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Getting started with Intelligent Automation is critical for enterprises today, especially as productivity gaps widen, everyone demands faster interactions, and the importance of better customer and worker experiences increases. Once you get started, however, your next move is to scale automations across the enterprise effectively.

Fortunately, utilizing automation is becoming more accessible every day. The robotic process automation (RPA) foundation has driven real business value for decades. Now, adding artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI, plus cognitive technologies like computer vision, natural language processing (NLP), and fuzzy logic, creates Intelligent Automation to further ease and accelerate the automation of a wide array of business processes. This puts your automation program into high gear as more processes are targeted for automation, and more stakeholders and executives recognize the immense potential.

You’ve already deployed department-scale automations and successfully proved an attractive return on automation. Now, you’re moving to this next phase of scaling automations, where it’s time to focus on spreading that message and recruiting internal champions to find the next wave of automation opportunities.

Four key areas where you should concentrate your efforts as you scale are:

  1. Craft the stories. Be ready with real examples, quantitative impacts, and qualitative benefits.
  2. Share those success stories. Tout automation wins with a communications program.
  3. Get the community excited. Use success stories to gather more automation ideas and champion more resources.
  4. Make it easy to get involved. Create a process to solicit ideas and take on citizen development.

However, this scaling phase of an automation program is where many teams face their first real hurdles. Here are three common hurdles to scalability and how you can avoid them.

Hurdle #1: Gathering automation ideas

Ideas are the fuel of an automation program. Your early starting efforts should be examples of what’s possible, and as you scale and communicate those success stories, more ideas will begin to form. Getting those ideas flowing to your automation team or your center of excellence (CoE) is essential so they can be evaluated and queued for automation.

But if people can’t quickly and easily submit those ideas, it’s akin to a blocked fuel line on an engine, and your program will soon begin to sputter. It’s a sure way to spoil your momentum as you get going.

The solution? Make submitting an automation idea as easy as possible.

Since great ideas can come from anyone in any department or role, this automation idea intake process should be accessible to all. Use a web form or another method that’s really easy to find and use.

Keep the data entry simple, too. People don’t want to fill out long forms or answer dozens of detailed questions. A cumbersome process will derail too many submissions. Just get the basics, with maybe five and no more than ten questions. It should be enough for your team to evaluate the idea’s potential without requiring you to contact the submitter for more information.

Hurdle #2: Turning ideas into automations

Every automation team has limited resources, especially developers. Talented developers are also a hot and expensive role these days. The combination can quickly make automation development a bottleneck for your program’s success.

The solution? Empower more people to create great automations.

Yes, we’re talking about citizen development or what some call automation democratization. But it’s not like you have to take Quinn from Accounting and turn them into a hard-core software engineer. Just like AI and generative AI are boosting the capabilities of automations, those and other technologies are also helping non-technical workers create powerful automations with clicks, not code, and in the applications they already use.

A good framework is the three C’s approach to citizen development, which includes consumers (those who are enabled by automations), contributors (those who identify and keep an eye on automations), and creators (those who develop automations). It not only gets more people excited and involved, but it also recognizes that it takes a village to scale your automation program. Your hard-core developers can focus on complex automations without becoming overworked, and your “regular” workers and power users can feel more integrated into and valuable to the overall automation program.

Don’t forget the importance of the four key parts of scaling listed above. You’ll need great stories and communication, and a fluid process to get citizen developers on board. Make sure you then turn those citizen developers into story subjects that show just how much success they’re having.

Hurdle #3: Maintaining automation security and governance

Security and governance were relatively easy when it was just your tight automation team leading the charge and keeping tabs on everything. As teams and citizen developers gain the knowledge and capabilities to automate when and how they like, your CoE becomes the strategic automation guide. But who takes care of security and governance?

The solution? Scale automation on a secure Intelligent Automation platform.

First, you need to consider the security of the automation platform itself. Your data, critical processes, and the brand’s reputation are at risk. Security must be built into the platform architecture, supporting core security principles, end-to-end protection for mission-critical apps, and robust controls to ensure data privacy and manage user access. It must also have certified compliance with SOC, ISO, and HITRUST, and adhere to regulations like GDPR and other data privacy principles.

Next, employing security, governance, and other controls across your citizen developer efforts is essential. Intelligent Automation uses AI and generative AI to ease automation development and add guidance and guardrails so citizen developers can focus on automating processes without adding risk.

Automation scale without worry

You’re excited to get your automation program scaled across the enterprise. By understanding these common hurdles ahead of time, you’re less likely to get tripped up as your scaling efforts get out of the starting blocks.

Of course, you may have more questions, too. Head on over to Automation Anywhere Pathfinder Mission Control for more resources on scaling your automation program. It’s the best way to ensure you’re scaling effectively and leaping over every hurdle!

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