As we tentatively (and hopefully) emerge from the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic, we can reflect on the changes it has brought both on a personal and professional level.
Being at the forefront of Intelligent Automation since the sector began less than a decade ago has meant we’ve seen a huge amount of change in how organizations are dealing with new technologies, new ways of working and driving digital transformation forward.
THE QUANTUM LEAP
In McKinsey’s Global Survey of executives, they found that in the first 8 weeks of the pandemic, digital channel adoption fast-forwarded an astonishing seven years including customer and supply-chain interactions and internal operations. This is no surprise to us here at Roboyo, as we saw similar patterns amongst our own clients as they had to adapt to the new normal quickly and efficiently.
To enable employees to perform their roles, companies and organizations had to re-arrange their ways of working – overturning and re-modelling traditional methods by making it possible to work from wherever and whenever. This put huge pressure on organizations to re-think and re-engineer to make this disruptive change possible. The change meant challenges on many different fronts. From a logistics perspective, to make sure security protocols are upheld, to keep internal communication and coordination efficient, and stay as close to business-as-usual as possible.
THE RACE TO AUTOMATE
It’s clear that Intelligent Automation is more than an operative tool, but more a strategic one. Through technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), and other technologies, many organizations quickly went from dipping their toes in automation to accelerating their automation journey at scale.
But the question is, as the dust is settling, where do we go from here? What effects will this have on how, where, and with what we are working? And how can Intelligent Automation support the overall competitive advantage of a company?
REMOTE WORKING AS AN EMPLOYER BENEFIT
As the world starts to open up, the possibilities and preference for a hybrid working model is here to stay. Remote working has become more than just a necessity or temporary state of working – the last few years have proven that it is possible to have a more fluid workspace and tailor it according to personal and business needs. As a result, many organizations are changing their policies to make it possible for remote working in those positions where it is possible.
With some of the biggest companies in the world now moving to a hybrid or 100% remote working model, the need for flexibility and adaptability is crucial to retain and attract the best talent. In June 2021, Adobe’s Chief People Officer, Gloria Chen, confirmed that the company would be opting for the hybrid approach. And in May 2022, Airbnb hit the headlines when CEO Brian Chesky announced that employees would be able to work from anywhere in the world—without experiencing a pay cut.
It’s refreshing to see companies such as these leading the charge and it all sounds great as part of their development journey. However, it’s a journey that still needs to be figured out and supported by the necessary technological tools and infrastructure.
DIGITALIZING TO INCREASE REMOTE CAPACITY
Intelligent Automation technologies can provide a solid foundation to support remote or hybrid working. Now more than ever, entire operations are moving their business online and thus need to create seamless processing and allocation of documents and other business entities so employees can work efficiently and productively wherever they are.
The huge amounts of data within organizations are already a challenge to manage, and with remote working, it is becoming increasingly important to have a conscious and thorough data management plan and set yourself up for success to interpret, categorize and analyze this data at high volume.
As all or more aspects of work tasks are digitalized, every aspect of business process flows, and sub-tasks can be a foundation for analytics and improvements. With this, it is a great opportunity to analyse data and discover insights that weren’t previously accessible before. Thus, providing much-needed transparency into business processes, communication, and coordination.
Intelligent Automation technology can support this transition by supporting the digitalization process of moving physical entities to a digital environment in a smooth and searchable manner, by for instance assisting in indexing. Technologies such as IDP can provide the opportunity to recognise, classify, extract, and further process millions of documents.
The capacity of the technology is growing each year, as the possibility to process a variety of structures increases and technologies such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and handwriting-character recognition increases the data types to be successfully processed. Thus, the capacity to capture business-critical data and deliver it back to the business processes or other automation tools can span further than just structured forms, but also handle a large variety of input. In turn, this increases the ability for the organization to not only speed up business processes and increase their access to real-time data, but also spurs the growth of digital intelligence.
This makes it possible for organizations to empower their analytical abilities and supports both efficiency in processes as well as innovation into ways-of-working to support competitive advantage. By moving operations to an Intelligent Automation platform, this can be performed from any place in the world, and nothing gets lost in a pile of papers.
TECHNOLOGIES TO DISCOVER AND STREAMLINE PROCESSES
2020 and 2021 created the perfect storm for innovation in organizational infrastructure, streamlining internal collaboration, improving process discovery, and thus increasing the possibility for successful Intelligent Process Automation. Since staff could not sit and share physical documents around as they used to, we saw a large increase in an already occurring trend of intelligent document extraction investments. In the last couple of years, major progress was made in computer vision, NLP, Machine Learning (ML), and AI-capabilities. With the combination of an increased need for support for remote businesses, it is a perfect time to streamline those processes into digitized and automated solutions.
In terms of analytical knowledge, getting an overview of current and potential process flows can be a powerful tool. From learning potential processes to automate, where the bottlenecks are, to incorporating all new information and data generated by the move from physical to remote workspaces. Those who grasp the opportunity and make the best of that information and adapt quickly based on new knowledge on what our new-normal should look like will have a huge advantage by constantly bringing information into the light and acting on it.
With this, it has been shown that a company can very much continue business as usual regardless of the geographic or working hours of its employees. This also opens the possibility to acquire talent from far and wide, regardless of their location. Thus, the work market will become more flexible for people to find labor that works for their personal situation and preferences, as well as remote working, becoming increasingly supported by infrastructure, platforms, and organizational structure.
FUTURE OF WORK REINVENTED
At Roboyo, our philosophy is very much about people rather than the technology. Whilst the technology is mind-blowing and we’re constantly amazed by what we can do with it, the future of work is ultimately about people.
By creating the best possible workplace for employees, by smoothing out the edges and disruptions in workflows, by providing better information and faster processing to enable them to work smarter, not harder we can make way for people to innovate, communicate and collaborate for this exciting new world. In other words, setting your business up for success regardless of if that success takes place in the office, by kitchen tables, or from the Bahamas.
Talk to us about how you can use Intelligent Automation technology to support your transparency, smooth operations, and gain greater insights for your business. Contact us today.