Automation complements our wider, holistic approach to taking an organisation to the next level. When we talk about transformation, we take a multidisciplinary route to helping our clients. We use a combination of tools and capabilities, of which automation is often a key ingredient. And, while it is not a cure-all by itself, when it’s put together with our vast experience in business process reengineering and operating model change, automation becomes very powerful.
Standardised business activities are natural candidates for automating, but it’s not purely about replacing humans with robots, but freeing up people to focus on other value-adding processes.
What is automation?
Automation is a wide ranging and often badly-defined term. Broadly speaking, it refers to the carrying out of a task using programmed commands requiring little or no human intervention. In the context of smart tools and approaches, ‘intelligent automation’ is perhaps the more appropriate term. For Capita this means the combination of automating:
- ‘hand work’ – work which literally requires an individual’s hands and eyes interacting with systems (eg, RPA)
- ‘head work’ – work which requires cognitive abilities, such as decision making and the application of more complex rulesets.
And while there are obvious cost benefits, that’s only a small part of how it can benefit an organisation. Intelligent automation delivers:
- improved governance and control – automated tasks are carried out consistently, reliably and to fixed rules
- zero errors
- improved customer experience – eg, simple customer interactions and transactions can be performed immediately (even in the middle of the night)
- increased productivity – automated tasks are carried out much more quickly
- upskilling your workforce – freeing up employees to concentrate on more valuable activities.
Many activities make a process. Look at your operational footprint across back, middle and front office, and identify all the activities that are transactional, rule-based, repetitive and high volume. Once you find activities that tick these boxes, you then have a long list of good opportunities you can prioritise to automate.
Head of RPA, Capita