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Automation And Innovation – The Two Most Important Ingredient Of Digital Transformation

The global economic and technical ecosystem is changing at a far faster rate than in the past. Every industry is ready for change, and digital transformation or digitization could be the key to ushering in a new era.

When we talk about digital transformation, we immediately think about automation because it is what allows us to eliminate manual operations.

However, simply automating processes is insufficient. It’s also critical to keep innovating along the road.

Take the good ol’ automation technology and put it to work in a way that improves overall efficiency.

Alternatively, incorporate creativity into automation to create something altogether new and revolutionary.

Without a question, the two most important ingredients in a successful digital transformation recipe are automation and creativity.

Walt Carter, Chief Digital Officer and Chief Information Officer at Homestar Financial Corporation spoke on our latest podcast on increasing digitization in the financial services sector through automation and innovation.

Accepting Change In Order To Improve Client Experiences

Change is the only constant — cliched as it may sound, it is nevertheless true.

Walt points out that there has been a recent impact on how businesses are run, how they think about customers, and how they think about their staff when discussing the current situation.

When it comes to consumer experiences, we are now far below acceptable levels. As a result, something must alter.

The world is shifting away from stodgy, old businessman presentations and toward a fluid, dynamic digital environment, Walt explains.

So there’s a willingness to look into the future and see what’s really going on and changing as the demographics change, that more and more openness to new tech, greater and greater expectations all the moment that need to be met with how you interact your customers, how you retain your customers, and how you support your customers every step of the way.

You must establish credibility, which implies your technology must function properly and deliver on the customer’s expectations.

Implementing Digital Transformation Best Practices

Although automation is an important part of the digitization process, it has grown into a variety of advanced forms, including RPA, cognitive automation, and hyper-automation.

Pradeep Govindasamy delves into these technologies and lays forth best practices for executing digital transformation, particularly in the financial services industry, as follows:

  • Business process automation from beginning to conclusion.
  • Conversational bots and AI are being used to capture end-user experiences.
  • Migration to the cloud and data security.

Taking the lead in digital transformation

Walt referenced Covey’s book “The four disciplines of execution” when answering a question regarding best practices for advancing automation programs and essential indicators to monitor the efforts.

“All of that, thinking about value first, how we’re going to measure what the leading indications are, what we’re going to do if they’re telling us things are terrible,” he says.

If you don’t have the right focus, you’ll end up having scope leaps, scope creep, and very nothing to show for it.

That’s why they claim that 70 percent of digital makeovers fail. I believe it’s because people haven’t focused properly.

How will I know when I’m done if you start with that? You have a lot of victories.”

The effect of prioritizing which tasks to automate

Pradeep mentions the need to prioritize the areas that need to be automated, such as –

“On the technology or process side, what we’re seeing is that automation happens in the operation side of it with respect to the financial institution, so wherever we can efficiently improve the processes, wherever we see a highly manual and repetitive process and where there’s a large volume of transaction that’s happening and it happens every day, every week, and on a monthly basis – that’s an area where we’re looking to automate.”

He also explained how automation varies in financial institutions, citing the numerous rules, templates, and decision-making processes based on standards and predictive rules.

“We are aiming to automate which will be a big saving in improving their entire business process,” Pradeep says of financial institutions.

Then, anywhere we see a lot of volumes, and if there’s anything we can do to automate the stable processes and predictable outcomes that eventually lead to operational cost savings, those are some of the things we’re seeking to automate from a business process standpoint.”

“We need to take a holistic approach to processes, in the sense that we need to consider the inventory of those processes, how long they’ve been in place, and how stable they are.”

The most difficult problem is not one of technology. It’s change management, which Walt also emphasizes –

“The most difficult task is persuading the user community and business teams to accept the change.”


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