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How to Select a Partner to Achieve Intelligent Automation

Implementing processes that incorporate intelligent automation (IA) can be beneficial to businesses across virtually every market sector. Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are contributing to the increased scope and power of IA systems and environments. Using IA, businesses can get things done faster, better and with fewer errors. This can ultimately result in bolstered productivity, reduced risks and increased employee and customer satisfaction.

Benefits of Intelligent Automation

IA systems can provide many benefits to organizations. One key area is helping companies adapt to the fluctuating demands of the marketplace. Being able to be agile is critical to success, and IA makes it possible to address capacity changes to ensure an organization is using its resources at maximum efficiency to meet the demands of its customers and employees. Furthermore, as companies strive to scale appropriately to address market conditions IA systems can simplify operational scaling, allowing organizations to concentrate on other areas of the business. IA can also support enhanced strategic focus. Rules-based decisions can be left to IA systems, freeing up technical resources to engage in more value-added tasks or those that require human cognitive abilities.

Value-Adds of Intelligent Automation

The benefits afforded by an IA program can result in substantial added value across many areas of an organization. Some of the biggest impacts of a viable intelligent automation program include:

  • Cost, time and resource savings– IA reduces the time and resources required to complete an activity, resulting in lowered costs of tasks ranging from processing insurance claims to maintaining manufacturing assembly lines.
  • Supply chain optimization– IA systems help keep the necessary components on the shelf without wasting space or money by over-provisioning resources.
  • Competitive advantages– Companies gaining the agility and enhanced strategic focus that accompanies IA have a distinct advantage in meeting customer expectations over rivals who continue to use traditional and outdated methods.
  • Predictive analytics– IA systems can perform high-level analytics to proactively address and avoid outages to equipment to help ensure systems are always operating at peak efficiency.

How the Right Partner Can Help Implement Intelligent Automation?

Many organizations that can benefit from IA have little or no experience in its implementation. However, an experienced partner can pave the way for an enterprise to successfully use the technology to further its business objectives. But not all partners have the same offerings. Therefore, it is important to identify where you specifically need support and understand how they can help. Some areas partners can support include:

  • Assessment and planning– This is a crucial first step to successfully implementing automation. An experienced partner can identify the automation platform just right for your business needs, followed by selection of processes that lend themselves to automation and help develop a detailed roadmap.
  • Implementing the IA processes– After a thorough assessment, some partners can help implement the best processes using proven methods based on the findings identified during the assessment. Their experience should eliminate the uncertainty associated with making decisions regarding the implementation of the new systems.
  • Ongoing maintenance– Once implemented, it is important to ensure that it continues to run properly. Some IA partners can help work out issues that arise as systems become operational and help maintain system performance.

Tips for Choosing the Right IA Partner

The importance of selecting the right IA partner for your business cannot be overstated. It is important to consider if they have experience in your company’s industry or domain. Choosing a partner that understands the unique processes and workflows that drive your business can help ensure success. Additionally, your partner should be a consultant rather than simply an IT vendor offering a dedicated solution. The partner should offer guidance that pertains to your organization and find the best products to implement your vision. Further, the right partner should not only be to create early success but should also be able to replicate the success across your organization in the future. In addition, your partner should be able to help drive adoption of IA across the organization.

When choosing a partner, search for a company that has a proven track record of delivering automation solutions on time and experiences a high level of positive customer feedback. One way to gather this information is to ask for references to ensure that they are experienced in the type of automation your organization plans to undertake. This may include detailed information about the partner’s technical resources that will be made available for your project. It is also important to select the right size partner to ensure they can fulfill all your needs — big or small. Additionally, seek out a partner who can help you reduce or eliminate dependencies on your IT department to implement new IA systems; this could include adoption of no-code solutions or codeless test automation solutions to ensure faster delivery of solutions while saving costs.

You can also ask a partner to demonstrate the capabilities of their proposed solutions through a proof of concept (PoC). A PoC provides a method of understanding the viability of an IA project before committing to its implementation. Benefits of using a PoC approach include:

  • Validating that the intended automation addresses your business needs;
  • Identifying potential issues that can impact implementation;
  • Saving time and money, as a PoC is less expensive than a full implementation and can be conducted in a few weeks; and
  • Allowing the business to gain familiarity with the automated technologies and methods that will be implemented.

A good IA partner will help identify target processes for automation that do not change frequently, have a significant impact on the business and can be appropriately scaled to account for future growth. They will take into account the need for ongoing maintenance of the solution and not try to implement end-to-end automation if it is not cost-effective. In short, selecting the right partner will allow your company to implement IA effectively so it can start contributing value to your business.

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