25.10.2019

Digital Automation Platforms – The Case For Business-led IT-enabled Intelligent Automation

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Intelligent automation for, and by, the business user; this is the motion that we discuss in our latest whitepaper.

The motion rests on two interdependent premises. The first is that democratizing IA, and transferring power to business users from IT specialists, can increase the success rate of digital transformation efforts as well as accelerate mainstream enterprise-wide deployments of IA.

The second stems from the common pain point, skill shortage, that is cited for our current inability to fully realize either of those possibilities.

The state of digital transformation and IA

Our whitepaper begins with digital transformation and its trillions of dollars in potential social and business value. And yet, two consecutive McKinsey studies, have found that the success rate of these projects has only been falling, from 30 to 16 percent apparently. The role of IA, a key driver of successful digital transformation, in this scenario just cannot be ignored.

Not that the success rate of standalone IA projects seems to be faring any better.  Even entry-level IA deployments, and we are not talking about sophisticated implementations involving intelligent decisioning, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and cognitive computing, seem to be permanently stuck in unproductive silos, a situation that KPMG characterized as uncoordinated and unintegrated.

In order for IA to deliver business value at scale, it has to be deployed against an enterprise-wide strategy that orchestrates multiple business-critical functions, applications, processes and workloads. But currently any efforts at achieving that are being hampered by the alarming shortage of skilled resources required to design, build, deploy and manage IA programs.

Though the talent shortage is undeniably true, waiting for the issue to be resolved by the combined long-term efforts of governments, educational institutions and industry is not really a practical strategy. What if we could develop a new class of digital automation platforms that put business users squarely in charge of how automation projects are designed, deployed, scaled and managed?

Designing business-led, IT-enabled automation solutions

The idea, however, is not to sideline central IT but to enable real separation of tasks, some kind of pragmatic division of labor. Business users, who need to deploy and scale new automation strategies as a response to topical business needs, are empowered to do so without having to be completely reliant on a central IT organization. At the same time, central IT is spared the day-to-day operational demands of IA to focus on delivering the appropriate infrastructure, support, security and governance.

We believe that digital automation platforms that simplify usability to enable a democratized business-driven approach to IA can certainly accelerate adoption and address at least some of the reasons for the failure of automation initiatives.

So what are the key features of a business-driven automation platform?

Designing usability from the perspective of the average business users rather than a skilled technologist is the crux of this approach. And we have defined three key business-driven elements of usability for a digital automation platform.

One, catalyze citizen developers through low-code automation. Multiple studies show that this fundamental change of tack can accelerate automation projects, increase responsiveness to business and reduce dependency on hard-to-hire technical skills.

Two, empower business and domain experts to define, monitor and change complex decision logic using a Business Rules Management System rather than having to wait for IT. This model can significant cut short time-to-market cycles and deliver considerable cost-savings bot in the development and maintenance phases.

And finally, provide a centralized digital decisioning engine that allows business users to combine rule-based technologies and ML/AI to automate and fine-tune the decision-making on a case-by-case basis. This capability can be particularly indispensable in the case of high-stakes high-volume digital transactions like loan origination.

Of course, it goes without saying that these capabilities are delivered with an intuitive, user-friendly, graphical, drag-and-drop interface that enables line of business users to design, modify and manage their automation programs whenever the business needs to do so.

We sign off with some of the key capabilities you have to consider in your choice of digital automation platform that will enable you to address some of the key pain points that are holding back the true potential of Intelligent Automation.

You can download our whitepaper here to learn more.

Download Whitepaper