Doing more with less is a startup company’s dream scenario. Automation can help early-stage startups scale faster with limited resources. Knowing how to properly apply this technology is key.
What Is Intelligent Automation?
Early-stage startups should begin by looking at the big picture with a long-term strategy and short-term goals for using artificial intelligence, robotic process automation and business process management which, combined, comprise intelligent automation. With IA, early-stage startups have process efficiencies right out of the gate.
This article will focus on three things startups should consider when implementing IA and adopting a digital-first mindset.
Map Process Efficiencies
It’s important for startups to understand their processes while positioning human checkpoints. Using BPM, or business process management, to see how the end-to-end value chain works for a particular process will help companies thrive. That’s why organizations are investing in enterprise software that can improve processes and streamline workflows. Startups are able to make improvements along the way using a digital workforce.
Using BPM within an automation program allows businesses to coordinate processes and orchestrate their human and digital workers most effectively. The combined forces of intelligent automation then help organizations avoid the inevitable human errors that arise from manual data input.
The easiest way to begin is in the back office, highlighting and mapping out those mundane tasks so that digital workers can take them on in the most appropriate instances. This frees people to fulfill complex duties. In accounting, for example, repetitive tasks can be identified and streamlined at a speed that humans just cannot accomplish.
The cost savings from not having to hire more employees can then be reinvested into the company in the form of research and development or by acquiring highly skilled employees such as software engineers.
Revenue and cost savings are crucial for early-stage startups as they strive to prove their value to potential investors. Startups need to evaluate and identify specific strategic priorities to identify key performance indicators that support revenue generation.
IA provides a regular stream of insights to enable innovation. IA applications can learn from data and results in real time, analyzing information across processes and adapting to the information.
The top reasons companies are pursuing automation are effectiveness for their customers and their employees. About two-thirds of organizations surveyed say their companies experienced positive outcomes: improvements in quality control, customer satisfaction and employee experience, in addition to reduced operating expenses.
While companies might begin adopting automation in the back office, IA serves the front office as well. We’re talking about modern, service management solutions that are highly secure and scalable across the enterprise. For example, digital workers can support customer call centers with customer requests being managed by virtual agents to avoid escalation to human agents.
Customer experiences are improved by adding capacity to handle increasing workloads and improving response time, while empowering agents. Customer service can also be enhanced, and delivered at a lower cost, by increasing automation and efficiencies in customer incident handling. The speed and efficiency of order processing and fulfillment can also be increased with a digital workforce.
Consumer preferences are shifting rapidly with direct-to-consumer business models increasing in popularity. Boosting customer service can be a differentiator when building a startup organization’s reputation.
Get C-level Support
For all of this to work, leadership has to be all in with a digital-first mindset. A recent SS&C Blue Prism survey found that 69 percent of business leaders are planning to implement intelligent automation programs.
Stakeholder sponsorship is essential. However, if senior executives think of automation as a quick fix for such things as needing to reduce expenditures, it’s a missed opportunity for growth. Using intelligent automation effectively requires a holistic outlook.
An organization’s leaders must understand how to unleash the full potential of adopting automation. Automation technology tools should not be used in a vacuum, but rather considered as a whole — mapping back to revenue gains and/or cost savings. Orchestration is vital for long-term process management.
Leaders, from the CFO on up, must support the technology journey and understand what you’re doing with the data. Ensure that organization leaders are building relationships with your stakeholders. Make sure you are speaking the same language and then leverage that to identify your goals.
On top of leadership buy-in, peer-to-peer networking with other startups about where they are innovating is valuable.
Adopt a Digital-First Mindset
Combining the power of tools such as RPA and AI with strong BPM and then looping in human power leaves companies with a better solution. Investing in an end-to-end and scalable automation integration platform delivers major cost reductions, increased speed and efficiency of operations.
Moreover, a single platform is easier to buy and manage because it comes from the same licensor, rather than having to go through the procurement process with multiple suppliers. Companies are freed from having to manage this portion because the infrastructure is already there, enabling companies to benefit from a digital workforce and start innovating.
We have software that can help businesses like never before. It’s an exciting time to innovate with IA tools and processes.
As an organization grows in size, say 500 to 2,000 employees, leadership must truly be invested in holistic, enterprise-grade scalability. Adopting a digital-first mindset at the beginning will prepare a company to reach the next level, with intelligent automation supporting the journey. Businesses fall short when they fail to invest in the right platform to help implement IA effectively. Without that leadership support, this technology will eventually become just another tool.
We’re at a tipping point of what is possible. People are always going to look for ways to improve how we work and now the technological solutions have caught up to our needs. We have software that can help businesses like never before. It’s an exciting time to innovate with IA tools and processes. Technology is transforming and rethinking how we work. Successful companies make intelligent automation a strategic priority.