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Enterprise automation will be the biggest transformation opportunity for 2023

Martin Stewart -
Digital transformation for your enterprise service ecosystem

Why you need enterprise automation

A fast pace of change is the key to business survival and success. In a global economy, competition has never been tougher. It is the organization that creates more value, more quickly that wins and keeps customers. That means constantly moving forward, at an unmatchable pace. New products and services, new business models, new customer experiences. Customers expect innovation, delivered quickly and consistently.

But when you think about the speed at which projects are typically delivered—timescales are usually measured in months (and sometimes years). A year is a long time in a competitive market.

What if project timescales could be shortened to weeks, or even days? How would that help you catch and overtake the competition? To catch up, you need to accelerate. You need to get more of those transformation projects done.


How can you accelerate your organization?

So how can you accelerate the pace of your business and leapfrog the competition? That’s perhaps the wrong question. A more useful question is this: What’s stopping you from accelerating your organization? Organizations typically answer: “We don’t have enough people.” or “We don’t have enough time.” Both mean much the same thing. Why doesn’t your organization have the capacity to drive projects and innovations forward? You have plenty of people and plenty of time, but most of it is being lost to work they shouldn’t be doing. Capacity is focused in the wrong places. This is where enterprise automation comes in.


Routine work stands in the way of innovation

In most organizations, high volumes of manual work are holding teams back. Research suggests that 86% of an HR professional’s time is taken up by admin work. That leaves less than one day a week for strategic HR projects. Likewise, 70%-80% of the IT team’s time and budget is spent on “keeping the lights on”—e.g. keeping existing systems running. Again, this leaves just one day a week for innovation. It’s not a situation that was planned; as time passes, operational workloads build up, unnoticed, like cholesterol on arteries.

The problem is that most routine work isn’t measured or tracked. Meanwhile, managers are scratching their heads, wondering why projects move so slowly. They aren’t fully aware of the workloads their teams are dealing with. It isn’t visible, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Find out more about the benefits of a common service management platform

This is reflected in an Asana survey which found that workers believe that they spend 35% of their time on routine admin work like taking phone calls, replying to emails, finding files, chasing colleagues, and other admin work. However, the research found that they actually spend 60% of their time on these types on unproductive work.

Looking across the research, it appears that knowledge workers have somewhere between 1 and 2 days a week to work on developing the organization. With so much time spent on unplanned, unproductive work, it’s easy to see why the flow of project work is slow. The situation is worse that you might guess, but that also means the opportunity is much bigger. The scope for refocusing time and energy on work that will really make a difference is huge.


Codeless enterprise automation is the answer

Automating routine work gives people significantly more time to work on the planned project activities that will move the organization forward. By eliminating half of your organization’s routine admin burden, you can double the delivery speed of planned projects. Think how much more competitive you will be if you can shrink a three-month project to six weeks? In some teams, work automation can cover up to 80% of the work they do. In just a couple of months it’s possible to quadruple their capacity.


How to approach enterprise automation

At Hornbill, we believe in democratization of automation—putting work automation tools into the hands of everybody in the organization. That means HR, Facilities, Customer Service, Finance, Compliance, and other teams can automate their own work, at their own pace—without IT involvement.

Some complex workflow platforms require coding to build and run workflows. With Hornbill, it’s all codeless, so teams don’t require any technical skills to create and manage their own automation portfolios. It's easy to automate everything from the big, cross-enterprise business processes, right down to the smallest routine tasks that take time out of an employee’s day. Simple, drag-and-drop workflow design means anyone can do it.


Mass automation of work, by the people who do the work

By starting small and local, each team can focus on their own automation journey. They do the work, so they best understand what's keeping them bogged down. What is needed from the organization's leadership is to give them the automation tools they need to get it done. Codeless work automation tools enable a grassroots movement; a self-driven efficiency program. Teams are motivated to reduce routine workloads to reduce stress (and boredom). Consequently, staff are more engaged and less likely to burn out (and leave).

Meanwhile, business leaders can draw from a larger, more stable pool of people to drive improvements and transformation projects. Codeless work automation creates a virtuous cycle. It's a tipping point technology that is the key to rapid and sustained acceleration of the pace of business.


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