- Most organizations recognize the evolutionary impact intelligent automation (IA) will have on their operations and staff, but they're not ready to make the transition, a new study from KPMG found. The company collected data from 10 experts and 80 industry leaders, focusing on robotic process automation (RPA), enhanced automation and cognitive automation. Until companies understand that IA investment decisions must be made at the C-suite level and that IA is about transforming the business and operating model, KPMG concluded, they won't see an adequate return on investment (ROI).
- To make the digital transition, the survey results suggest, companies must shift the business and operating model from one in which technology supports people to one in which people support technology. Automation, for example, will affect one-third of all organizational jobs by 2020. Since companies don't plan to reduce staff, the survey results anticipate a larger collaboration between humans and machines.
- About one in four respondents said barriers to making the transition include senior management's lack of vision, incomplete end-to-end processes, and uncertainty about the financial investment required. Additionally, two-thirds of companies report lacking in-house talent and half struggle with defining clear goals and objectives surrounding tech. Most respondents said their companies are still experimenting with RPA, but only as it applies to old processes and applications.
KPMG points out that while companies grapple with fast technological changes, they're also trying to understand and select useful automated processes from the many available options. This likely explains why many companies have been somewhat slow to make a technological transformation. Though barriers like comprehension and expense stand in the way of the digital transformation, HR professionals can prepare their organizations by nourishing a culture supportive of the change.
Uncertainty about the level of investment required for the transformation can also derail plans to move forward. A study released by The Hackett Group reported HR leaders saying they supported the digital transformation, but they felt that their organizations lacked the resources to carry it out.
Employers are naturally concerned about the transformation's effect on workers. HR can prepare them for the change, which might require a culture overhaul. Analysts at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recommend that employers develop a digital culture, which would anticipate and support the transformation throughout an organization and prepare workers for the change. According to BCG's analysis, companies focused on culture are five times as successful in making the transition as other organizations.
BCG analysts also said that organizations that make the digital transformation have an edge in the competition for talent. This is especially good news in a tight labor market.