Automation of a business’s most commonly performed tasks and processes leads to cost savings, increased speed of execution, customer satisfaction, reduced error rates and improved measurability. In short, if done well it can lead to scalability far beyond what is possible by human-centric activity.
In recent years the trend has shifted from outsourcing and offshoring (less expensive humans) to automation. Enter technology: robotic process automation (RPA), workflow automation and even various flavours of artificial intelligence (AI). RPA in particular has gained traction showing stellar growth: in 2018 the market grew 63% and was valued at $846.2m¹.
But so far none have found an automation silver bullet – automation at scale is hard and extremely expensive because it does not come off-the-shelf.
The temptation is to forgo real strategic change by simply automating existing ways of working. This makes it even harder to affect much needed (and ultimately inevitable) change. Extending the life of legacy systems, whilst delivering short-term gains, will only delay investment and can cause further pain as more and more money is spent on them.
¹Gartner Press Release, “Gartner Says Worldwide Robotic Process Automation Software Market Grew 63% in 2018,” 24 June 2019. https://www.gartner.com/en/ newsroom/press-releases/2019-06-24-gartner-says-worldwide-robotic-process- automation-sof
We understand that your business processes are unique to your organisation, there is no one-size-fits-all, golden hammer solution when it comes to automation. We specialise in providing a strategy-led, bespoke approach that looks holistically at your business and focuses on making targeted investments to where the most impact can be felt. We understand that process change has a deep cultural impact and stakeholders, employees and customers alike must be brought on the automation journey or the inevitable change is destined to fail. Process automation is principally about people, not technology.
Taking a portfolio view of your business processes
We start by mapping the business processes that make up your organisation. From this we form a portfolio of automation opportunities, allowing us to use our tried-and-tested approach to prioritise where you should focus investment.
Next we get to work building, launching and iterating the automated business processes, continuously learning from live usage data as we go. We will use a blend of hand-picked, best-of-breed technologies approved by you to automate:
● Human Workflow: Human-centric tasks such as data entry and approvals.
● Service Orchestration: Straight through processing across back-end applications.
● Legacy Integration: Incorporating not replacing existing mission-critical systems.
● Data Analytics: Generating and visualising business activity.
● Intelligent Decision Making: Learning to automate business decisions based on data.
You are in good company
The challenge: To ensure process and workflow efficiency within government departments for immigration and passports.
Our approach: While working within the UK Government itself, our team was able to refine the Home Office’s approach to IPA.
The outcome: We delivered several projects from major applications handling millions of processes to high-value internal tooling that reduced the running costs of several Government programmes.
For the full case study on the Home Office, read here.
The challenge: Following a period of rapid expansion, a major UK Healthcare provider had also seen a growth in the number of processes that their teams had developed. Recognising that their future growth would be affected if workflow did not improve, we were commissioned to perform a detailed analysis of their existing processes.
Our approach: Having spent time with each team, we analysed the newly emerging processes, advising on how they could make improvements through automation. We demonstrated to senior management how their teams were working and made recommendations on how automation could help.
The outcome: With the benefit of a large internal engineering team, we were able to train the organisation’s existing team how to implement IPA as effectively as possible. As a result of our work, the organisation automated many of the manual processes that their team were using, freeing up capacity within their team to be invested in other work, whilst bringing down costs.
To bridge the limitations of RPA and extend its capabilities, companies need a hybrid of automation technologies which is why we created Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). The IPA approach presents an alternative, one that gets the best out of RPA by isolating its use to straight forward integration, rather than allowing its unchecked expansion.
Our technology choices focus on a handful of carefully selected and proven technology partners, cloud native services and freely available Open Source software. We combine our experience of business process management (BPM), RPA and our knowledge of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to transform you into an automated decision-driven business in an iterative and agile way.
Camunda: We partner with Camunda a leading BPM platform, a software company reinventing workflow and decision automation.
Servicetrace: We partner with robotic solutions specialist, Servicetrace.
Confluent: Apache Kafka messaging platform provides a consistent business event integration hub that removes the complexity of integration of multiple applications that produce and consume data.
AWS Sagemaker: Productive data science platform to rapidly model, train and deploy machine learning models. Supporting TensorFlow, PyTorch, Apache MXNet, Chainer, Keras, Gluon, Horovod, Scikit-learn, and Deep Graph Library.
Speed was of the essence with this job, so cloud-based computing was the only way to achieve this speed. We used Tableau on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to visualise the dataset in this very tight timeframe resulting in visualisations that are available for both the public and organisations to use.
Are you considering using automation? Or have you already started your first automation projects? In this article you will find some of the most common stumbling blocks and mistakes when it comes to planning and implementing automation. The good news is that most of them are quite easy to avoid...
While reviewing different types of vulnerability scanning tools and services, it became very clear that testing such tools would require at least some known vulnerable applications to be configured. However, doing so may take up a considerable amount of time and effort. We decided to use a collection of pre-configured Docker containers and a Bash script to speed up this process.
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