I read an interesting article from Bain & Company today, entitled “Automation Scorecard: How Companies That Invest Heavily Gain an Edge in Speed and Cost – The gap between experienced automation leaders and laggards will likely grow wider.”
Whilst I disagree with the overall premise of the article, it raises some key questions and offers some great reminders. I address these below . . .
Whilst there may be some correlation, all the evidence of causation points to the fact that “it is not how much you spend, but how intelligently you address the transformation opportunity”.
There are so many examples of “investing heavily” that have produced marginal, sometimes negative, business impact. Of course, these rarely get showcased in surveys . . .
There is a confirmation bias at work here, in that the survey reports that organizations “that invested most heavily have met their lofty expectations”. Hmmm . . . how many of us publicly admit to poor decision making?
As you might expect, Generative AI is highlighted as a technology that should accelerate adoption of the existing technologies (which implies even the leaders have “adoption problems”). Generative AI is not a solution to every problem, in fact it addresses quite a narrow, but interesting, problem space.
Spend is NOT the key indicator to focus on, but the authors do get to the heart of the matter. These are the key takeaways from the article.
“What leaders do differently”
“They look for opportunities across the entire value chain. A task-by-task approach typically is too fragmented to generate big results. That’s why leading companies redesign processes end to end, using a combination of different types of automation. They blend automation with other redesign techniques, such as changes in policies, roles and responsibilities, process steps and hand-offs, and behavior.“
“They have an effective operating model. In the area of governance, for instance, the leaders tend to take a centralized approach. A dedicated center streamlines decision making, minimizes repeated mistakes, and legitimizes automation efforts.”
This echoes the experiences of leaders who espouse this “trifecta of triumph” . . .
Eliminate, Optimize, Automate . . .
End to end process thinking, alignment and integration is the source of big wins.
Thanks for reading . . .