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Automation Insights – How to Prioritize & What to Spend?

Automation is a hot topic these days. Whether it’s figuring what it is (check out this guide to Robotic Process Automation) or how to make sure it’s successful (check out these 5 practices that will help drive successful RPA deployments), organizations have questions they need answered. 

When looking to begin an automation project, there are two very important questions you need to ask. First, how should your organization decide and prioritize which projects to automate? And second, how much should you budget for the project?

Luckily, we’ve got some answers for you. We recently partnered with PEX Network, to release a primary research around the topic of disruption. We asked more than 150 business leaders and digital transformation experts from 36 different industries these very questions.

In today’s blog, we will focus on how to prioritize your automation projects, and how much budget you need. We’ll provide insights, including the thoughts of our partners at PEX, and also some questions to ask yourself during your automation journey.

Finding the right work for the robot is important – but so too is finding the right work for the people. Understandably, the machines are going to do what they do best: repetitive tasks in a predictable environment. That said, a calculation has to be made to decide whether some tasks are worth taking extra time over automating – because the returns from doing so will be that much greater. Knowledge is definitely something you need to pursue, and that knowledge needs to go beyond understanding the technology you are hoping to introduce: it includes knowing your own strengths and weaknesses as an organization and how to overcome resistance to change.

Some questions to consider for your next automation project:

  • Identify where resistance to change is coming from. Is there a good reason for this resistance?
  • What small-scale automations can you implement at low risk?
  • How are you involving others in the decision making process about automation?
  • Is there a general consensus - or dissent - on the reasons for automating?
  • Where there is disagreement is there a way of testing both sides?
  • Can you agree on what success looks like?

It’s a fairly even spread of responses here – with the highest percentages in the highest and lowest budget options available. Perhaps the reality for many businesses is that they spend what they have to keep up with the others, while others are trying to throw money at the problem. Still others are looking at ways of making changes without spending anything at all… but these may be the organizations most vulnerable to wider change catching them unawares.

Again, there are some questions to consider for your organization:

  • Is your spending level appropriate?
  • Are you spending more or less than others in your space?
  • How do you map projects to ROI in the context of business results?

And don’t forget to download the entire report to read more about the state of process automation and to see what the top leaders are saying about disruption in general. You can get your copy here.

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