The amazing race: The accelerating pace of enterprise automation

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Is your company keeping pace with advances in enterprise automation?

Those of us who work in enterprise automation have the perception that the whole world is automating, and fast. That’s why we called our cognitive enterprise automation workshop at Gartner Symposium “The Amazing Race.” We wanted to reflect the urgency we feel as the possibilities for automation are expanding so rapidly.

We talked about the three strategic imperatives every organization should tackle on their automation journey:

  • Set the agenda for automation across the enterprise
  • Deploy automation at scale
  • Integrate and leverage AI for maximum benefit

There were plenty of nods of recognition around the room. These are the same challenges our audience are seeking to address on their respective automation journeys. With guidance from Barry Mitchell, Benjamin Chance and Vijay Pandiarajan, our workshop participants assessed their own maturity against each of those imperatives.

Here’s what we heard. Everyone is off the starting blocks, with at least a basic vision for automation, which we would expect to see. Every organization is setting an agenda and beginning to deploy automation. Most are still at the lower end of the maturity spectrum — experimenting and exploring with robotic process automation (RPA), although only a few have started on a cognitive journey.  Again, no big surprises. The 30 or so workshop participants were in line with what we see across our broad base of clients globally.

It’s time to be smart about automation

What surprised us was the pace at which they expect to take their next step. We asked participants to tell us where they want to be and when. We found that most of our participants, while they do expect to expand their automation programs, are not planning a significant change in the next year. Most set a goal of expanding their vision, scaling up RPA and integrating artificial intelligence (AI) in another year or two.

What’s holding them back? Part of the reason is a desire to test and experiment for longer and to learn more about what’s out there before moving ahead. They also are unsure about how to progress beyond a proof-of-concept (PoC) or pilot. But in order to truly maximize the benefit of automation, it’s important that your enterprise scale up — and do so rapidly. With a cycle of continuous improvement, and taking an agile approach to that effort, you can learn and improve as you go. Our advice? The time for experimentation is over. Now is the time to create and execute against an enterprise-wide intelligent automation agenda.

Happy to speak further about how to accelerate your enterprise automation agenda. To reach out to my team, schedule time with us:

Vice President, Globally Integrated Capabilities, Global Business Services

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