Automation now

Technology is evolving rapidly - what automations are you implementing in your business?

Your business—automated and empowered

Admit it: automation isn’t something you’re entirely comfortable talking about. Maybe you don’t think it’s your job to do so (you’re still unclear on what robotic process automation (RPA) really does, anyway). Maybe you don’t want to bring up the inevitable workforce implications. Or perhaps you’d rather focus on the glossier aspects of transformation—customer experience, upskilling and digital strategy.

Automation is about all of those things. And every company needs to take a serious look at how they’re approaching it, especially as new tools put the power to solve problems and streamline tasks into the hands of business users. “Low-code,” or self-service, data management and RPA tools enable finance, human resources or other teams to address data challenges in their function and eliminate repetitive tasks.

But don’t start with the technology. Instead, reframe the automation discussion with these four questions:

How we can help you

Four questions for automation success

Do we understand our business processes and pain points?

While it’s easy to jump to technology, that’s often the last piece of the puzzle. Once you’ve identified problem areas, determine the approach: Do you want small automation sprints to attack discrete areas? Or do you want to reimagine the process with optimal orchestration between human and digital labor? The end game is always the same: playing to the strengths of both people and machines.

Are people and culture at the heart of our strategy?

Whether you’re pursuing smaller automation or redesigning end-to-end business processes, automation brings big organizational change. The business is constantly evolving, and roles and career paths will be redefined. Leaders can lean on corporate culture, tying the automation agenda to the reasons why people are at the organization in the first place—to provide great customer experience, have the most efficient shop or be the most innovative in the sector.

How is our tech ecosystem evolving to meet our goals?

The automation services keeps expanding—from data tools and visualisation to optical character recognition and robotics process automation. While a new class of software lets business users automate tasks relatively quickly, that’s just the starting point. Select the right combination of additional technologies to add even more optimised business processes.

Are we measuring business returns beyond financial ROI?

Taking out costs is only a starting point. Employee engagement, customer satisfaction or other business outcomes are different ways to justify and measure automation investments. If you think about customer experience as a part of every process, then operating models that were hard to imagine before automation may now become possible. And business units can become more agile when operations staff members are empowered to automate manual tasks and apply their brainpower to critical thinking.

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Sergios  Tziamalis

Sergios Tziamalis

Manager, Assurance Transformation, PwC Cyprus