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Streamlining enterprise automation opportunity assessment and prioritization

Choose the right lane forward

Putting a structured automation assessment and prioritization process in place can enhance the success of your early automation deployments—a critical component to building a strong and successful automation program. Are you ready to choose the right lane forward?

Assessing opportunity and impact

Picture this: Your organization has decided that automation can deliver big benefits—and you’re the right person to make it happen. Your list of automation candidates is long, ideas coming from multiple parts of your organization, and each department is sure that their processes are the best place to start. But you will need to determine whether the proposed processes are a good “fit” for automation. Then you need to evaluate and prioritize the processes based on the value of the benefits and their ROI, providing evidence to support management and/or executive decisions. Where do you start?

Because your organization’s time is limited, you should focus automation efforts and investments on the opportunities with the highest potential for success and impact. Putting the right processes in place to identify, measure, and prioritize automation candidates is critical. And because the scale is important, you want to do it in a programmatic way.

What’s needed is a standardized approach and methodology that can help your organization evaluate and prioritize automation opportunities. With this approach in place, you’ll be able to quickly establish and utilize a defined set of criteria to determine which processes are good candidates for automation. You can evaluate those candidates to measure their potential benefits. And then you can prioritize—and justify—which processes to tackle first.

Here are three steps to help you choose the right direction:

Putting the machine in motion

To scale automation, you must build a “machine”—a standardized and repeatable approach to assessing, analyzing, and prioritizing automation opportunities across the enterprise. If you don’t have this approach nailed down (or if you’re creating or re-creating it on the fly), you’re fighting an uphill battle. Not only will it be difficult to determine which processes are a good fit for automation and estimate what the return will be, it can also take a significant amount of time and erode your return on automation spending.

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Case Study

Snapshot of success: Fortune 500 company

A large Fortune 500 organization was looking to gain an advantage in a very competitive industry and decided to explore automation to improve margins and focus more of their workforce on strategic initiatives. The organization’s team began by executing on a set of strategic pilots and quickly identified a large number of automation candidates, across numerous business units. Although there was pressure to “get started,” the newly appointed chief technology officer (CTO) resisted this urge based on past experience with piloting automation technologies. The CTO had experienced internal friction around where to start, as well as disappointment as the processes chosen for a pilot, did not result in significant return on investment (ROI), which put the entire automation program in question.

Not wanting to repeat that experience, the team decided that it shouldn’t simply move forward with whatever automation candidates were on the table. Instead, the team took the time and effort to develop a programmatic approach to identify, measure, and prioritize candidates based on the organization’s long-term business strategy. Working with Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory, the team first developed guidelines around what qualifies as a good candidate for automation as well as a methodology for measuring complexity vs. value. Then, the team then engaged a cross-section of people from business, IT, risk, and strategy to align on these methodologies and to bring in the qualitative measures of success unique to the organization.

The result
By aligning the company around methodologies for measuring and prioritizing automation candidates, the team was able to avoid internal friction around the pilot choices. And, by applying those methods to the candidates on the table, the team was able to pilot automation that resulted in true value to the organization. In the end, the team not only delivered a winning set of pilots, it set their organization up for automation at scale and continued success.

The bottom line

Putting a structured automation assessment and prioritization process in place can enhance the success of your early automation deployments—a critical component to building a strong and successful automation program. It can also provide a road map for you to expand and accelerate automation across the enterprise. In the long term, organizations that use this approach should be better positioned to leverage automation to create disruption and achieve transformative change—providing a significant advantage in an increasingly competitive market.

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By focusing on the organizational, operational, and governance readiness aspects of automation—up front—executives can significantly increase the speed and scale of their automation projects.

As the competitive advantages of automation continue to expand, and the use of automation technologies becomes more common, the need for organizations to accelerate their automation programs and quickly move to scale becomes more urgent. It’s time to move into the fast lane:

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Let's talk

Valeriy Dokshukin
Partner | Digital Risk Management Solutions Leader
Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory
Deloitte & Touche LLP

Michael Koppelmann
Senior Manager
Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory
Deloitte & Touche LLP

AJ Maxwell
Senior Manager
Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory
Deloitte & Touche LLP

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