enterprise at Kofax | 20 December 2022
Regional Vice President of Enterprise at Kofax
Skilled labour shortages. Compliance requirements. Economic Downturn. Supply chain issues. It’s been a bumpy road for organisations, filled with unexpected twists and turns and one obstacle after another.
Successful navigation of this treacherous landscape requires a digital-first mindset, and many leading companies have turned to automation to tackle these complex business processes. And it’s a smart choice. Automation simplifies many of the complicated challenges like compliance requirements and helps to overcome labour shortages.
Many companies are now finding themselves at a fork in the road on the digital transformation path. Multinational companies have spent the last several years accumulating point solutions for automation to support business operations as the need has arisen. Slowly but surely, this has resulted in fragmented and siloed automation projects.
Unfortunately, a piecemeal approach simply won’t cut it anymore. Challenges such as technical debt, issues with scalability persist as a result of these approaches, add in that the qualified labour pool required to manage and scale myriad solutions gets smaller by the day, and it’s easy to see why many businesses are finding themselves at a crossroads.
Organisations should change their current course and move to an intelligent automation platform. Thanks to a more efficient approach to automation reducing complexity, maintenance and overhead, organisations can benefit from doing more with fewer resources.
Most organisations believe a single-vendor approach to automation will help resolve challenges. Uniting under a centralized intelligent automation platform brings together previously fragmented projects and makes it possible to address all the company’s needs across the spectrum of digital imperatives. This path is the equivalent of a short cut, empowering organizations to achieve end-to-end automation and digitally enabled workflows faster.
Rather than making things more complicated and adding to the list of challenges to overcome, an integrated intelligent automation platform standardises digital transformation efforts and delivers a long list of benefits:
- Cost savings: A central system is easier and less expensive to maintain than multiple point solutions. Organisations benefit from a reduced reliance on IT and a lower technical debt.
- Scalability: Every organisation has unique needs depending on where it is in its digital transformation journey. An integrated platform with on-demand capacity supports teams where they are today and grows with it tomorrow.
- Agility: As new challenges arise and as business processes change, a centralised platform makes it simple to adapt. An intuitive platform allows citizen developers to contribute to automation efforts, so businesses can respond quickly to changing demands.
- Simplicity: One platform puts an end to automation silos. There’s only one solution to manage and maintain, and everything can be implemented with a minimal required skill set. An integrated platform also lightens the workload when it comes to solving large business and operational challenges.
- Collaboration: Seamless collaboration between human and digital workers makes it easy to execute and automate workflows across high-value business processes. Employee productivity increases, and workers can spend more time on value-added, strategic work and less time on manual, error-prone tasks.
A Sneak Peak Down the Path of a Centralised Platform
Here are four components to achieving end-to-end automation for organisations getting started.
- Document intelligence: Technologies such as cognitive capture, machine learning and natural language processing work together to process, classify and analyse structured and unstructured data in incoming documents (a document could be an email, paper, EDI invoice, PDF, mobile app, etc.—think omni-channel, i.e., ANYTHING received by a company). Invoices, contracts, sales orders and more are routed to the right people and departments. Advanced analytics unlock the true value in the information coming in, so decisions are based on actionable insight.
- Process orchestration: The ability to add and manage a digital workforce on demand makes scaling automation easier than ever. Process orchestration enables businesses to monitor the time, resources and costs in different business workflows, so they can see where improvements need to be made and act accordingly.
- Connected systems: Integrations with current technology was ranked as one of the top features business line managers look for in an automation platform. The ability to bring together all of the business systems—enterprise applications, legacy systems, chatbots, mobile—across internal and external business processes reduces complexity and saves time. Look for a platform that has an open architecture and comes equipped with prebuilt adapters that can connect to core systems.
- Low-code platform: It should be no surprise that “easy to learn” and “easy to use” were two other top platform features business line managers seek, with more than 70 percent of respondents listing both qualities as requirements for helping them do their jobs more efficiently. A low-code platform lets citizen developers (i.e., the people who do the work, not IT developers) put their business knowledge to work on automation initiatives with minimal training, while still providing more advanced features for skilled coders and developers. Everyone can play a role in getting companies further toward the clearing in the woods—enterprise-wide, end-to-end automation.
Instead of stumbling down the same path of siloed, disparate projects, organisations would do well to achieve true digital workflow transformation with a centralised intelligent automation platform so they can work like tomorrow, today. The choice is simple.