Roadmap to an Intelligent Automation Centre of Excellence

  • Vivek Mishra
  • Tuesday, November 22, 2022, 5 min read

Most organisations have adopted some form of automation, though many are struggling to scale and accelerate their programs. Building an Intelligent Automation CoE (IA CoE) is unarguably one of the most important steps any organisation can take if they want to achieve digital transformation. 

The main purpose of a CoE is to ensure standardised practices are in alignment with organisational goals and ensure automation provides synergistic benefits. Firms will need to make important decisions on when to establish a CoE, identify the most suitable CoE model, adopt best practices established by consultants, resource it appropriately and set realistic expectations to drive automation programs across the enterprise. 


What is an Intelligent Automation CoE? 

Intelligent automation (IA) CoE is a team of highly skilled individuals, with well-defined roles from across the organisation, working together to enable and accelerate automation adoption across the enterprise. The IA CoE helps identify automation opportunities, establish the process of automation, share best practices, select appropriate tools and technologies, and track its results. It is built around critical processes, technologies, or applications that an organisation uses for its day-to-day operations.

An IA CoE can guide organisations towards high-value and long-lasting automation initiatives by strategically using robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics to effectively accomplish its objectives of a successful and self-sustaining transformation. 


When is the best time to create it? 

Opportunities for automation exist in every part of an organisation. As automation scales, a well-designed Intelligent Automation CoE can be the key to success in the digital future of the organisation. 

Typically, an IA CoE is established once an organisation has automated a few processes or undertaken a few proofs-of-concept and realises there are significant benefits to expanding across the business. At this point, the organisation also has a few automation experts that would be better utilised in a team designed specifically for automation initiatives. 

While an IA CoE can be established right at the start of the automation journey composed of only the four critical roles (business analyst, developer, infrastructure engineer, and the C-Suite Champion), once the business aligns its goals and long-term plans and automation adoption spreads within the firm, the team can be scaled.  

Start with a small CoE in the initial stages of your automation journey and gradually add more roles to the CoE as automation matures and the process pipeline expands. You may not want to start with a large CoE as costs may increase and the team will be underutilised. 

Automation silos are also a key challenge in scaling automation. When pockets of automation exist in a firm and are not inter-connected, businesses incur a higher cost and don’t realise tangible returns. An IA CoE can help connect these automation silos into an automation program connecting processes within functions, bringing in economies of scale, and higher returns on investment It’s never too late to establish and utilise the expertise and vast knowledge that industry practitioners bring. Firms with a strategy to rapidly scale their programs need such a team to support their plans. 


Why is it needed? 

Organisations face multiple challenges when implementing g their intelligent automation strategy. Some of these challenges include: 


What are its benefits? 

An IA CoE is the backbone of a successful automation program. It brings together people, processes, and technologies, so an organisation can realise its goals, save costs, and automate faster. 


Click here to learn how you can build your own IA CoE and who should be on it. 

Tags: Intelligent Automation Centre of Excellence, Automation pipeline, Automation Silos, Accelerating Automation