The digital economy is escalating across the globe. Organisations in every industry are recognising the enormous business value of automating processes to accelerate operations, cut costs and drive better business outcomes.
While the range and scope of these projects vary greatly, from mission-critical processes to very simple linear ones, some companies rely on a single automation solution, regardless of the complexity of the process involved.
Based on my own company’s success with over 10,000 customers and tens of thousands of projects, I can vouch for the fact that the all-in-one approach to process automation simply does not work. Failed projects burn up money, time, opportunities and often good relationships with customers or key partners.
Automation solutions, especially at the high end where a company has invested millions of dollars and several years in time, are designed for very specific purposes. Simpler processes, ready for automation, won’t require the same level of sophistication.
With most companies facing intense pressure to rapidly move, change, innovate, automate, optimise and transform, business leaders can be forgiven for hoping one automation vendor will be a good fit for all their high-urgency projects. Our collaborative work with thousands of organisations across the public sector and every major industry reveals that mid-sized and large enterprises should ideally work with between three and five automation vendors.
Here are some key steps to help your organisation make decisions to ensure process automation success:
1. Start off with this high-level three-step perspective: reimagine the processes you’ll need; automate those and all sub-processes around them; and relentlessly optimise those processes.
2. Always look for the easiest and lowest-cost solution that solves your problem and delivers the desired business outcome.
3. Strive to automate as much as possible, and to do so quickly and inexpensively.
4. Don’t get distracted by vendors who promise to blow you away with wall-to-wall robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, application programming interfaces or other trendy buzz words.
5. Expect the CEO of the automation vendor to personally commit to seeing your project through to a fully successful outcome.
As you begin or extend your process automation journey, remember that not all processes are the same. Designer personas vary and no single vendor can possibly deliver all the great outcomes you deserve for each of your automation projects.
Eric Johnson is the CEO of Nintex
This article was originally published in the Summer 2021 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.