Can automation ‘strike teams’ overcome RPA deployment challenges?

Can a designated team, that's reactive and ready, help overcome the challenges of siloed automation strategies?
21 October 2019

Automation strike teams may be more effective than centers. Source: Shutterstock

“Technology investment is directly associated with business growth.” Small businesses with more investment in technology have a higher chance (68 percent) of growing, according to research by Xero.

Based on the positive correlation, more companies are willing to spend and invest in adopting technology to increase efficiency, from automation to AI-powered assistants.

However, many are still reluctant to adopt digital transformation due to the lack of capabilities in embracing digital transformation and also a shortage of internalized experts to oversee the adoption and implementation of digital transformation.

More than ever, employees are finding it difficult to cope with IT issues faced due to the fast pace of technological advancements in workplaces.

Organizations are finding IT issues to be decreasing efficiency in workplaces. A report by Capita revealed that productivity loss in UK enterprises soars up to £4 billion (US$5 billion) each year.

In general, organizations will only find themselves not fully reaping the benefits from their automotive initiatives and low return on investment (ROI) with unplanned implementation.

A solution to this would be to have a team to monitor the implementation.

Picture the A-team in a digital age, a specialized force to maneuver the implementation of the digital transformation of an organization. In this case, A is for Automation; hence, the automation strike team is an emerging term to address the gap between organizations and their technology.

There is a preference for the term “strike team” over the automation “center”, as center implies a main, singular control unit of all technologies across the organization. Whereas, a “team” is made up of multiple talents and experts responsible for different domains, such as robotic process automation (RPA), communications between organizations and employees and the relationship between business and consumer.

The significance of a team instead of a center lies in the unity of various departments deploying different strategies to achieve shared organizational goals.

Overview of challenges in adopting automation

The implementation in organizations is often set up in isolation and departments set their own set of regulations and goals. The lack of cohesion in implementation results in varying experiences for departments and more resources needed to support the individual groups.

To elaborate, problems are rectified in isolation and often solutions are deployed on case to case, department by department basis. The direct adoption of automation technologies with poor planning leads to automation sprawl, and poor coordination of automation procedures will impede the upscaling of business models.

Besides the challenges in deploying technology due to poor planning, an absence of communication between the organizational and departmental needs in automation further hinders effective digital adoption.

The concept of an automation strike team is to address the problems and gaps found in terms of deployment, coordination, and communication in automation adoption. 

Strike team to manage digital transformation

Once an automation strike team is gathered, organizations can find the journey to digital transformation smoother and better established. 

#1 | Unity

Firstly, making use of the expertise of each member in a team or teams, organizations can deploy relevant members to address several issues at once. Further collaboration between strike team members and domain experts will drive the organization to solve pressing automation issues.

Instead of rectifying automation issues based on departments, the team can serve multiple departments at once using similar technologies and resolutions. By doing so, a unity in technology deployment can be seen and management is made easier across all platforms in the organization. 

#2 | Sustainability

The strike team is essential as they present plans for the future and draft blueprints for the organization’s digital transformation. A needs analysis will be conducted to truly understand what needs to be automated and what are the best ways to do it.

From here, the strike team, with in-depth knowledge of the field, will “smooth out templates, licenses, and provisioning of software tools and expertise” before rolling out the technology to employees.

This initial planning is crucial as it sets the organizational goals aligned with implementation and prepares the workforce to welcome the disruption. Furthermore, the maintenance and rescaling of digital adoption will be supported by experts in the strike team.

The automation strike team aims to facilitate the integration between technology and business domains. Even though this framework bears promising prospects, it may take some time and more research to consolidate the role of the automation strike team and manage the expectations of enterprises.