Automation: How to Prioritize and Optimize Your Strategy

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According to Pillars of Resilient Digital Transformation, a new report from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, automation has become an essential tool to help leaders free up talent for more advanced tasks and drive new insights and revenue streams. increase. In short, automation helps her CIO simplify processes and reduce manual work.

Winners of the 2023 Florida CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards agree that choosing the right automation project, developing a solid strategy for automation deployment, and staying data and customer-driven is key to success.

Read on for their advice on what to prioritize this year and how to stay ahead of common barriers.

Pay attention to the details: data and recruitment

Dwayne Allen

Dwayne Allen, SVP & CTO, Unisys: The best way to determine opportunities is to look at your organization’s biggest problems, challenges, or inefficiencies. Solving these problems also motivates the best business engagements. Once identified, it is important to carefully consider the consequences and intended impacts and carefully plan the critical steps necessary to ensure success.

Barriers usually turn heads back in mapping critical steps. We usually think about processes and tools, but the killers are usually data and adoption. There are always different aspects of data analysis, structuring, transformation and integration required to get the expected functionality of an automation project. But without proper recruitment, communication, and training, automation efforts can be diluted or even abandoned. Benefits are missed because key participants and stakeholders are not ready. The devil is in the details.

[ Related read CIOs and automation: How to build a robust automation strategy. ]

take a customer-first approach

carrie busby

Carrie Busby, CIO, Core & Main: Automation relies on information. The better the data quality, the better the results.

In 2023, we will continue to invest in technologies used for automation, including DevOps, cybersecurity, and business process automation. But in 2023, we’re focused on clean, accurate data to drive insights and investments that drive good outcomes.

As with most industries, there are a myriad of business cases competing for automation, highlighting key differentiators for successful automation. This means putting our customers at the center of these use cases and using automation to enable the industry to drive efficiency and growth. The closer our decision points are to the issues that matter most, the better value we get for everyone.

Ethical AI/ML and automation

Gary Flowers

Gary Flowers, CIO, Year Up: Automation efforts are an ongoing part of adding value from a CIO perspective. I always tell the user that if I give her 15 minutes back, I can use her 5 of those to find other automation opportunities to work on next.

We believe that in 2023, the advent of ethical artificial intelligence and machine language-powered automation will enable organizations to automate decisions that would otherwise be non-obvious or very time-consuming.

The challenge for CIOs is to find the right niche where artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) is not just a buzzword trend, but is valued as an essential pathway to automation. The way it happens, in my opinion, is to specifically talk about departmental goals that tie into organizational goals.

An example would be “I want to reduce dropouts from the registration funnel to the next step.” Changes can be AI/ML answers to previous questions asked based on history or predetermined patterns. These patterns can help increase the number of people in the funnel. This increases enrollment by default and ties directly to your organization’s goals.

Intentional use of RPA

Lisa Cochrane

Lisa Cochrane, CIO, VyStar Credit Union: VyStar Credit Union’s process improvement organization has spent the past few years evaluating business processes and identifying opportunities to automate them using traditional Robotic Process Automation (RPA) bots. We know bots can drive business improvement, but how you automate is just as important as what you automate. Because RPA is layered on top of existing technology, it doesn’t solve obsolete technology or technical debt.

Our process improvement program is evolving into 2023 with the help of decision trees. This allows you to first identify gaps and opportunities in your process, then apply the most appropriate lens to get the most value at the right speed. Risk/reward decision-making and transparency around the deferred costs of the solution are built in. For example, if you have a back-office feature that manually key-ins account data, you might consider:

  • Completely deconstruct and eliminate functionality by digitizing the frontier of processes and leveraging APIs and microservices to completely eliminate the need for paper
  • Minimize the effort required by tuning AI to improve accuracy and reduce the number of people required to perform its function
  • Reduce the time people need to do their jobs by deploying bots without the fundamental technical changes of traditional bot methodologies

By taking a step back and intentionally addressing the “how” rather than the “what” in your bot strategy, you will drive more value in your process improvement and automation programs in 2023.

[ Get advice from leading CIOs on how to overcome common digital transformation challenges. Download the Ebook: Build a resilient IT culture. ]

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