Intelligent Automation for Successful Digital Transformation: Key Highlights

19 June 2019

LatentBridge’s first roundtable event, co-sponsored with UiPath at the Novotel Tower Bridge on 19th June 2019, was declared a huge success by all who attended, with numerous “more please!” requests.

Themed around the impact of automation on digital transformation, the roundtable’s objective was to convey practical insights of the challenges, solutions and opportunities arising.

First up, Husna Heesambee, UiPath’s Director, Professional Services for FS, emphasised the importance of adopting an “Automation First” mindset, in order to cut through process silos and deliver much more than simply cost out and elimination; she illustrated the message with a compelling example of a classic customer-bank call.

Chris Hafner, the renowned IA strategist, innovator and commentator, then made us all think hard about the differences between declared intent and actuality in many big transformation initiatives; he analysed the different rationales offered by would-be transformers and what needed to happen to ensure success, using both real industry examples and metaphors with equal aplomb.

The panel session which followed benefitted hugely from the additional insights and practical experience of Karel Francois, VP Business Development at HfS Research, Rob Scott, HO Market Services at Commerzbank and Jane Youdell, HO Partnerships and Channels at Enate. We learned how IA has increased both the imperative and the speed of transformation; heard real-world examples of how it offers hope and light to both new business models and older firms struggling with legacy systems; understood the criticality of ensuring IA augments the human element - both customer and staff; and how the right external assistance is vital to getting it designed and delivered quickly, especially for SMEs.

Here are some key takeaways from the event:

  1. Intelligent automation is accelerating digital transformation across industry sectors. Where previously companies had to wait for multi-year tool development, IA technologies are able to deliver automated solutions in less than a few weeks, delivering the same benefits sooner. Greater success is achieved where focus is on how to drive digital transformation in the end to end process, as against task-based automation and where data strategy is accelerated to enable faster automation, instead of the program being held ransom to unstructured data.
  2. While initially intelligent automation was promoted as a cost reduction exercise, its impact is deeper, transformational and growth accretive. New industry models like Lemonade, Shoe gazer, etc, are showing the way how intelligent automation can build successful new business models. For legacy companies, ease of adoption of IA technologies is driving deeper and broader cultural change which has the potential to transform how they deliver customer delight. With IA programs being business led, innovation need not be left to some isolated lab or innovation centre in an organization, and is now being delivered across the organisation.
  3. Intelligent automation is having an unexpected positive impact on talent/ human resources. Where people have been engaged in repetitive and monotonous, and work that requires juggling across multiple applications in a high-pressure environment, IA is relieving that pressure by doing the work for them, and removing the drudgery from their work. IA requires more creative thinking and love for new technologies, both seen in abundance in the younger generations. In designing IA solutions, greatest success is achieved by making humans and machines more effective together, instead of replacing humans entirely.

The lively informal session which wrapped up the morning left everybody feeling we needed more time and more such sessions.