How to transform your job with automation.
According to McKinsey, 45% of work activities performed today can be automated using currently available technology, and PwC’s CEO Survey finds that “maximizing the benefits of automation is high on the CEO agenda.”
If the technology is available and it’s a priority for executives, what’s holding organizations back from achieving the promise of automation? The answers may be surprising, and solving these challenges may also offer significant benefit to your own career.
Empowering business users to automate
With the previous generation of automation technologies, the bottleneck has been a lack of developer capacity. Organizations have hundreds or thousands of business processes that could benefit from automation, but according to Deloitte, most Automation Centers of Excellence have automated fewer than 20 processes. They’re doing the best they can with a limited number of on-staff software engineers and expensive consultants.
This presents the need for next-generation intelligent automation platforms to empower employees across the organization to automate business processes in their own departments. Without any programming experience, intelligent, no-code automation makes it possible for business users to quickly learn to harness machine learning, natural language processing, OCR, system integrations and more to digitally transform the way their team gets work done.
This approach to upskilling works because business users are experts in their own department’s processes, so there’s no need to translate requirements to the IT department or go through length change request procedures. With an intelligent, no-code automation platform, people in HR can directly transform HR processes, people in procurement can directly transform procurement processes, etc.
Reimagining roles for automation
Once business users can harness the tech they need, the only barrier remaining to fully capitalize on automation potential is for these employees to be granted time. If someone is working 50 hours a week at their job, they’re going to struggle to find time to automate processes for their department, even if it would save them time in the long run. Organizations need to begin shifting roles and responsibilities to allow people time to transform and automate processes.
We’ve seen that automation builders have the most success when they can dedicate at least 25% of their time to automating processes. When organizations have dedicated automation roles within departments, they can save the department enough time to add the equivalent capacity of eight full-time employees. As a result, there should be no need to backfill the time you dedicate to building, since it should be quickly made up by the time saved through automation. Ultimately, organizations find that dedicating the equivalent of at least one full-time person for every 50 employees to focus on process automation yields the best results.
Leading the change
In order for this shift in roles to occur, employees need top-down support. If the leaders of your organization haven’t started reallocating roles of people in your department toward automation and digital transformation, maybe it’s up to you to make the business case for it.
As a starting point, bring a specific business case to your manager for the first automation (or the first few) that you would build. Providing a tangible example of a process to automate and forecasting the time savings and other benefits will likely go a long way to make your case. You can use our intelligent business impact assessment to create an instant, customized slide outlining how much automating your specific process could return.
Becoming one of the early adopters of automation in your organization can be a tremendous boon to your career. Many companies are desperate for people to help shape the vision and strategy in this arena, so if you raise your hand with interest and experience, you have the potential to take a significant leadership role in defining the future of work at your organization.