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May 25, 2017
Take Stock of your Enterprise Automation Readiness

Early enterprise adoption of automation stemmed from a very basic question – why does an enterprise need a back office? It became an imperative with the mandate to follow standard domain specific processes and adherence guidelines imposed by regulatory bodies. The expensive affair of customizing domain products to incorporate unique business processes made it as a viable choice. The exacting expectations of the digital citizen to derive better efficiency and accuracy in business turned automation technologies into a business reality.

Given the rather grim spending outlook, evaluating the existing skill, technology, and process strengths and gaps become important to assess their impact on the planned target state. The success of an automation initiative is more or less governed by the following indicators:

  • Organization structure: Does your enterprise have a team structure to spearhead automation efforts in terms of disseminating information, implementation and continued process improvement? Is the team structure conducive to manage a hybrid ecosystem of digital worker and human expertise?
  • Systems: How mature is the technology adoption scene within your organization and how easily can it lend itself to usage?
  • Business processes: Have you looked into the attributes of business processes themselves that influenced the adoption of Automation paradigms and got altered as a result of implementation?
  • Value measurement: How have the measurement methodology and the resultant accuracy of business benefit measurement influenced decision making in your enterprise?
  • Delivery: What is the capability maturity of your IT organization to deliver and maintain automated ecosystems?

Robotic Process AutomationThe above indicators provide insights to determine the state of maturity of your enterprise's adoption of business process automation. These adoption maturity indicators hold good for emerging technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA) as well. Based on these indicators, the RPA adoption maturity of your enterprise can be assessed at the following levels:

  1. Pilot
  2. Established
  3. Transformational

Applying the 5W1H(Why, Who, What, Where, When, and How) analysis for each of these levels, we can understand the scale of implementation to reach a particular level of RPA implementation maturity.

  1. Pilot: In an enterprise where functions such as HR, Finance, Security, operate in a shared services model, pilot level implementation of RPA in a division or divisions with minimum dependency on other functions is ideal to test the efficacy. Typical candidates are back office operations where processes can be automated and exceptions managed by the human workforce. Predominantly managed by platform leads of operations and technology respectively, automation begins with traditional automation like business process automation and leveraging rules. The journey begins here with identifying business case for automation, savings realized by taking non-core work out of full time employees and thereby cost reduction. Adoption is usually in the form of point solutions.
  2. Established: Appropriate where the operations team retains ownership and responsibility for a shared robotic process automation capability, this level encompasses back office and front office functions. It involves both process and desktop automation and exceptions managed by humans and machines in contact centers and operation hubs. Technology and Operations Head of Functions manage the implementation. RPA adoption spans different areas with different problem statements adopted with federated control. Enterprise RPA maturity reaches the Established state usually in 3 to 6 months or midway through the adoption journey.
  3. Transformational: Ideal where a CoE is established in the organization, automation maturity reaches cognitive automation with exceptions managed solely by machines. Fully managed by Technology and Operations Sponsors, adoption spans the entire enterprise with view of cognitive, and post 6 months of commencement of initial adoption. Transformational adoption includes a fully functional adoption including CoE, managed services, and subscription model.

The adoption maturity assessment model based on these levels can also be used to structure due diligence for transition, consolidation and upgrade.

Sample process categorization parameters include modelling, implementation, integration, rules, user management, security, process assets, alerting, audit, business criticality, and analytics.

To find out more about our RPA maturity assessment model and how best we can help in your RPA journey, meet us at Booth #5, PegaWorld 2017.

Santha Subramoni heads Cyber Security business unit for TCS. Santha has held key roles spanning across multiple areas and is an expert in establishing and scaling technology and business solutions practices from the ground up. Santha loves music, dancing, movies, reading fiction, and has of late been smitten by K-pop and K-dramas.


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