How to Identify High-ROI Automation Opportunities

According to the International Society of Automation (ISA), automation is “the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services.” In simple terms, it’s the art of using technology to carry out tasks that would traditionally require human intervention is called automation.

By automating repetitive or time-consuming tasks, businesses can allocate resources to more strategic activities that drive growth and innovation.

However, not all automation opportunities are created equal. Some may offer a high return on investment (ROI), while others may not be worth the effort or expense.

This article explores how to discover high-ROI automation opportunities that, in turn, can help enterprises transform operations.

Why Automate? Focus on Big Picture Vs. Mundane Tasks

The first step involves examining each step of the workflow and identifying tasks that are mundane, repetitive, time-consuming, or prone to errors. These tasks are suited for automation, thus freeing up valuable time and resources for more strategic work.

Using task mining technology, business leaders heading up automation initiatives can discover tasks and processes ripe for automation. Then, evaluate each one to determine its value to your business and its potential for automation.

Learn More: How to Achieve Successful Automation Outcomes?

Identify Pain Points and Bottlenecks

Another way to discover high-ROI automation opportunities is to identify pain points and bottlenecks in the current processes. Not all tasks and processes are meant to be automated. For instance, there could be a high variance across operations with errors, leading to delays and reduced productivity. But the answer may not be automation. In such cases, teams may need targeted user training and creating SOPs for process conformance.

Once the pain points are identified, look for solutions such as targeted user training and creating process definition documents (PDDs) to help alleviate them and improve efficiency.

Learn More: What Is Business Process Automation?

Know the Right Automation Technology

Once the potential automation opportunities are identified, it’s time to research available automation technologies. Various automation solutions are available, such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Intelligent Document Processing, OCR, chatbots, and Intelligent Process Automation (IPA).

To choose the right automation technology for enterprises, factors such as the complexity of the processes are considered, the cost of implementation and the solution’s scalability.

Learn More: Intelligent Process Automation vs. RPA: 4 Key Differences

Conduct a Cost-Benefit Analysis

Before investing in any automation technology, it’s crucial to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine its ROI. This involves evaluating the costs associated with implementing the automation solution and comparing them to the potential benefits, such as increased productivity, reduced errors, and improved accuracy.

To conduct a cost-benefit analysis, the first step is to estimate the cost of implementing the automation solution, including the cost of software, hardware, training, and maintenance. In the second step, the potential benefits are estimated, such as time saved, reduced errors, and increased productivity. Finally, the costs and benefits are compared to determine whether the automation solution is worth the investment.

Learn More: 3 Key Learnings From Our Webinar With Bayer and What It Means for Your Automation Program

Start Small and Scale

Finally, when implementing automation solutions, it’s essential to start small and scale gradually. It’s always better to automate simple, repetitive tasks and gradually move on to more complex processes.

Starting small also always helps to test the automation solution that can be refined based on feedback from the team. This helps ensure that the automation solution is working as intended and delivering the expected ROI. Once a successful automation solution is established, it’s always better to scale it to other areas of business and continue to reap the benefits of automation.

Learn More: What is Intelligent Automation? Examples, Challenges, and Solutions

Scout®– The Catalyst for Your Automation Journey

Did you know, today, more than 60% of the workday is spent on unstructured interactions in documents, emails, communications, custom applications, websites – outside of ERP, CRM, and other systems of record.

This massive unstructured and undocumented interaction dataset between people and software is untapped and contains a goldmine of insights that could give a significant competitive edge to enterprises.

Organizations can unlock this data source through Scout®, powered by the world’s first work graph platform, and to unlock multiple opportunities to automation and streamline unnecessary variations of work.

To get started with Scout®, click here.

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