Avoid automation for its own sake.
Whether Suma and Insight are concentrating on their internal or external clients, their efforts are squarely focused on end-user pain points and the people at the center of the work.
And Suma recommends a similar approach for organizations trying to develop and implement an automation strategy. She firmly believes that business shouldn’t “automate for automation’s sake.”
Suma advises, “You should take a good, long look at your existing business processes to identify your end users’ primary challenges, such as the errors that occur most often or the ‘busy work’ that eats up employees’ time. Then, you can begin designing and implementing the right automated technologies and solutions.”
Suma knows firsthand the transformative effect of customizing automation for specific end users. While serving at a telecommunications company, she learned the finance and accounting teams were putting in long hours — sometimes overnight — to complete their month-end close. They were also missing their kids’ school and sporting events, sacrificing other after-work commitments and accumulating a great deal of stress in the process.
With employee resentment and burnout looming, it was a complex problem in need of a solution.
Suma and her IT professionals collaborated with the finance team to figure out which processes were taking up the most time. Together, they determined how to incorporate automation into their workflows and ultimately trimmed days from the close cycle.
The finance team was so grateful to have their personal time restored, they threw a huge party for IT to celebrate the win.
In this case, automation achieved the impossible: creating the gift of time.
This story reveals the true ROI of automated technologies and illustrates a point Suma can’t emphasize enough: Automation is everyone’s responsibility.
Suma encourages business and IT leaders to empower all employees to contribute to automation efforts. “Raise a hand if something is inefficient or error-prone,” she advises. Organizations can benefit from framing these initiatives as a CICD — continuous improvement and continuous delivery of capabilities — to which every employee can contribute.
Using Insight as an example, Suma explains, “We all need to be thinking about the next opportunity within our systems because it’s our responsibility to be automation-centric and client-obsessed.” Under Suma’s leadership, Insight is guiding its internal teams to embrace the human side of automation to elevate the outcomes for clients and their end users.